Mater Dei picked to edge Reitz in West Side showdown

SIAC FOOTBALL PREDICTION BLOG – WEEK 9

MATER DEI (8-0, 6-0) at REITZ (8-0, 6-0), 7 p.m. Friday
For the first time, the West Side rivals were both 8-0 when they met last year in their annual regular season finale. They have gone one better this year. Not only are they both undefeated, both are ranked No. 1 in their respective classes for the first time. Mater Dei is rated No. 1 in Class 2A; the Panthers are No. 1 in 4A. Last year, the Wildcats prevailed 28-21. Expect another close game. Both teams have been tested by SIAC opponents. Harrison led MD late and Memorial led Reitz late; MD and Reitz were also in tight battles with Castle. MD has proven vulnerable defensively. The bend-but-don’t-break Wildcats have surrendered an average of 22.1 points per game, which isn’t exactly state championship game caliber. Both teams are averaging more than 40 ppg offensively, but Reitz suffered a terrible blow when WR-S Will Brown underwent season-ending surgery on his lower leg on Tuesday. His absence could prove the difference in a game that could come down to the final minute. MD is seeking its third straight win in the series.

Prediction: Mater Dei 28, Reitz 27

MEMORIAL (2-6, 2-4) at CASTLE (4-4, 3-3), 7 p.m. Friday
The Knights bounced back from a devastating defeat to pound North, 51-0 as Dayne Keller threw a season-high six touchdown passes. Castle, which hopes to take a two-game winning streak into postseason, will no longer have to contend with the Terre Haute schools in the Class 5A sectional. Memorial will play without RB Drew Parker, who had 73 yards rushing on 15 carries before being ejected in a 29-28 loss to Harrison last Friday.

Prediction: Castle 35, Memorial 21

HARRISON (6-2, 4-2) at BOSSE (2-6, 1-5), 7 p.m. Friday
Even without two players, the Warriors should roll past Bosse in this East Side rivalry. C.J. Hedgepeth will probably again spell Ryan Hales at quarterback. Hales and D’Allen Haskins were both ejected late in Harrison’s 29-28 victory over Memorial last Friday. Hedgepth admitted the Warriors were “a team of hotheads.” They will need to be far more disciplined if they expect to challenge Reitz and Jasper in the upcoming 4A sectional.

Prediction: Harrison 35, Bosse 14

CENTRAL (4-4, 2-4) at NORTH (1-7, 0-6), 7 p.m. Friday
The Bears will again be without star RB Tias Stewart, but should still have plenty in the tank to beat North, which has struggled mightily.

Prediction: Central 28, North 14

Last week: 4-0.
Overall: 31-7.

Thanks for reading.

–Gordon Engelhardt

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