It’s bounce back time come Friday night for the majority of area high school football teams.
It’s also a shortened week of preparation after stormy weather last Friday night pushed all local games into Saturday either by suspension of play or postponement completely.
Warsaw and Wawasee both look to get into the conference win column after taking it on the chin in league openers. The Tigers were pounded by Plymouth 41-6, while undefeated Northridge whipped Wawasee 55-0 in Syracuse.
Tippecanoe Valley looks to get into the win column for the first time on the season. Triton looks to snap a two-game skid as Bremen pays a visit to Bourbon.
Whitko was the lone local to post a W this past weekend. The Wildcats broke through for their first win by blanking Southwood.
Here’s a quick look at the area docket Friday night.
Elkhart Memorial (1-2, 1-1) at Warsaw (1-2, 0-1), 7:30 p.m.
The plan is a simple one now as a young Tiger team looks for a much-needed win on Homecoming.
“Our focus is on getting better and on the mental part of the game as much as anything right now,” said Warsaw coach Phil Jensen. “We are having a lot of growing pains right now, but our best football is ahead of us. We just need to grow up and come together.”
Warsaw was out gained by almost 300 yards in the loss at Plymouth. Taylor Fulton ran for over 220 yards and five scores for the Rockies, while the Warsaw offense managed just eight first downs.
The Tigers face a Memorial team that has struggled to score points. The Crimson Chargers have just one offensive touchdown in three games and a total of 32 points. Memorial used a kickoff return for a score and an interception return for a touchdown to edge winless Goshen 14-13 last week.
“They have good athletes who can make plays,” said Jensen of Memorial. “They will come ready to play. No one wants to be at the bottom of the NLC.
“We can’t give up big plays on special teams and we have to execute better and be more consistent on offense.”
Warsaw topped Memorial 28-0 a year ago.
Wawasee (2-1, 0-1) at Concord (3-0, 2-0), 7:30 p.m.
It’s all about being physical and finishing for the Warriors in trying to knock off the defending NLC champion Minutemen, ranked No. 2 in Class 5-A.
“Our focus this week is to play physical, have everyone fly to the ball and finish plays,” said Wawasee coach Josh Ekovich. “We just need to play hard and the results will take care of themselves in the end.
“Our biggest downfall last week was that Northridge was more physical than we were.”
“They have extremely good athletes, who play hard and are well-coached,” Ekovich said of the Minutemen. “It will be a challenge going up there. But I think we match up well with them.”
Concord blanked Wawasee 28-0 last season.
Tippecanoe Valley (0-3, 0-1) at Southwood (2-1, 0-1), 7 p.m.
The Vikings came close to getting that first win last weekend.
Valley dropped a tough 27-20 final at home to Manchester in the TRC opener. The Vikings drove to the Squire two-yard line late in the game, but could not score.
“We had a good talk with the team Monday,” said Valley coach Scott Bibler. “We looked at why we are losing. We just need to cut down on our breakdowns, keep working and play tough and disciplined football. I’m proud of the guys for hanging tough.”
Quarterback Alec Craig passed for 203 yards and ran for 123 last week.
“Alec is gaining confidence and poise and I’m excited about his progress,” said Bibler of the sophomore.
Southwood opened league play with a 7-0 loss at Whitko.
“They are an improved football team with a lot of experience back,” said Bibler.
Southwood outscored Valley 34-33 a year ago.
Whitko (1-2, 1-0) at Manchester (2-1, 1-0), 7 p.m.
The Wildcats will look to pick up a key road win in TRC play Friday night.
“Every week is a big week in the TRC and we have to be on top of our game Friday,” said Whitko coach Josh Mohr. “Manchester is very talented and they will be ready to go.
“Our big focus continues to be working on the things we need to improve on. Our kids responded last week. It’s tough to have to come back and play on Saturday like that.”
Whitko defeated Manchester 46-24 last season.
Bremen (1-2, 0-1) at Triton (1-2, 0-1), 7 p.m.
The Trojans hope to snap a current two-game skid against a rival.
“We had a long talk on Monday about our options and what we can do,” said Triton coach John Johns. “We are looking for a total, committed effort from our guys. We’ve got some guys dinged up right now and will play some new faces Friday.
“Our kids are excited. Bremen is a big rivalry and they have a lot of tradition.
“What I want Friday night is to know that all of our guys played as hard as they can for four quarters. If we do that, we will be okay.”
Bremen, which graduated a slew of players from a year ago, beat Triton 52-7 in 2013.