Timeout football: Friday’s games to watch
October 18, 2012 11:30PM
Stephen Simms, Valparaiso football in Valparaiso, Ind. Wednesday August 1, 2012. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 20, 2012 11:16AM
Valparaiso (3-6) at Crown Point (6-3), 7 p.m.
Radio: 98.3-FM, 1270-AM
The skinny: A head coach is going to get his first postseason victory when first-year coaches Dave Coyle (Valparaiso) and Kevin Enright meet. In their regular season matchup, CP edged the Vikings 28-21. Valparaiso can’t be underestimated since its other five losses came to teams that were ranked in the state AP or coaches’ poll at one point this season. The Vikings will count on their one-two running back combo of Stephen Simms and Andrew Kittridge while the Bulldogs have their own pair of backs in Tristan Peterson and Tyler Smith.
Portage (3-6) at Lake Central (7-2), 7 p.m.
The skinny: Just a week ago it looked like this sectional opening matchup wasn’t going to be much of a game — at least on paper. LC throttled Portage 40-17 in their regular season meeting, and despite two losses in its last four weeks, LC has been playing well. And then the unthinkable happened last week in a win over Valparaiso when Purdue-bound QB David Yancey got hurt. He also missed school early this week, supposedly due to the pain of the leg injury. If Yancey doesn’t play, it will be up to more traditional QB Alec Olund and RB Riley Arvanitis to carry the LC offense.
Lowell (5-4) at Mishawaka (6-3), 7 p.m.
Radio: 88.5-FM, 92-7-FM
The skinny: This is the second straight season these two teams have met in the sectional — the only two times the schools have met. Mishawaka won last year’s sectional game 35-14, but this is a better Red Devils’ squad with George Fields leading the way as the latest running back wearing No. 6. He almost helped Lowell spoil Andrean’s victory that clinched a share of the NCC title with 208 yards rushing on 36 carries. Fields will need that kind of effort again to lead the Devils past the Cavemen on the road this week.
Andrean (7-2) at Wheeler (6-3), 7 p.m.
The skinny: In the words of immortal baseball philosopher Yogi Berra, “it’s deja vu all over again.” Didn’t these teams meet in last year’s sectional opener? Wasn’t Andrean a huge favorite in that game? Didn’t Wheeler’s defense take it to the 59ers’ postseason run downstate? Didn’t some pundits call it the biggest upset in Northwest Indiana football history? And like that classic game last year, the key to this week’s rematch will be the quarterbacks. Andrean’s Matt DeSomer has played well in recent weeks with the status of the running backs behind him in flux. Wheeler’s Jeremy Truchan was a wide receiver to start the season, but he’s found his niche as QB. This game isn’t as big of a mismatch as last year’s was supposed to be.
— Steve T. Gorches