Last Friday’s loss was a heart-breaker for Churubusco football, but the Eagles will have a golden opportunity defeat another good team in West Noble.
The two will face off at Churubusco 7 p.m. Friday.
Churubusco will need to by physical this Friday, as West Noble is one of the better teams that the Eagles will face this season.
“West Noble has the ability to move the ball very effectively due to their dynamic offensive personnel,” said head coach Paul Sade. “Defensively, they have held a lot of good teams to very few points because of their sound and aggressive scheme.”
West Noble has an intangible offensive tool in Spencer Shrock. The senior slot back averages 6.5 yards per carry, with a pair of rushing scores. Shrock also has 332 receiving yards, and three touchdowns through the air. He’s also is a defensive tool as a defensive back, where he has 32 solo tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception.
Running back Brandon Pruitt is also a player the Churubusco defense will want to hone in on. The sophomore averages six yards per carry and has scored five touchdowns on the ground this season. He also has 68 total tackles on defense, six of those being sacks.
Draven Rasler also has the ability to reach the end zone. The senior has 338 yards on the ground, with three scores. He also has a receiving touchdown in nine receptions.
“They have several weapons offensively and a great deal of speed,” Sade said.
Rasler also plays defensive tackle for the Chargers. He’s been disruptive with 59 tackles, a dozen of which have been for a loss of yardage. Four of those losses have been from sacks on the quarterback. Rasler also creates turnovers as he’s recovered a pair of fumbles. Rasler is also a kickoff returner, and averages over 15 yards after first touch.
The Eagles have been working on becoming a better blocking team this week as the East Noble game nears.
“Our offensive line and halfbacks need to work on taking better paths the second level and sustaining blocks on linebackers better,” said Sade. “We need to be more physical offensively.”
Whitko’s football team scored a season high of 14 points last Friday, and will seek to provide more offensive momentum against Northfield. Whitko travels to Northfield this Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The Wildcats are still fighting for their first win of the season. Northfield (6-1) is 3-0 in the Three Rivers Conference and a win over the Wildcats would give to Norsemen the conference crown. Northfield has proven to be the toughest opponent for teams in the Three Rivers Conference, and will be motivated to claim the conference on senior night.
“They get off the ball very well and are a very disciplined coached team,” said Whitko head coach Jeff Sprunger. “They have the capabilities to get on the perimeter and break big plays. However, they are not afraid to take the football and pound it in between the tackles. Defensively they have good size and it will be difficult to move them.”
Kyle Reed is a force to be reckoned with for Northfield on both sides of the ball. The senior running back has 580 yards on the ground this season, scoring five times. He also plays inside linebacker where he has amassed 70 tackles this season, eight of which have been for a loss. Reed has created a handful of turnovers. He caused a pair of fumbles and recovered three.
Quarterback Levi Fulkerson has been successful due in part by his ability to read the defense on option plays. Fulkerson has thrown for 428 yards and eight touchdowns, and only thrown two interceptions all season. He averages 23 yards per completion. Fulkerson also has 181 yards on the ground, with a pair of running touchdowns.
The Wildcats have further practiced their fundamentals in preparation of a gifted Northfield team.
“It will be very important that our players match their intensity and get off the ball,” Sprunger said. “We cannot sit back and wait to see what is happening but rather force the issues and cause the offense to do what they don’t want to do. We have to attack offensively and stay with our blocks.”
Columbia City may be out of the race for first place, but the Eagles’ football team will have an opportunity to defeat a talented Leo team.
Leo defeated Huntington North 42-12 last Friday. The Lions are tied in second place in the Northeast 8 standings, with only the undefeated New Haven Bulldogs ahead of them. The Lions will be motivated, as they need to win their last pair of games to have a chance at the conference title. The Eagles are fourth place and could possibly claim a share of second place with two more wins under their belts.
Leo will be among the stronger tests for the Eagles this season.
“Leo has a good football team all around,” said Columbia City head coach Brett Fox. “They are fast, strong and athletic.”
The Lions have many older players in their lineup that has provided leadership for Leo this season.
“Leo has some quality upperclassmen leading their team. Some athletic wide receivers and a quarterback with some quality experience,” said Fox.
Trent Bonner has been a major threat for the offensive attack. The senior plays both running back and receiver and stood out to Fox while he watched film over the weekend.
“Bonner makes plays in a little amount of space,” Fox said.
Middle linebacker Jayden Elwood is also another player that stood out in the film. The Eagle offense may want to run plays to the left and right, instead of heading down the center. If not, the Eagles offensive line will need to by physical with him.
“Jayden Elwood as a defensive player is really good as well and hard to block,” said Fox.
The Eagles have lost a pair of games the past two weeks, but a win over Leo would provide further momentum in a season where Columbia City has found success.