With Rensselaer Central putting a bow on a 2-2 record in the Hoosier Conference West Division with its 39-6 rout of winless Benton Central last week, attention now turns to which East Division school will visit Rensselaer in next week’s conference playoffs.
It appears the Bombers will finish third in the division behind champion West Lafayette (3-0 with a game vs. Twin Lakes left) and runner-up Lafayette Central Catholic (2-1 with a visit from BC this week). It’s the third time in the last four years that the Bombers would finish 2-2 in league play.
If the dominoes fall according to how they set up this week, Lewis Cass will finish as the Eastern Division champion with a win over Hamilton Heights and Westside will secure the West Division title for a third straight year with a win over Twin Lakes.
Cass will likely return to West Lafayette on Oct. 18 for a rematch against the Red Devils, who thumped the then-Class 2A No. 1 Kings, 58-21, last week. The winner will hoist the championship trophy.
Who Rensselaer will play is dependent on Tipton’s home game with Western on Friday. Both Tipton (5-2) and Western (5-2) are 2-1 in league play and the loser of that game will likely travel to Rensselaer on Oct. 18 for a playoff contest.
Western appears to be the better team when compared to Tipton, which has lost to Cass and Central Catholic. Western, which counts losses to RCHS and Cass, is in line to face LCC in Lafayette on Oct. 18 in a second-place contest.
By the way, the Bombers and Northwestern (0-4) are the only teams in both divisions to finish their conference schedule. Rensselaer will travel to Northwestern for a non-conference match-up this week.
Mistakes continue to plague Kougars
For the second straight week, Kankakee Valley had a lead against a top tier Northwest Crossroads Conference foe only to lose the lead and the game in the secnd half.
Last week, the Kougars took a 13-10 lead into the locker room against Andrean as they looked to snap a two-game skid. But the 59ers scored three touchdowns in the second half, taking advantage of a fumble and an interception by KV’s offense to stay in the hunt for an NCC title.
KV is 0-3 in league play, losing by a touchdown at home (21-14) against league leader Lowell three weeks ago. The Kougars lost 49-10 to Hobart two weeks ago despite holding a 7-0 lead before the loss to Andrean.
KV, which had three turnovers in its loss last week and eight in its three NCC losses, can salvage the conference season with home wins over Highland and Munster over the next two weeks. The Mustangs sit in the NCC basement at 0-3 and have lost eight straight games overall.
Highland is 3-4 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Shout Out to offensive lines
Rensselaer Central and North Newton’s offensive lines have hit their stride as the post-season approaches.
The Bombers totaled 445 yards on 54 running plays last week at Benton Central, with two backs — senior Noah Bierma and junior Addison Wilmington — gaining over 100 yards each. The Bombers had five rushing touchdowns.
North Newton, meanwhile, ran roughshod over Delphi in a 49-19 win last week. The Spartans called 64 running plays that gained 424 yards, including 310 on 36 carries by senior Colin Wagner. Junior Austin Goddard also rushed for over over 100 yards. Wagner had five touchdowns on the ground and Goddard added two more.
The Spartans’ front seven struggled to find their footing in the first half with North Newton clinging to a 14-12 lead. But the holes widened in the second half, particularly in the third period when the Spartans scored three TDs to gain control.
WEEK SEVEN STARS
• Colin Wagner, North Newton, sr. RB — 36 carries, 310 yards with 5 TDs in win over Delphi.
• Noah Bierma, Rensselaer Central, sr. RB — 164 yards on 18 carries with a score in win over Benton Central.
• Austin Goddard, North Newton, jr. QB — 110 yards on 15 carries with 2 TDs in win over Delphi.
• Addison Wilmington, Rensselaer Central, jr. RB — 10 carries for 111 yards and two scores vs. Benton Central.
• Dalton Kidd, Rensselaer Central, jr. LB — 7 tackles, 4 tackles for loss vs. Benton Central.
• Kiren Hesson, Rensselaer Central, sr. LB — 8 tackles, 2 sacks in win over BC.