Jackson County’s three high school football teams will all open season Friday.
Seymour and Brownstown Central will both hit the road, while Trinity Lutheran starts its 2018 on campus.
Owls traveling east for first game
Seymour will go to South Dearborn High School in Aurora on Friday for a non-conference game.
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The meeting marks the first between the two teams since 2006 when the teams played in the same class and sectional.
South Dearborn, a Class 4A program, had wins over Madison (7-3), Rushville (42-21) and Scottsburg (22-21) in 2017.
Seymour is coming off of a 4-6 season, which included wins against Evansville Harrison (40-20), Bedford North Lawrence (21-17), Jennings County (41-7) and Madison (21-12).
Rand Ballart is entering his fourth year at the helm at South Dearborn. He has posted records of 3-7, 0-10 and 3-8 as head coach of the Knights.
The Knights ran for 1,207 total yards last year, led by 645 yards on 139 carries from junior Dalton Guthrie.
Six-foot-four junior quarterback Adam Dixon led the Knights through the air, passing for 446 yards and three touchdowns in five games played.
“We’ve seen that they are big up front, and they’ve got a great quarterback who can throw the football,” Owls second-year coach Mike Kelly said. “They do a nice job in their passing game. They also have a big offensive line and fullback that they are going to run the ball with. From a defensive perspective, those are things we need to be aware of and in tune with. They’re going to try and use their formations to adjust and get us out of position.”
The Knights’ defense gave up 21 points or more in nine of 11 games last year. They also gave up more than 30 points seven times.
“They have a very good nose tackle and defensive lineman,” Kelly said. “Their front is aggressive. Their linebackers flow. Those are things we noticed on film from their scrimmage with Milan. At the same time, it is a scrimmage. You’re not always sure if it’s a first-, second- or third-team guy. Our biggest thing is that we need to take care of ourselves this week.”
The Owls are coming off of a 4-3 (touchdowns scored) win over Silver Creek in a scrimmage at Bulleit Stadium.
Kelly said the team could make big waves this season if they continue to put in the work.
“I told them the other day that we have the dirty word of ‘potential,'” he said. “I hate that word. It means we aren’t realizing our talent. I think this season, we have that talent that can be realized.”
Braves to commence MSC play
The big reveal of the new turf field will need to wait at Blevins Memorial Stadium.
On Friday, the Braves’ varsity team will travel to Corydon Central for a Mid-Southern Conference game.
Last year, the Braves dominated the Panthers in Game 1 by posting a 44-14 win.
The Panthers would go on to win just one game, over Clarksville (49-20), while Brownstown finished 8-2 (8-1 regular season, 7-1 MSC) on the season.
“Coach (Aaron) Humphrey was a new coach last year,” Braves coach Reed May said. “He had coached under Darin Ward. Darin had great success at Corydon and Charlestown and has turned the program around at Boonville. Coach Humphrey is a great coach. He is starting to get Corydon back to the way it was when (Ward) was there earlier.”
May said from what he has seen, the Panthers will run a power offense.
“The film we have from the Providence scrimmage, we see them lining up in the I and playing power football,” May said.”They have some big kids. They struggled a little bit last year, but any time you get a new coach and system, you struggle a little bit. I think he will turn them around eventually. Just hopefully, it isn’t this Friday.”
In last year’s game, the Braves ran for 239 yards and five touchdowns.
The Braves scored six touchdowns at Jennings County in a scrimmage last Friday, and the team hopes to keep that energy up in the first game of the season.
“Every year is exciting,” May said. “You just don’t know what you’re going to do. You have a new team and new kids. You get to see them grow. I think one of the pleasures of coaching is to see a freshman grow to his senior year. This senior class has grown these past four years, and now, it’s their time to shine. The juniors, what we think is a pretty good class, are on varsity now.”
The Braves have won 12-straight season-opening games and are 23-2 in opening games since May took over as head coach.
The turf will first be first be used Saturday, as the Braves’ freshman team hosts Floyd Central. The Braves will have their first varsity game on the turf Aug. 24 against Charlestown.
Confident Cougars ready for Tindley
Trinity Lutheran will host Indianapolis Tindley on Friday night to open its season.
The Cougars, which brought football back in 2017 to the school, look to get back at the Tigers for last year’s 44-0 loss.
While the score was lopsided the last time they played, Trinity trailed just 8-0 at halftime in that contest.
“We’re going to have to not turn the ball over and be able to take a lot of reps without getting tired,” Trinity coach Mike Wilson said. “Last year against Tindley, it was 8-0 at halftime, and then we got tired, and they sort of walked away with it. This year, hopefully, we are in better shape. In the practices, they have done some really good things.
“Their speed will be an issue we have to deal with. We won’t see a team with their speed. They will be quicker than us in spots. We just need to be smart.”
Tindley went 7-4 last season, while the Cougars had a 3-5 record.
Trinity has 19 players on its roster this season, and six of those players are homeschooled.
The Cougars are young with just two seniors but have a lot of returning players.
“We’re young again, which is just the way it is going to be for the first couple years since we’re building from the ground up,” Wilson said. “A lot of the kids that are sophomores and juniors have varsity experience since they played a lot last year. We have a good group of freshmen coming in.
“We’re pretty comfortable coming in this year. It’s all about learning and getting better every week. I think we’ve progressed. We will find out on Friday.”
Wilson said Brent Marksberry will work as the defensive coordinator, while recently hired Tim Rowe will be the offensive coordinator.
Wilson looks forward to another season at the helm and thinks this year’s team will have some exciting games.
“I think we will pass well. Our quarterback is a sophomore (Tyler Goecker), and he started the last seven games last season,” Wilson said. “We have good receivers, and our line is a lot better. Defensively, everyone is in new positions. Coach Marksberry is getting them in shape. The defensive line will be a strength, and defensive backfield will be pretty good.”
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What: Brownstown Central at Corydon Central
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Radio: 96.3 WJAA
Where: Corydon Central High School
Most recent meeting: Brownstown Central won 44-14 on Aug. 18, 2017
Series past 30 years: Brownstown Central 27-5
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What: Seymour at South Dearborn
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Radio: 92.7 Nash Icon
Where: Knight Stadium
Most recent meeting: Seymour won 20-17 on Oct. 20, 2006 (sectional)
Series past 30 years: Seymour 8-0
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What: Indianapolis Tindley at Trinity Lutheran
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Trinity Lutheran High School
Most recent meeting: Tindley won 44-0 on Aug. 18, 2017
Series past 30 years: Tindley 2-1