The Cloverdale High School football team will play its biggest non-county rival on Saturday in the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.
The Clovers will play the Owen Valley Patriots in the last of the four games that will be played Saturday, and it should be a good matchup.
For the last seven years, Cloverdale has failed to defeat the Patriots. The games have been close, but this year could prove different for the Clovers, at least coach Jamie Steffy thinks so.
"Owen Valley is a lot bigger than us, and they like to run the ball, but this year we have been a team that has not given up many yards on the ground. We are averaging 79 yards a game, and the thing that hurts us is our pass defense," he said. "Our pass defense needs to get better if we want to win."
The Clovers have the second-best defense in the West Central Conference, giving up an average of 17 points per game.
"We just need to get ready for when they get into there Power I's and be even more ready when they shift into a spread offense," Steffy said.
The Clovers head into the game off the heels of a close loss to Greencastle. Last week, Aaron Smith led the Clovers with 91 yards rushing on 20 carries, but the Clovers will have to manage without them this week. Smith will be sitting out this week's game due to a shoulder injury. The Clovers will also have to go with out Keith Morgan as well. He ran for 14 yards on four carries last week.
"We're not sure what we are going to do right now. Having Keith and Aaron out is a big part of our offense, and right now we are trying to figure out what we are going to do to counter these problems," Steffy said. "A lot of our work in practice this week has been on the defensive side of the ball."
The Clovers are 3-4 on the season while Owen valley is 6-1, suffering its only lost to Northview three weeks ago. The Patriots are also headed into this game off a 50-13 win over West Vigo last week.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. at the RCA dome in Indianapolis.