After a 44-13 loss to Owen Valley last week, the Greencastle varsity football squad is ready for another tall task Friday.
The Tiger Cubs face Class 3A No. 4 ranked Indianapolis Chatard at Broad Ripple High School in the first round of the sectional Friday. With an explosive offense and talented athletes, Greencastle coach Mike Meyer know the Trojans will be a tough matchup.
"They run the ball very, very well. They have very good size on the lines," he said. "They have a very athletic quarterback and a good running back."
Chatard comes into Friday fresh off a 35-13 loss to Cincinnati Elder last week. The Trojans are currently 7-2, with their only previous loss coming in the fourth week to Indianapolis Cathedral.
Greencastle is currently 2-7 on the season, coming off a tough loss at Spencer last week. Although the Tiger Cubs were able to get the ball moving at times, turnovers killed momentum from turning into points.
Quarterback Cal Gard threw for 157 yards and two touchdowns, while wide receiver Nick Winters had 114 yards receiving. Freshman running back Drew Evens added 62 yards for the Tiger Cubs on 14 carries, averaging 4.4 yards per carry.
"I was pleased with Nick Winters," Meyer said. "I thought he did a nice job. And I thought Drew Evens ran the ball well."
Evens has stepped up in place of injured starting running back Chris Pingleton, who had five touchdowns on the season. Although he is only in his first year playing varsity football, Meyer has been impressed with his play.
"He's only going to get better," Meyer said. "Obviously, in the offseason he'll work hard. He'll be a lot more confident coming back next year."
The Tiger Cubs come into the Friday averaging 17.1 points per game, while allowing an average of 23 points per contest. Greencastle is holding opponents to 297.8 yards per game, while gaining 250.1 per contest. Gard is fifth in the WCC in passing, averaging 132.2 yards per game with seven touchdowns on the season.
Indianapolis Chatard is ranked 25th in the state in scoring, while ranking 31st in scoring defense. The Trojans are allowing a mere average of 12.22 points per game, while scoring an average of 37.44 points per game. In particular, Meyer said the Trojans run the ball well.
"The big key is that we've got to be able to stop the run," he said.
Stopping the run is something Greencastle struggled with last week. Running back Wayne Bush went wild, rushing for 231 yards on 31 carries, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. The Patriots totaled 423 yards on the ground.
Offensively, Meyer said Greencastle will have to establish a running game. Last week, although Evens looked strong at times, Greencastle only managed 78 yards rushing on a mere 18 carries. Meyer knows that can't happen against the Trojans Friday.
"We've got to be able to run the ball," he said. "Most times, when we run the ball, we can throw the ball better."