BIG PLAYS HAVE PLAGUED TRIBE
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. Friday at Dick Meador Stadium/Neary Memorial Field (artificial turf).
RECORDS: Tigers 1-1, Indians 0-2.
LAST WEEK: Class 3A No. 15 (IFCE Coaches Poll) Tigers defeated Taylor (Ohio) 35-14. Milan lost 51-13 to 3A No. 16 (AP Media Poll) Batesville.
LAST TIME: Playing in a hurricane-like sideways downpour at Milan, Tigers' superior size and strength showed in a 35-7 romp on Sept. 1, 2017.
30-YEAR SERIES: Tigers 14-3
FAVORITE: Tigers by 21.
Lawrenceburg - You wouldn't have guessed it by the outcome in last Friday's 35-14 win over Taylor (Ohio), but the Tigers entered the night with four starters out, some of whom even practiced as last as last Thursday. OT Sam Thayer (knee) is expcted to miss 4-6 weeks. WR/KR Jalen Parks (knee) could return this week. MLB Jack Fette and WR Seth Lampert (concussion protocol, both) are questionable and have been limited in practice. At one time last Friday, LHS had three freshmen playing on offense. One of those, of course, is a special talent in QB Garrett Yoon, who is now 23-42 passing for 309 yards, 2 TDs, 2 Int., in his first two varsity starts. He's also rushed 31 times for 125 yards and another TD. Brother Gavin Yoon, junior wide receiver/DB, has 12 receptions for 187 yards and 2 TDs, including a 72-yard snatch-and-grab job vs. Taylor. Gavin also had two key interceptions last week on defense. RBs Adam Burd, a sophomore, and Brenden Cox, a senior, have run the football hard, for 137 and 92 yards, respectively, and a touchdown apiece. FB Mason Kennedy (17-78-TD) can pound it up the middle for the tough yards. Fette's 19 tackles may be missed, but fellow LBs Andrew Roth and Andrew Rennekamp (11 tackles, 5 and 7 solos) have been active. Tiger D came up with two Ints. and two fumble recoveries to turn things their way last Friday. P Brody Denison booted the heck out of the ball, averaging 47.7 yards per attempt and K Payton Seig was 3-3 in XP tries, although one was blocked. Sagarin rates Tigers at 58.3, 17th in Class 3A and 112th overall this week.
Milan - Despite mistakes, turnovers and youthful inexperience, Indians nearly knocked off EIAC Class 3A non-league foe Rushville in Week 1, losing a 36-35 barnburner at Hinshaw Field. Led 21-14 at the half, but trailed 29-21 after three quarters, then rallied for a 14-7 fourth, only to fall one point shy. Senior Tyler Smith rushed 23 times for 151 yards and 3 TDs that night, while QB David Carpenter was 6-16 passing for 88 yards, one Int. Tribe fumbled 6 times, losing two, while amassing 110 penalty yards. Rushville broke off four big plays of 50+ yards for TDs, scoring the game-winner on an 87-yard bomb and kicking the extra point to win it. It was the same story, only worse, in last Friday's 51-13 rout by Batesville at home. Dogs senior QB Trey Heidlage broke a 72-yard TD run on the first play from scrimmage en route to a whopping 487 yards total offense by the visitors. Batesville had three scores from 40 yards or longer in the first quarter alone. Milan fumbled three times without losing any, but had repeated problems snapping the football in shotgun formation. Carpenter threw two picks and Indians didn't get their first first down until late in the first period, finishing with 260 total yards. Actually won the first down battle 8-7, more due to Batesville's explosiveness. Both teams charted 12 penalties for 130 yards.
Ryan Knigga, Lawrenceburg (8th year) - "It was good for this group to get win No. 1. Taylor was a very physical team and much improved from last season, so that was a good win. It is a new week. Hopefully, the win will give us momentum. Winning is a good thing, but you also worry about teams that are 0-2 looking for win No. 1. Sometimes those teams are very dangerous. Each week is a new challenge for this team, so we will need to have a good week of practice and preparation. Milan will be well-coached and ready to go. It is always a good game. You can toss the records out the window. Milan is in the same boat that we are in replacing players. They lost a good class last year, with some good players. They are playing eight players both ways, and that takes a toll on you this early in the season. Their Rushville game could have gone either way. Batesville jumped on them early and never slowed down. I really like their running back, No. 30 Tyler Smith. He is shifty and runs hard. Their QB, No. 11 David Carpenter seems to run the zone read very well. They mix in a few formations and make you defend the field. They like to throw in certain situaions, so we must be ready for those and not give up the deep ball. We hope to get a few of our injured guys back this week. We are day-to-day with some of them, so that will make for an interesting week as far as practice and preparation go. For the most part we are healthy. I am proud of the guys who have stepped in an made an impact on our team. Credit to them, they were ready. Milan has some weapons who can make plays if we do not tackle or cover well. If we do not stay with blocks and execute our scheme, they can present some problems, defensively, for our offense. We do not look at records. That has gotten us in trouble before. We know this is a new week and Milan is going to want to win as much as we do. We must execute offensively and keep our defense off the field. Right now we are just trying to get better every week. We did that last week. We have a ton of new faces this year, so each week is a new experience for most of these kids. It has been neat to see them work and get better. I like our team, and we have kids who are working. We will need an outstanding effort Friday to beat the Indians."
Ryan Langferman, Milan (11th year) - "Right now, we have to fix ourselves. Not to take anything away from our first two opponents, but our problems have been self-inflicted. We have spent a lot of time this week focusing on the Indians and not the Tigers. We are an inexperienced football team and, unfortunately, we are playing like it. I am still pleased with the mindset of our team. We are not panicked. High expectations remain, and we realize that our goal is to improve throughout the season and be prepared for a sectional run. In order to have a chance to win, we need to stop big plays. We've made personnel and scheme adjustments this week. Some other players are going to get looks. We have the talent and potential to be a good football team. But we have to get guys in the right spots to be successful."