GREG'S FOOTBALL PICKS: Week 8 - News and Tribune: Clark County


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Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013 12:11 am | Updated: 6:53 pm, Wed Jul 30, 2014.

Just five weeks ago, things looked bleak in Charlestown and at Providence.

Both proud programs were 0-2 and had been outscored by a combined 152-77.

Charlestown, which was coming off a 12-1 season that included a Mid-Southern Conference and a sectional championship, was beaten by a Madison team that has currently lost five straight games then fell behind currently-unbeaten Brownstown Central 33-6 before showing signs of life in the second half.

Meanwhile, Providence was shut out by New Albany before giving up 60 points against Floyd Central in its first two outings.

In the last five weeks, however, things have changed — in a big way.

Charlestown has reeled off five straight wins, including four shutouts. Last week, the Pirates beat 5-1 Corydon Central, 35-0. The Charlestown defense has allowed 14 points since giving up 40 in the loss to Brownstown.

After beating Holy Cross 27-0 for its first win of the season, Providence fell at Indian Creek 41-21. Following a forfeit victory over Indianapolis Manual, the Pioneers made a switch at quarterback. It worked.

In the past two weeks, the Pioneers earned the upset of the season in a 22-point win over Jeffersonville before shellacking Mitchell 67-0 (in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score).

Last year, Charlestown coach Jason Hawkins looked like a genius. The truth is most coaches would have won big with quarterback Aaron Daniel, several outstanding skill players and a stifling defense. But if there was any doubt during a six-year stretch in which he accrued a 52-16 record, Hawkins has proven he is an elite coach by fielding a team in 2013 that has improved week after week.

The Pioneers’ improvement also is a testament to a great coaching job. After years under former coach Gene Sartini, Larry Denison took over the head coaching job at Providence. It’s never an enviable position to follow a legend.

If questions had arisen about Denison’s ability to lead a team following an 8-14 start to his head coaching career, those questions have quickly vanished.

Over the past two weeks, Denison has pushed all of the right buttons — including putting his best athlete, Owen Mattingly, at quarterback. Suddenly, the Pioneers look like sectional contenders, if not favorites.

As big as the win over Jeff may have been, beating a sizzling Charlestown team may be the biggest task ahead of the Pioneers yet in the week’s most intriguing game.

On to the picks:



There has never been any question about how good the defense has been at Charlestown, but just a few weeks ago, the Pirates was having little success moving the ball and scoring points.

Hawkins made some changes and they worked like magic. Freshman running back Antonyo Gaddie looks like the next big Pirate star. He rushed for 151 yards and scored three touchdowns in the third quarter of Charlestown’s 35-0 win over Corydon Central.

After four games, Providence had been gashed for 129 points — and that included a Week 3 shutout win over Holy Cross. In four wins, the Pioneers have surrendered just 13 points.

What were weaknesses early in the season now appear to be strengths for both teams.

Providence’s offense against Charlestown’s defense will be one of the most interesting matchups of the season. Now, the Pirate offense against the Pioneer defense appears to be a compelling clash, as well.

What seemed to be just another game a few weeks ago, now looks like a must-see event.

This is a tough one to pick. After the Pioneers’ win over Jeff, it’s tough to doubt their ability to beat just about anyone. Charlestown isn’t just anyone.

THE PICK: Charlestown 20, Providence 14.



In last week’s loss to New Albany, a Red Devil star may have been born.

Jeffersonville freshman quarterback Cam Northern entered in the second quarter and threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns.

Northern is big, athletic and bright. He’s going to make Jeffersonville proud for the next four years.

Unfortunately, this week he’ll be a freshman going up against one of the best defenses in Indiana. The Olympians are giving up just 14 points per game — and most of those points have come against the Olympian B team.

East has been so close to a state championship so many times. This is finally the Olympians’ year.

The Red Devils may push the eventual Class 4A state champions for a while, but in the end, they’ll drop their fourth straight game.

THE PICK: Columbus East 35, Jeffersonville 20.



If there were any questions before, there’s no longer any doubt: New Albany is for real.

Just two seasons after going 1-9, the Bulldogs are in the Hoosier Hills Conference fight.

They’ll need help from Jeffersonville this week and wins over Seymour and Floyd Central to tie for the league crown.

The win over Seymour will not be a problem. The rest could be troublesome.

THE PICK: New Albany 52, Seymour 7.



Speaking of bounce back seasons. After winning just twice a year ago, the Highlanders have been incredibly impressive since a Week 1 62-16 loss to Male. Floyd has averaged 49 points per game in its last six contests.

After starting 0-4 and giving 49, 32, 55 and 63 points in those losses, Jennings County has outscored its last three opponents 97-18 in consecutive wins under first-year coach Dustin Roller.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, Floyd Central isn’t Madison, Bedford or Seymour. The Highlanders will continue to roll.

THE PICK: Floyd Central 44, Jennings County 13.



Despite giving up 31 points to North Harrison a week ago, Silver Creek’s defense has had an outstanding season.

Brownstown is the ninth-leading scoring team in the state at 52 points per outing. The Braves have scored at least 28 points in every game and 50-plus in five of its seven wins.

As good as its been, the Dragon defense won’t be able to stop the Braves.

THE PICK: Brownstown Central 50, Silver Creek 14.



Just a few weeks ago, this looked like a potential win for Clarksville. Not now.

North Harrison is one of the MSC’s most improved teams. Their running attack has been unstoppable as of late and their defense has been solid.

THE PICK: North Harrison 34, Clarksville 6.



With a win on Friday, Eastern will double its win total from a year ago. If the Musketeers can repeat that for the next couple of seasons, they’ll be 8-1 in 2015.

THE PICK: Eastern 22, Crawford County 8.





• TIME: 7 p.m.

• PLACE: Murphy Stadium.

• RECORDS: Charlestown 5-2, Providence 4-3.

• SERIES RECORD: Providence leads 21-5.

• SERIES STREAK: Charlestown has won two in a row; Providence has won three of the last five meetings.

• LAST MEETING: Oct. 5, 2012 at Dutch Reis Field — Charlestown 53, Providence 0.

• KEY FACTS: The Pirates have held eight of their last 11 regular-season opponents to single digits. Seven of those games were shutouts. … Last Friday in the Pioneers’ 67-0 victory over Mitchell, it was the most points they have tallied since they put 69 on the scoreboard in a win over Louisville Moore in 2003. It was the first time Providence had cracked the 60-point barrier since a 63-24 victory over Clarksville in the 2008 regular-season finale.

• ANALYSIS: The Pioneers have been on a roll on offense in the last two games, averaging 51 points per contest in that stretch, but they face a big challenge in trying to keep that production going against a Charlestown team that ranks third in Class 3A in scoring defense at 11.1 points per game.


• TIME: 7 p.m.

• PLACE: Bulleit Stadium.

• RECORDS: New Albany 5-2, 4-1 Hoosier Hills Conference; Seymour 0-7, 0-5.

• SERIES RECORD: New Albany leads 27-12.

• SERIES STREAK: Seymour has won two in a row and three of the last four meetings.

• LAST MEETING: Oct. 5, 2012 at Buerk Field — Seymour 22, New Albany 20.

• KEY FACTS: Bulldog senior running back Tuwan Payton currently ranks third in the national rushing standings with 1,676 yards. At one point, Payton was first in the standings. … The last seven meetings between the HHC rivals have averaged a final margin of 6.7 points per game. During that stretch, six contests have had single-figure final margins and three games have gone to overtime.

• ANALYSIS: On paper, this HHC rivalry is expected to not be as close this time around. The Bulldogs rank fourth in Class 6A in scoring defense at 14.4 points per game, while scoring 32.3 points a clip this season. The winless Owls have given up 59.6 points per contest this season while tallying 14.3 points per game.


• TIME: 7 p.m.

• PLACE: Blair Field.

• RECORDS: Jeff 4-3, 3-2 HHC; Columbus East 7-0, 5-0.

• SERIES RECORD: Columbus East leads 21-11.

• SERIES STREAK: Columbus East has won nine in a row and 12 of the last 13 meetings.

• LAST MEETING: Oct. 5, 2012 at Stafford Field — Columbus East 41, Jeff 6.

• KEY FACTS: The Red Devils’ current three-game losing streak is their longest since coach Lonnie Oldham took over the program in 2011. It is the longest skid Jeff has had since the 2010 season when it went 1-9 under former coach Bob Redman. Oldham was the Devils’ defensive coordinator that year. … If the Olympians win on Friday night, they will clinch a share of their 10th consecutive HHC championship. East has won 47 straight conference games with its last loss being 33-30 at Bedford North Lawrence in the 2006 regular-season finale.

• ANALYSIS: The Red Devils have the talent to stay with the Class 4A No. 1 Olympians. But they have struggled in the mental toughness department the last few weeks with several costly mistakes along with dealing with some injuries. Jeff must play an error-free game on Friday night if it is to beat East for the first time since 2003.


• TIME: 7 p.m.

• PLACE: Ron Weigleb Stadium.

• RECORDS: Floyd Central 5-2, 4-1 HHC; Jennings County 3-4, 3-2.

• SERIES RECORD: Floyd Central leads 31-6.

• SERIES STREAK: Floyd Central has won 13 in a row and 28 of the last 29 matchups.

• LAST MEETING: Oct. 5, 2012 at Jennings County — Floyd Central 12, Jennings County 8.

• KEY FACTS: In their five victories this year, the Highlanders have averaged 52.2 points per contest. In their two losses, they have scored 23 points a clip. … The Panthers’ last win over Floyd Central happened on Oct. 6, 2000 in North Vernon, 22-20. Jennings’ last victory in the Knobs came during the 1984 season, 26-0.

• ANALYSIS: If the Highlanders keep on running the ball like they have been in their five victories in 2013, they should improve to 6-2.


• TIME: 7 p.m.

• PLACE: Silver Creek High School.

• RECORDS: Silver Creek 3-4, 2-4 Mid-Southern Conference; Brownstown 7-0, 5-0.

• SERIES RECORD: Brownstown leads 2-0.

• SERIES STREAK: Brownstown has won two in a row.

• LAST MEETING: Oct. 5, 2012 at Blevins Stadium — Brownstown 35, Silver Creek 0.

• KEY FACTS: In their two meetings, the Braves have outscored the Dragons, 103-28. The MSC foes’ inaugural meeting was in 2011 at Brownstown, with the Braves prevailing 68-28. … If Class 3A No. 6 Brownstown wins on Friday, it will claim at least a piece of the MSC title for the first time since 2011.

• ANALYSIS: The Dragons’ offense needs to make some plays early to get the Braves on the ropes. That will be a challenge against a Brownstown defense that ranks eighth in Indiana in scoring defense at 7.9 points per game.


• TIME: 7 p.m.

• PLACE: North Harrison High School.

• RECORDS: Clarksville 0-7, 0-6 MSC; North Harrison 3-4, 2-4.

• SERIES RECORD: Clarksville leads 28-7.

• SERIES STREAK: Clarksville won last year and has prevailed in three of the last four matchups.

• LAST MEETING: Oct. 5, 2012 at Clarksville — Clarksville 34, North Harrison 0.

• KEY FACTS: If the Generals lose on Friday night, they will finish MSC play with an 0-7 mark. It would be the first time they have ever ended a season with a winless conference mark. … In its last 11 meetings with the Cougars, Clarksville has averaged 32.4 points per game and scored 30-plus points eight times. The Generals are 9-2 in those 11 matchups with North Harrison.

• ANALYSIS: Clarksville needs something positive to happen on Friday night and build off of that if it plans on defeating the Cougars.


• TIME: 7 p.m.

• PLACE: Eastern High School.

• RECORDS: Eastern 1-6, Crawford County 1-6.

• SERIES RECORD: Eastern leads 5-1.

• SERIES STREAK: Eastern has won four in a row.

• LAST MEETING: Oct. 5, 2012 at Crawford County — Eastern 35, Crawford County 0.

• KEY FACTS: The Musketeers’ last three victories over the Wolfpack have all been shutouts. Eastern has outscored Crawford in those three contests, 94-0. … The Musketeers currently are on a nine-game home losing streak. Their last home victory came against the Wolfpack in the 2011 regular-season finale, 20-0.

• ANALYSIS: The turnover battle will be the most crucial factor in a contest where both teams desperately need a victory.




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