BHSS vs BHSN preview

John Kelly, Editor

Bloomington North Cougars (2-1) at Bloomington South Panthers (2-1)

When: Friday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m.

Where: Fred Huff Field

Last meeting: 32-20 W (2018)

The Clash of the Cats is here again and the momentum is swinging heavily in Bloomington South’s direction. South is coming off of a statement 35-14 win over Terre Haute North, while Bloomington North lost in dramatic fashion on an overtime touchdown by Terre Haute South. 

Offense: The Panther offense bounced back last week, putting 35 points on the board after a dreadful performance against Martinsville the week before. Junior quarterback Mason David looked much more confident and reduced mistakes. Senior wideout Jordan Meeks stepped up, hauling in 5 catches for 55 yards. Senior Sean Azcui led the Panthers in receiving again, nearly reaching the 100 yard mark on Friday. The improvement in the passing game takes some much needed work off of running back Maveric Thiery, who has been banged up early this season and has seen a limited workload in the first three games. The biggest concern for the Panther offense is all-state senior linebacker Caleb McCoy, who racked up 106 tackles last year. An important task for South this week will be maintaining the improved passing game that was displayed last week against Terre Haute North. Achieving this task should be a little easier, as star senior DB/RB Xavier Trueblood will likely be sidelined for this game with an ankle injury. Running the football won’t be a cakewalk, as South will have to get past senior defensive linemen Garrett Bruce and Noah Ponce, as well as junior Tavien Ross, who’ve proven to be stout run stoppers up front so far this season. Other notable defenders include senior linebacker Charlie Bless and defensive backs Matt Freel and Sam Werczynski. 

Defense: South’s defense has remained a solid unit, averaging an allowance of 15.3 points per game through three contests. Junior safety Maddix Blackwell continues to make plays in the secondary, coming off his best game yet against Terre Haute North. The pass rush, led by junior Joe Stephens and senior Ethan Hensley, has made a large impact on the success of the passing game for opposing offenses. North sophomore quarterback Reece Lozano, while still young, should be significantly better than last season, especially since he returns a plethora of playmakers in senior Cade Laughman and juniors Aaron Steinfeldt, Bailen Murphy, and Jack Recker. With Trueblood out, expect freshman Cody Mikulich to see an increase in carries at running back. 

Overview: North’s key players have only matured from last year, making this game more of a challenge for South. Although the Panthers have been inconsistent this season, they have faced much better competition than North. Prediction: BHSS- 26 BHSN- 17

Keys to the game: 

  1. Continue to have an efficient pass game
  2. Force Lozano to make bad decisions
  3. Win the turnover battle