BHSS vs Terre Haute South preview

John Kelly, Editor

Bloomington South Panthers (2-2) at Terre Haute South Braves (4-0)

When: Friday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Bob Clements Field- Terre Haute, Ind.

Last meeting: 52-35 W (2018)

Coming off a roller coaster of a rivalry game loss against Bloomington North, the Panthers will return to Terre Haute just two weeks removed from their 35-14 win over Terre Haute North. This week the Panthers will be headed to the south side of Vigo County to face the Terre Haute South Braves, who are off to a blazing hot 4-0 start.

Offense: The main storyline of this week is the quarterback situation. Junior starter Mason David struggled mightily before suffering an injury early in the game, which sent in junior D.J. Bull. Bull, who has appeared in all four games this season, showed a lot of promise as a passer last week against Bloomington North. This is significant because Bull has primarily been only a scrambling quarterback this season, and he looked comfortable in a more pass heavy role. Whether it be Bull or David starting on Friday, the Panther offense needs to cut down on the turnovers in order to stay in the game. The offense last week was its own enemy, recording several drops and failing to execute screen passes on multiple occasions early in the game. Luckily for the Panther offense, Terre Haute South’s defense has historically allowed a lot of points. However, they do bring back some decent starters in junior cornerback Jacob Rutledge and linebacker Ayden Macke. 

Defense: For the first time this season, the Panther defense cracked. The lack of height in the South secondary was a problem last week against Bloomington North’s tall receiving corps. The secondary will have another challenge this week in junior wide receiver James Mallory, the grandson of former IU football coach Bill Mallory. Last year, Mallory torched the South secondary, hauling in nine catches for 107 yards and a touchdown. He has had a slow start this year with new quarterback Caleb Stultz; however, the defense still needs to see him as a threat. Although the Braves lack a true every down running back, they have a solid offensive line anchored by all-state tackle Griffin Comer who stands at 6 foot 3 inches and just shy of 300 pounds. Last Friday against Terre Haute North, junior Jacob Rutledge ran for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, the Braves will also factor in senior mauler Allen Haire at running back. Haire slots in at 5-foot-11 and 245 pounds, providing a much different running style than the quick-footed Rutledge. The Panther defense is going to have to win the turnover battle in order to help the struggling offense win this game. 

Overview: Bloomington South has not started the season the way they wanted or expected to. A big win on the road would give the Panthers a morale boost as they head into the second half of the season where they’ll face a strenuous schedule. Prediction: THSV- 28 BHSS- 16

Keys to the game: 

  1. No dropped passes
  2. Make stops on third down
  3. Shut down James Mallory