Bloomington South vs Columbus North preview

John Kelly, Editor

Bloomington South Panthers (4-2) at Columbus North Bulldogs (3-3)

When: Friday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m.

Where: Max Andress Field, Columbus, Ind.

Last Meeting: 35-52 L (2018) 

Friday’s 27-17 win over Southport was a big one for the Panthers, who prevented the talented 6A Cardinals offense from capitalizing. South found some scoring success of their own, especially by way of senior kicker Carter Robinson. The victory has South carrying momentum into an important matchup against an always tough Columbus North team. 

Offense: D.J. Bull took a step back last week, only completing four passes for 64 yards and tossing two interceptions. Senior running back Maveric Thiery, however, looked like his usual self against the Cardinals, rushing for 147 yards while averaging over eight yards per carry. Even with the poor passing performance, senior wide receiver Sean Azcui proved he is the most consistent player in the wideout core, picking up 50 receiving yards through the air. The Panther offense is going to have to get their passing game back on track, because a one-dimensional offense will make beating teams like Columbus North and Bishop Chatard quite the challenge. The 4-3 defense for Columbus North returns a handful of defensive players, highlighted by senior defensive lineman Montez Mitchell. Mitchell is an all-conference selection and an exemplary run stopper up front. Senior all-state tight end Mitchel Collier plays both ways and makes contributions on the defensive line as well. Columbus North returns two all conference linebackers in seniors Landon Robbins and Jackson Payne, who had a combined 152 tackles in 2018. The secondary is led by senior Daveed Jolley, who, like Collier plays both offense and defense. This defensive unit brings back loads of experience and could present a serious challenge to the Panther offense. 

Defense: With the exception of one bad play late in the game, South’s defense played a near perfect game last Friday. Senior cornerback John Law capitalized on Southport mistakes, recovering two muffed punts to help the offense regain possession. They will face a Bulldog offense who, like Southport, has playmakers. Sophomore Luke Hammons is the man at the helm now after former starter Trenton Kelley left to play quarterback at Morehead State. Kelley threw for 358 yards against the Panther defense last year, so his departure gives South one less man to worry about. Behind Hammons in the backfield is junior all-state running back Blake Huffman, who has seen an increase in carries this season with the downgrade at quarterback. Jolley and junior Reece Lofton will also take some of the workload. Hammons has plenty of weapons to throw to in seniors Hunter Huser and Giovani Alejandro.

Overview: These are two very similar teams with talented running backs and good run defenses. This game has overtime potential and should be one of the more exciting matchups on South’s schedule. Prediction: BHSS-24 CNHS-21

Keys to the game: 

  1. Must pass the ball well
  2. Don’t get behind early
  3. Defense needs to stop the run on first and second down to force passing plays on third down