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Road contests on tap for area football teams

Union County blockers Derek Grissom (17) and Reece Watterson (22) look to provide support for teammate Braden Weston, center, while Cambridge City Lincoln’s Mason Dick (46) moves into position to attempt a stop, last Friday inside the Eagles Nest at Cambridge City. The Patriots travel to Knightstown tonight for a Tri-Eastern Conference contest against the Panthers. Lincoln is also on the road tonight, as the Eagles will face TEC rival Tri-High.

By GRADY TATE - gtate@newsexaminer.com

Buses will be in high demand for local football teams this week, as all three will be out on the road.

One of them, Franklin County, will make a very special trip, the Wildcats heading west to Indianapolis to play at Lucas Oil Stadium as part of the Southeastern Showdown.

The other two, Cambridge City Lincoln and Union County, will face important Tri-Eastern Conference tests, against Tri and Knightstown, respectively.

But in the end, aren’t they all important?

Blow the whistle, it’s time to kick off Week 3.

CAMBRIDGE CITY LINCOLN (1-1) AT TRI (0-2)

CAMBRIDGE CITY — The Cambridge City Lincoln football team travels to Tri-High, to face a team that has beaten then 27 times in the last 35 years.

But with the Titans at 0-2, and the Golden Eagles coming off an emotional win over Union County last Friday, could it be that Lincoln has caught Tri at the right moment?

If the Eagles are to extend Tri’s misery this season, they will have to contend with a two-headed running game out of the Titan backfield.

Zach Davis (23 carries, 163 yards) and Tyler Kingery (36-136) are those two heads and both will be called upon throughout the night.

Should they fail to get the job done, quarterback Syrus Butler will be forced to use his arm. In 12 attempts, he has completed only three passes but the average gain on those completions (30 yards) is most respectable.

In the Lincoln backfield, Alex Bertsch will direct the offense, coming into the game with 11 completions and 230 yards passing. He’s thrown for two scores.

Alex Hokey is the featured back in the offense, having carried the football 42 times for 220 yards.

A win by LHS would lift the team to 2-1 in conference play.

Game time: 7 p.m. at Gipe Field.

Coaches: Phil Renforth, 54-123 in 18th year at Lincoln. Andrew Tetheroh, 13-21 in 4th year at Tri.

Sagarin ratings: Tri,-14.21, 311th overall, 59th in 1A. Lincoln,-19.39, 316th overall, 62nd in 1A.

Last outing: Lincoln defeated Union County, 19-14. Tri lost to Northeastern, 20-7.

Opponents’ records: Lincoln 2-2. Tri 3-1.

Series last 35 years: Tri, 27-11

Last meeting: Tri, 13-12, Aug. 31, 2018.

FRANKLIN COUNTY (2-0) VS. RUSHVILLE (0-2)

BROOKVILLE — Franklin County has one seven of the past 10 meetings with Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference rival Rushville, but the Lions are in possession of the most recent victory, a 15-14 verdict one year ago.

Saturday’s winner could very well be the one that handles the pressure of playing in an NFL venue, as Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, will provide the surroundings for the two teams.

Three different players have lined up at quarterback for Rushville, but it’s freshman Austin Vance who has done the most damage there, completing 16 passes through two games for 169 yards.

When he isn’t throwing the football, Josiah Hay (25 carries, 64 yards), Nick Lawler (20-85), Jake Vance (14-68) are carrying the football out of the backfield.

Jake Vance is also the most reliable receiver of the bunch, the junior catching 15 of the team’s 18 receptions this year.

Brady Bogan gets the signal-calling duties for Franklin County. The senior is coming off a game with Connersville in which he completed six passes for 120 yards and a touchdown.

Hunter Tschaenn (13 carries, 150 ayrds, 2 TDs vs. Connersville) will do much of the work, running the football for the Wildcats, but others, including Bridger Bolos, Josh Bauman and Bogan might also use their feet to advance the ball.

Game time: Saturday at 2:45 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium

Coaches: Dan Rector, 5-7 in 2nd year at Rushville. Wes Gillman, 4-8 in 2nd year at Franklin County, 18-31 in 6th year

Sagarin ratings: Franklin County, 50.54, 129th overall, 16th in 3A. Rushville, 11, 269th overall, 57th in 3A.

Last outing: Rushville lost to New Castle, 39-2. Franklin County defeated Connersville, 49-7.

vs. Common foes: Rushville 0-1; Franklin County 1-0.

Opponents’ records: Rushville 3-1. Franklin County 1-3.

Series last 35 years: Franklin County, 7-3

Last meeting: Rushville, 15-14, Aug. 31, 2018.

UNION COUNTY (0-2) AT KNIGHTSTOWN (1-1)

LIBERTY — Following a loss to Cambridge City Lincoln last week, Union County goes in search of its first win of the season tonight on another TEC field, this one at Knightstown.

UC quarterback Mason Wicker threw the football for 35 yards, and led the Patriots on the ground with 103 yards on 21 carries. He also scored one of two touchdowns in the game for coach Joel Hofmann’s unit.

Someone else will need to get more involved in the offense this week for the Pats to get off the snide. There are plenty of suitors for that.

Reece Watterson (14 carries, 75 yards), Braden Weston (11-13) and Derek Grissom (3-51) are all candidates who could have a break-out week for UC.

Knightstown likes what Chase Richmond can do at quarterback (24 completions, 250 yards this season), and will have no hesitation in using the junior’s arm to achieve what it wants on offense.

The Panthers will also use several backs to chew up yardage as well.

Primary among them are Mason Fields (19 carries, 36 yards), Ben Newby (18-71) and Nick Walsh (14-121).

A win by Union County would pull them even with the Panthers in the TEC standings at 1-2.

Game time: 7 p.m. at Willard Field.

Coaches: Joel Hofmann, 10-12 in 3rd year at Union County. Chad Montgomery, 10-3 in 2nd year at Knightstown.

Sagarin ratings: Knightstown, 8.29, 276th overall, 42nd in 1A. Union County,-16.74, 313th overall, 63rd in 2A.

Last outing: Union County lost to Cambridge City Lincoln, 19-14. Knightstown lost to Winchester, 50-8.

Opponents’ records: Union County 3-1. Knightstown 1-3.

Series last 35 years: Knightstown, 4-1

Last meeting: Knightstown, 40-0, Oct. 19, 2018, sectional.