Watseka at Central
Gametime: 7 p.m.
Players to watch: Watseka — QB Drew Wittenborn, LB Tylor Durflinger; Central — QB Jay Lemenager, WR/DB Jacob Shoven
Warriors on offense: It’s safe to say Wittenborn is in a groove after he flung six touchdowns last week against Dwight and leap-frogged Lemenager to take the second spot in the area passing-yardage ranks. He has a deep receiving corps that has seen four different players lead the team in receiving in five games. Coach Aaron Hilgendorf has raved about his offensive line being a strength of this team since the summer, something that has proven to be true five weeks into the season.
Warriors on defense: Pound for pound, the Warriors have been right up there with Coal City and Kankakee as the area’s most imposing defenses. They’ve pitched a pair of shutouts and are led by Durflinger from the linebacker position, and fellow backer Bryce Denoyer has a knack for disrupting quarterbacks with his blitzing ability. As it has been the past few years, the secondary is stout and solid, which will be needed against the Comets’ lethal passing game.
Comets on offense: Lemenager is just one of three area quarterbacks with more than 1,000 passing yards this season and has a perfect 13-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Shoven, his favorite weapon, was out last week but looks to be good to go this week. He will be joined by Trevor Meier and Chandler Burrow out wide, and Garret Graham has shown a knack for the endzone from the backfield behind an experienced line.
Comets on defense: The Comets strapped it in and put on a brilliant performance in their second-half shutout at Seneca last week. Graham, from his linebacker position, and Meier, from the secondary, will control the middle of the field. Burrow (six interceptions) and Shoven (three interceptions) are ballhawks who will look to disrupt the rhythm Wittenborn has been in through five weeks.
Pick: The Comets have won the past seven meetings, but all of those results are going to be thrown out for this one. Both units are pretty evenly-matched with one another, and these groups have had classic clashes dating back to youth football. Whichever team makes the big play late in the fourth quarter could see that be the difference-maker. Not many games will be as evenly-matched as this one. In close ones such as this, the home team has the slightest of advantages. Central 35, Watseka 31