New Palestine (8-0) at Delta (5-3)
GAME TIME: 7:30 p.m. at Delta Stadium.
COACHES: Kyle Ralph, 58-3 in 5th year at New Palestine. Chris Overholt, 13-8 in 2nd year at Delta.
LAST OUTING: New Palestine defeated New Castle, 56-24. Delta defeated Greenfield-Central, 41-14.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Delta, 14-9.
LAST MEETING: New Palestine, 56-15, Oct. 14, 2016.
BREAKDOWN: The top-ranked Class 5A New Palestine Dragons turn their attention from one of the nation’s top passers to the state’s leading rusher in Week 9.
Seven days after stymieing Hoosier Heritage Conference foe New Castle and quarterback Niah Williamson 56-24, the New Palestine Red Rage defense is locking in on Delta running back Charlie Spegal.
The Golden Eagles’ top rusher has amassed 2,070 yards and 29 touchdowns this season with three 300-yard games and six 200-yard performances.
The New Palestine defense is built to stop the run and enters the regular-season finale with a plus-14 turnover ratio.
A win by the Dragons will mark the program’s fifth straight undefeated regular season and extend their regular-season winning streak to 45 games. New Palestine has won 33 consecutive HHC games to date.
Greenfield-Central (3-5) at New Castle (4-4)
GAME TIME: 7:30 p.m. at Huffman Field.
COACHES: Adam Sherman, 9-10 in 2nd year at Greenfield-Central. Kyle York, 4-4 in 1st year at New Castle.
LAST OUTING: Greenfield-Central lost to Delta, 41-14. New Castle lost to New Palestine, 56-24.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Greenfield-Central, 16-4.
LAST MEETING: Greenfield-Central, 20-14, Oct. 14, 2016.
BREAKDOWN: The Greenfield-Central Cougars were humbled last week by Delta at home, and now they travel to New Castle for “basketball on grass.”
Quarterback Niah Williamson and wide receiver Luke Bumbalough are undeniable playmakers in the New Castle Trojans lineup and pose a considerable threat to break the game wide open at any moment.
The Cougars defense has allowed 29.0 points per game, which plays to New Castle’s strength, averaging 43.0 points.
History, however, is on the Cougars’ side having won every matchup against the Trojans since 2008. New Castle’s last win in the series was on Aug. 17, 2007 (21-14 at home). Since the Cougars are 9-0 against New Castle.
Lapel (5-3) at Eastern Hancock (5-3)
GAME TIME: 7 p.m. at Knarr Field.
COACHES: Tim Miller, 28-36 in 6th year at Lapel. Jim O’Hara, 30-13 in 4th year at Eastern Hancock, 117-61 in 16th year overall.
LAST OUTING: Lapel defeated Tri-Central, 42-20. Eastern Hancock lost to Shenandoah, 67-13.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Eastern Hancock, 21-8.
LAST MEETING: Lapel, 42-14, Oct. 14, 2016.
BREAKDOWN: Things spiraled out of control quickly for the Eastern Hancock Royals last week against rival Shenandoah.
The host Raiders led 21-0 in the first quarter, 40-7 by halftime and eventually won 67-13 to hand Eastern Hancock its second straight loss.
Quarterback Jarett Lewis accounted for both of the Royals scores last week, connecting with Clayton Cochard for a 13-yard touchdown pass and with Luke Splater for a 71-yard strike.
The Royals will need to improve on their 243 total yards and slice into their 520 yards allowed from last week to upend visiting Lapel, who are averaging 34.4 points per game.
Yorktown (3-5) at Mt. Vernon (2-6)
GAME TIME: 7:30 p.m. at Mt. Vernon.
COACHES: Mike Wilhelm, 71-69 in 13th year at Yorktown. Neil Kazmierczak, 2-6 in 1st year at Mt. Vernon, 13-17 in 3rd year overall.
LAST OUTING: Yorktown defeated Pendleton Heights, 25-17. Mt. Vernon lost to Shelbyville, 35-28.
SERIES LAST 30 YEARS: Mt. Vernon, 19-10.
LAST MEETING: Mt. Vernon, 40-21, Oct. 14, 2016.
BREAKDOWN: Victory has proven allusive for the Mt. Vernon Marauders despite posting 21 or more points the past three weeks.
After snapping a three-game losing on Sept. 15 against Delta with a 31-26 win, the Marauders find themselves once again in a three-game lull.
They wrap up the regular-season at home with a potential bounce-back matchup against Yorktown, which recently halted its five-game losing streak last week against Pendleton Heights, 25-17.
The Marauders are averaging 19.9 points a night, but they are giving up 33.4. Mt. Vernon has defeated Yorktown in consecutive years and if the offense can minimize mistakes, they could run their streak to three with sectional only a week away.