Heritage looks to step up to Jimtowns tournament level
Posted: 11/01/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Bill Beck
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Jimtown's Brody Olson (14) runs with the ball in the Class 3A sectional varsity football game against Whitko at Jimtown in Elkhart on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. (Truth Photo By Marshall V. King)
Jimtown High School Varsity Football Team Devan Emerson (1) (Truth Photo By Evey Wilson)
Jimtown's Devan Emerson (1) runs with the ball in the Class 3A sectional varsity football game against Whitko at Jimtown in Elkhart on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. (Truth Photo By Marshall V. King)
Jimtown's Tanner Adams (28) runs with the ball in the Class 3A sectional varsity football game against Whitko at Jimtown in Elkhart on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. (Truth Photo By Marshall V. King)
Jimtown High School Varsity Football Team Tanner Adams (28) (Truth Photo By Evey Wilson)
A year later, Lehrman is anxious to see if his senior-laden team is ready to take the next step.
“Jimtown’s a great program, great tradition. We were nowhere near level last year,” Lehrman said. “(Last year) was an eye-opener. We found out we weren’t at that level and we’ve worked hard for this year with our 24 or 25 seniors.
“I don’t know if we’re there or not. Time will tell.”
If you asked Mike Campbell, head coach of the No. 1-rated Jimmies, he’d tell you the Patriots are there — and then some.
“They are fast. Really fast ... definitely the fastest team we’ve played,” Campbell said. “They’ve got weapons, they’ve got a quarterback who can throw and that’s working well for them, so obviously we have to take away the big play.”
The Jimmies will travel to Heritage Friday for a Class 3A sectional championship game with the winner getting a regional berth opposite either Marian or South Bend St. Joseph next week. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
In reaching the final, both schools have piled up huge, early offensive numbers against little resistence. Over the last three games going back to regular season, the Patriots have scored 147 points while the Jims have racked up 146.
But Campbell would just as soon not get into a scoring pinball game.
“They get their fast guys the ball. They want to get vertical on you and throw it,” Campbell said. “We don’t want to get into a scoring race with them.”
Instead, the Jims want to use their relentless ground game which has yet to be stopped this season.
Seniors Devan Emerson and Tanner Adams have combined for more than 1,600 yards and 28 touchdowns, while quarterback Brody Olson has utilized the team’s play-action passing game for 14 TDs from his 38 completions. Olson is hitting 62 percent of his passes and most of his completions have gone to seniors Evan Oblinger and Carter Gill.
“Our biggest concern is stopping the big play,” Lehrman said. “Personnel-wise, I think we match up well on both sides of the football. Jimtown’s got a ton of great kids. They’re a juggernaut. They’ll score their points, but we’ll do our best to contain them.”
“Teams can’t put 10 in the box and say, ‘Beat us,’” Campbell said. “Offensively, we’re making it so we’re not easily defended. We’re not one-dimensional now. We’ve been trying to take what defenses give us.
“On Friday, we have to make them one-dimensional.”
One key for Jimtown will be making life uncomfortable on Heritage quarterback Conner Sheehan. In last week’s 49-8 romp over Tippecanoe Valley, Sheehan threw for five TDs — including plays covering 44, 61 and 50 — and ran for another score.
“The quarterback has to be a natural leader and he’s been that for some time now,” Lehrman said of his three-year starter. “He’s a great student of the game.”
Jimtown at Heritage
Kickoff: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Site: Heritage High School, Monroeville.
Records: Jimtown 11-0, Heritage 9-2.
Streaks: Jimtown has won 11 straight games; Heritage has won five straight games.
Series: Jimtown leads 6-0.
Last meeting: Jimtown won 36-19 in 2011 sectional.
Ranking: Jimtown AP, IFCA No. 1; Heritage IFCA No.8, AP No. 9.
Advancement: Winner to meet either Marian or SB St. Joseph in regional on Nov. 9.
Rushing — Devan Emerson 107-929 (14 TDs), Tanner Adams 103-704 (14 TDs), Tyler Lundy 51-390 (3 TDs). Passing — Brody Olson 36-58-791 (14 TDs). Receiving — Evan Oblinger 16-358 (5 TDs), Carter Gill (14-381 (8 TDs). Tackles — Casey Adams 85 (53 solo, 32 assists), Mason Brown 60 (37-23), Elmer Graves 47 (30-14), T. Adams 47 (33-14), B. Olson 47 (29-18).
Rushing — Brenton Lockett 132-1,011 (12 TDs), Wil Knapke 99-777 (10 TDs). Passing — Conner Sheehan 99-167-1,866 (24 TDs). Receiving — Knapke 32-709 (8 TDs), Ben Gibson 24-527 (4 TDs), Zach Toles 19-309 (7 TDs), Lockett 19-246 (4 TDs). Tackles — Tim Brandt 71 (36-35), Lockett 68 (41-27), CJ Whitman 63 (23-40).