Why New Prairie-Jimtown should be the best high school game of Week 5

Find out why.

Posted on Sept. 20, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Sept. 20, 2013 at 6:17 a.m.

Your game day high school football blog for Friday, Sept. 20 games -- Week 5. Since Indiana teams are guaranteed only 10 games, tonight marks the symbolic halfway point of the 2013 season.

Easily the best game of the night -- on paper -- is 4-0 New Prairie at 3-1 Jimtown with the Northern State Conference title on the line. Yes it's early, but these two teams have shown themselves to be the best in the league. The Cougars are ranked No. 4 in 4A while the Jimmies, for the first time in ages, aren't rated among the state's top 10 in 3A.

Hall of fame coach Russ Radtke, in second season with NP, makes his first trip to Baugo Township since an epic 1985 2A regional game when he was coaching at North Judson. The Blue Jays sported the state's No.1 ranking, an offense which was blowing the doors off teams, and a defense which hung up 10 consecutive shutouts. Prior to meeting the Jimmies, NJ had outscored opponents by a 542-8 count  and averaging 49 points a game. All the Blue Jays allowed was a lowly TD in a 63-8 rout of South Central in the tournament.

The contest will be New Prairie's first test since a 28-21 Week 2 win over Mishawaka Marian. LaPorte and Culver were walk-overs for the Cougars, though Bremen hung tough in a 27-7 loss. "It's a fast, physical team. The quarterback is very handy with the football and the fullback, he's a workhorse. They get it to him 100 times if teams allow it," Jimmies coach Mike Campbell said. "We have to adjust to the speed of the game. We have to keep moving the chains and keep their offense off the field. The more they have it, bad for us."

Jimtown certainly can't look ahead to next week's Elkhart County grudge match with Concord, but the tempo of the next two games should give Campbell a strong read on his team's potential. "They are two different styles of offense, but both are very fast and physical on both sides of the ball," Campbell said. "We know what we have, we have a handle on what we want to do. It just getting the consistency to do it."

Game Breakdowns

The IHSAA has tapped into John Harrell's statewide nightly game info packages, featuring recent history, Sagarin computer ratings and a game prediction. Every Indiana game is featured each week. ... Among local games, Northridge at Warsaw could be good. The Raiders need an NLC road win in the worst way. NR hasn't won a league road game since 2009, a string of 11 consecutive losses. ... Wawasee at NorthWood is a good test for both teams. A win by the Panthers will give them a boost heading into 3 consecutive away contests.

Plymouth at Memorial, which was moved to Saturday because of a lightning strike at Charger Field, will likely be a slugfest. The Chargers are hurting at quarterback and may have to use halfback Kane Rickey to take snaps. ... Central at Riley in the NIC and Concord at Goshen in the NLC have all the markings of runaways for the Blazers and Minutemen. The Penn-Clay matchup and Marian-Washington pairings also are lopsided adventures. Kingsmen and Knights should have no issues. ... In the NECC, the hardest part of the Fairfield at Eastside game is the trip across U.S. 6 to Butler, Ind. Wouldn't wish that upon anyone.

CLICK HERE: Find game-day capsules for all of Indiana on John Harrell's website.

Here are The Truth area matchups:

NEW PRAIRIE (4-0) at JIMTOWN (3-1)

GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Knepp Field (WTRC, 1340 AM).
COACHES: Russ Radtke, 13-2 in 2nd year at New Prairie, 303-122 in 37th year overall. Mike_Campbell, 56-13 in 6th year at Jimtown.
SAGARIN RATINGS: New Prairie, 72.11, 55th overall, 10th in Class 4A. Jimtown, 67.08, 75th overall, 10th in Class 3A.
LAST OUTING: New Prairie defeated Culver, 62-0. Jimtown defeated Knox, 42-8.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: New Prairie 7-9, Jimtown 8-8.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Jimtown, 13-2.
LAST MEETING: Jimtown, 42-12, Sep. 14, 2012.
PREDICTION: New Prairie, 28-21


CONCORD (4-0) at GOSHEN (0-4)

GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Foreman Field.
COACHES: Tim Dawson, 170-104 in 25th year at Concord. Mike Cheviron, 6-19 in 3rd year at Goshen, 96-94 in 18th year overall.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Concord, 74.09, 49th overall, 11th in Class 5A. Goshen, 41.7, 204th overall, 33rd in Class 5A.
LAST OUTING: Concord defeated Wawasee, 52-17. Goshen lost to NorthWood, 35-21.
VS. COMMON FOES: Concord 2-0, Goshen 0-2.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Concord 5-11, Goshen 9-7.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Concord, 11-6.
LAST MEETING: Concord, 48-7, Sep. 14, 2012.
PREDICTION: Concord, 45-7.



GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, Jackson Field.
COACHES: Levon Johnson, 13-22 in 4th year at Elkhart Central. Brian Stultz, 5-20 in 3rd year at South Bend Riley, 16-50 in 7th year overall.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Elkhart Central, 62, 101st overall, 22nd in Class 5A. South Bend Riley, 51.26, 160th overall, 35th in Class 4A.
LAST OUTING: Elkhart Central lost to South Bend St. Joseph, 24-9. South Bend Riley lost to Mishawaka, 11-8.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Elkhart Central 8-8, South Bend Riley 8-8.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Elkhart Central, 11-3.
LAST MEETING: Elkhart Central, 48-7, Sep. 14, 2012.
PREDICTION: Elkhart Central, 31-17.



GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Charger Field. ... SATURDAY, Sept. 21.
COACHES: John Barron, 72-31 in 10th year at Plymouth. Bill Roggeman, 2-12 in 2nd year at Elkhart Memorial.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Plymouth, 65.59, 83rd overall, 19th in Class 4A. Elkhart Memorial, 42, 202nd overall, 32nd in Class 5A.
LAST OUTING: Plymouth defeated Northridge, 21-14. Elkhart Memorial lost to Warsaw, 28-0.
VS. COMMON FOES: Plymouth 0-1, Elkhart Memorial 0-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Plymouth 11-5, Elkhart Memorial 9-7.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Plymouth, 8-4.
LAST MEETING: Plymouth, 35-6, Sep. 14, 2012.
PREDICTION: Plymouth, 31-3


NORTHRIDGE (3-1) at WARSAW (3-1)

GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Fisher Field.
COACHES: Tom Wogoman, 3-1 in 1st year at Northridge, 28-38 in 7th year overall. Phil Jensen, 79-61 in 14th year at Warsaw, 108-73 in 18th year overall.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Warsaw, 65.59, 82nd overall, 29th in Class 6A. Northridge, 55.64, 138th overall, 30th in Class 4A.
LAST OUTING: Northridge lost to Plymouth, 21-14. Warsaw defeated Elkhart Memorial, 28-0.
VS. COMMON FOES: Northridge 0-1, Warsaw 1-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Northridge 7-9, Warsaw 9-7.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Warsaw, 12-3.
LAST MEETING: Warsaw, 35-21, Sep. 14, 2012.
PREDICTION: Warsaw, 28-17.


WAWASEE (1-3) at NORTHWOOD (3-1)

GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Andrews Field (WAWC, 103.5 FM)
COACHES: Josh Ekovich, 1-3 in 1st year at Wawasee. Scott Hoover, 29-22 in 5th year at NorthWood.
SAGARIN RATINGS: NorthWood, 57.75, 127th overall, 28th in Class 4A. Wawasee, 49.46, 169th overall, 39th in Class 4A.
LAST OUTING: Wawasee lost to Concord, 52-17. NorthWood defeated Goshen, 35-21.
VS. COMMON FOES: Wawasee 0-1, NorthWood 0-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Wawasee 12-4, NorthWood 10-6.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: NorthWood, 10-7.
LAST MEETING: Wawasee, 31-28, sectional, Oct. 26, 2012.
PREDICTION: NorthWood, 31-21.


PENN (4-0) at SOUTH BEND CLAY (0-4)

GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, Clay Field (WGCS, 91.1 FM; WTRC. 95.3 FM).
COACHES: Cory Yeoman, 110-25 in 11th year at Penn. Joe Szajko, 20-26 in 5th year at South Bend Clay.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Penn, 95.85, 7th overall, 7th in Class 6A. South Bend Clay, 51.19, 161st overall, 36th in Class 4A.
LAST OUTING: Penn defeated Fort Wayne Snider, 38-0. South Bend Clay lost to Mishawaka Marian, 37-0.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Penn 8-8, South Bend Clay 10-6.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Penn, 16-0.
LAST MEETING: Penn, 49-0, Sep. 14, 2012.
PREDICTION: Penn, 52-0.



GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, Eastside field.
COACHES: Bob Miller, 75-49 in 12th year at Fairfield. Mike Eshbach, 21-36 in 6th year at Eastside, 24-43 in 7th year overall.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Fairfield, 41.8, 203rd overall, 43rd in Class 3A. Eastside, 40.72, 211th overall, 32nd in Class 2A.
LAST OUTING: Fairfield defeated West Noble, 42-13. Eastside lost to Churubusco, 31-13.
VS. COMMON FOES: Fairfield 1-0, Eastside 0-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Fairfield 4-12, Eastside 10-6.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Fairfield, 9-8.
LAST MEETING: Fairfield, 32-29, Sep. 14, 2012.
PREDICTION: Eastside, 29-28



GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, School Field.
COACHES: Reggie Glon, 126-84 in 20th year at Mishawaka Marian. Jay Johnson, 3-13 in 2nd year at South Bend Washington.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Mishawaka Marian, 70.88, 61st overall, 6th in Class 3A. South Bend Washington, 52.46, 154th overall, 33rd in Class 4A.
LAST OUTING: Mishawaka Marian defeated South Bend Clay, 37-0. South Bend Washington lost to South Bend Adams, 42-12.
VS. COMMON FOES: Mishawaka Marian 1-0, South Bend Washington 0-1.
OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Mishawaka Marian 6-10, South Bend Washington 9-7.
SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Mishawaka Marian, 11-2.
LAST MEETING: Mishawaka Marian, 27-26, Sep. 14, 2012.
PREDICTION: Mishawaka Marian, 38-17


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