Bill Beck
Bill Beck
In Side Lines, Bill Beck offers observations, quips and queries about Elkhart County sports, often heavy on high school football and Notre Dame. Now and then, he puts a twisted spin on a variety of hot topics.

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Sports editor Bill Beck covers high school and Notre Dame sports for the Elkhart Truth.

Minutemen and Jimmies should roll, but others may find tough sledding

Five teams didn't advance last week. This week, three are up.

Posted on Nov. 1, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 1, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.

Last week, the Truth area coverage teams took a hard hit ... seven schools played, only three advanced. Northridge, NorthWood, Wawasee and Mishawaka Marian all turned in their gear and will watch.

Just five tonight and, at most, there will be three next week. The 5A tourney opens after its bye week with Elkhart Memorial going across town to Concord and Elkhart Central heading to Goshen. Both games will kick off in about 3 hours. The Minutemen, even with quarterback Trevor Wilmore still resting a banged up knee, should advance without much fanfare. The Crimson Chargers are beat up and just don't have the pieces to hang very long. The best hope for EMHS is on defense.

"We're just trying to get better each week, each day," Memorial coach Bill Roggeman said after having the first week off. "This is just our next challenge. We get a second crack at Concord. The sectional goes through Concord anyways, so we will give it a shot."

The tossup of the night? Easily, Central at Goshen. The Blue Blazers and Redskins have struggled all season. Both sides have ball-control ability with Central's Joe Phillips running a heavy load and new GHS QB Cameron Kline passing and running. It won't likely be the most well-played contest, but there's no reason to think this one won't go right to the final quarter. Blazers are as healthy as they've been all season. I see ECHS winning, but not like the 42-14 wipeout in Week 2.

In 3A, Jimtown and Fairfield are headed for a sectional final collision course. The Jimmies will roll Rochester much like they did against Tippecanoe Valley. Fairfield will have its hands full with a big, tough Twin Lakes squad which will look to muscle up the Falcons. FHS has a lot of speed on offense. The Indians have played a great schedule. Fairfield defense will face a tough, tough test, but win. ... Penn's 6A sectional final against Chesterton is an odd one. The Kingsmen should have no trouble moving on. But the Trojans enter the game following a 31-3 whipping of Valparaiso, a team it lost to 21-14 in midseason. Penn will have to play well into the second half of this one.

"Against Lake Central and Merrillville, those were games Chesterton was ahead in. They got hurt with turnovers," Penn coach Cory Yeoman said this week. "It's a shotgun option team, lots of big plays, lots of play action. But they want to run the football."

When you get check the rest of the northern Indiana scores tonight, note the New Prairie-Plymouth result. On paper, it should be the most interesting in the entire area. The winner gets South Bend St. Joe next week, which also has the markings of a good one.

Here's how John Harrell's Indiana website sees tonight's games:

Elkhart Central (3-6) at Goshen (0-9)

GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, Foreman Field (WTRC, 1340 AM).

COACHES: Levon Johnson, 14-26 in 4th year at Elkhart Central. Mike Cheviron, 6-24 in 3rd year at Goshen, 96-99 in 18th year overall.

SAGARIN RATINGS: Elkhart Central, 54.04, 153rd overall, 25th in Class 5A. Goshen, 44.18, 214th overall, 32nd in Class 5A.

LAST OUTING: Elkhart Central defeated Mishawaka Marian, 28-27, overtime. Goshen lost to Wawasee, 17-14.

VS. COMMON FOES: Elkhart Central 1-0, Goshen 0-1.

OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Elkhart Central 46-40, Goshen 51-36.

SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Tied, 3-3.

LAST MEETING: Elkhart Central, 42-14, Aug. 30, 2013.

PREDICTION: Elkhart Central, 31-21.


Elkhart Memorial (2-7) at Concord (7-2)

GAME TIME: 7:00 pm ET, Lawrence J. Jackowiak Field.

COACHES: Bill Roggeman, 3-16 in 2nd year at Elkhart Memorial. Tim Dawson, 173-106 in 25th year at Concord.

SAGARIN RATINGS: Concord, 74.27, 41st overall, 9th in Class 5A. Elkhart Memorial, 44.27, 212th overall, 31st in Class 5A.

LAST OUTING: Elkhart Memorial lost to Northridge, 27-0. Concord defeated Warsaw, 28-0.

VS. COMMON FOES: Elkhart Memorial 1-5, Concord 5-1.

OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Elkhart Memorial 42-45, Concord 42-46.

SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Concord, 14-3.

LAST MEETING: Concord, 38-7, Aug. 30, 2013.

PREDICTION: Concord, 38-10.


Jimtown (8-2) at Rochester (8-2)

GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Barnhart Field.

COACHES: Mike_Campbell, 61-14 in 6th year at Jimtown. Mike Zehner, 15-6 in 2nd year at Rochester.

SAGARIN RATINGS: Jimtown, 73.01, 46th overall, 6th in Class 3A. Rochester, 59.91, 117th overall, 23rd in Class 3A.

LAST OUTING: Jimtown defeated Tippecanoe Valley, 53-18. Rochester defeated Peru, 52-21.

VS. COMMON FOES: Jimtown 1-0, Rochester 0-1.

OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Jimtown 50-49, Rochester 44-56.

SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Jimtown, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Jimtown, 14-0, sectional, Oct. 30, 2009.

PREDICTION: Jimtown, 31-21.


Twin Lakes (6-4) at Fairfield (9-1)

GAME TIME: 8:00 pm ET, Fairfield field.

COACHES: Justin Gardiner, 10-11 in 2nd year at Twin Lakes. Bob Miller, 81-49 in 12th year at Fairfield.

SAGARIN RATINGS: Fairfield, 65.74, 91st overall, 15th in Class 3A. Twin Lakes, 57.39, 135th overall, 29th in Class 3A.

LAST OUTING: Twin Lakes defeated Culver Academy, 14-13. Fairfield defeated Maconaquah, 42-28.

VS. COMMON FOES: Twin Lakes 1-0, Fairfield 1-0.

OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Twin Lakes 55-45, Fairfield 47-53.

SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: No meetings.

PREDICTION: Fairfield, 35-24.


Chesterton (4-6) at Penn (10-0)

GAME TIME: 7:30 pm ET, Freed Field (WGCS, 91.1 FM; WTRC. 95.3 FM; WEFM, 95.9 FM).

COACHES: Mark Peterson, 4-6 in 1st year at Chesterton, 39-35 in 7th year overall. Cory Yeoman, 116-25 in 11th year at Penn.

SAGARIN RATINGS: Penn, 95.27, 6th overall, 6th in Class 6A. Chesterton, 67.03, 81st overall, 24th in Class 6A.

LAST OUTING: Chesterton defeated Valparaiso, 31-3. Penn defeated Portage, 28-7.

VS. COMMON FOES: Chesterton 1-4, Penn 4-0.

OPPONENTS' RECORDS: Chesterton 51-47, Penn 46-52.

SERIES LAST 15 YEARS: Penn, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Penn, 42-21, sectional, Oct. 30, 1998.

PREDICTION: Penn, 42-10 

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