After a 23-12 win at Union City last week, White Pigeon returns home Friday to host River Valley, which eked out a 16-12 victory over LaLumiere last week.
Chiefs coach Joseph Morsaw said a few of his players were dinged up last Thursday but that he expects all of them to play against River Valley. Junior tight ends/linebackers Branden Wright and Chase Personette are nursing sprained ankles and junior wideout/safety Donavon Gremore has a deep hip bruise.
“Nothing serious where they will be out for long periods of time,” Morsaw explained.
Scouting River Valley
A defensive stand at its own 25-yard line with 25 seconds remaining preserved the win last week for River Valley, which runs a spread offense with a single back and two wings. Morsaw said the Mustangs’ biggest weapon is their quarterback, who can make things happen on the ground.
“They like to run sweeps coming from the backside,” Morsaw said, “but will bring the other wing around on a counter.”
Keys for a White Pigeon win
“Our defense needs to read offensive keys, stay home, and keep their runners from running north and south,” Morsaw explained. “We played excellent assignment football last week and expect the same out of our players this week.
“We expect another good performance from our front four defensively and our front five offensively. Our line is deep and talented and we expect them to carry us to a victory for another week.”
Next man up
Because of injuries, White Pigeon looked for some unselfish players to step up and fill some needs in practice this week. Morsaw pointed out junior split end/defensive back Mike Anderson and junior split end/linebacker Mike Crowl as those who answered the call.
“[They] worked hard this week getting reps in other position and have looked solid,” Morsaw said.
Morsaw added that all his players are making strides as the season moves forward, but he was particularly impressed with junior reserve quarterback/defensive back Dylan Hochstetler, who registered a passing and rushing touchdown in Week 1, and Crowl, “who seems to excel in every position we place him in.”
Crowl picked off a pass in the end zone against Union City. Senior two-way lineman Devin Hoover, in his first year of football, “has locked down starting positions,” Morsaw said.