High School Football Game of the Week Preview – Mater Dei vs North
Week five of the high school football season kicks off with a north side versus west side battle under the lights of the Reitz Bowl Friday night.
After narrowly beating the Memorial Tigers 29-21 in week four to remain unbeaten on the season, and take the lead in hunts for both the conference and city titles, the Wildcats will look to right the ship with a dominating performance against the Huskies and move step closer to putting the titles out of reach for the other teams in the city.
Not that the ship was too off course, but last week's performance against the Tigers wasn't one the Wildcats could consider one of their best with a first half marred by silly false start penalties, and overall below-Mater-Dei-standards play. After what I assume was an "energetic" pep talk by Coach Mike Goebel and his staff at halftime, the Wildcats tightened things up in the second half to secure the win despite Memorial keeping themselves in it on the legs of junior McKinley Warren who ripped off a 73-yard punt return just over half way through the fourth quarter.
The Huskies join every other team in the SIAC, outside Mater Dei, with a conference and city record of 1-1. A win over the Wildcats Friday night will not only keep them in the hunt, but keep the hopes of the other teams in the conference alive.
North enters Friday night's game with a 2-2 overall record after an amazing come from behind, 16-13 win against Harrison last week after recovering a Warriors fumble inside the one yard line early in the fourth quarter and marching 99 yards down the field on 17 plays to put the game away.
Even in their two losses, first year coach, Bret Szabo's team has shown the ability to at least give themselves a chance to win with narrow defeats to Henderson County in week two (16-13), and Memorial in week three (10-17) as both losses came late in those games.
To beat the Wildcats Friday night, Szabo will rely on the combo of quarterback, Jesse Milliken and wide receiver, Chase Whitler, both of which were key components on the game winning drive in last week's game against Harrison.
It won't be an easy task as the Huskies offensive line will have to keep possibly the largest defensive line in Mater Dei football history at bay. With an average height of 6'2", and an average weight of 236 pounds (175 on the low end, 280 on the high), the Wildcats' line has been able to use their size to their advantage, causing problems and disrupting plays for opposing offenses all season long.
Defensively, the Huskies will need need to figure out a way to stop a Mater Dei offense that is well balanced thanks to an offense line that's even bigger than the defensive line. With an average height of 6'2", and an average weight of 267 pounds (240 on the low end, 285 on the high), the offensive line has been a wall for the Wildcats that has opened some wide running lanes for senior running back Nolan Goebel, and allowed quarterback Chase Hoehn time to make his reads and get the ball into his receiver's hands. Receivers such as junior Julian Weidner who has emerged as a key playmaker for the Wildcats on both sides of the ball.
It should be another spectacular SIAC match up, and if Bosse's win over Castle last week is any indication, anything can happen when two conference teams meet. Catch every play on, Newstalk 1280AM, or online at Newstalk1280.com.