5 storylines to watch for Week 3 of high school football in SW Indiana
EVANSVILLE — Friday's flip of the calendar to September means we'll already be one-third of the way through the regular season for Indiana high school football.
Through the first two weeks, five teams in the Courier & Press coverage area — Reitz, Memorial, Heritage Hills, North Posey and Forest Park — remain perfect. We should begin to see others refine their play and prove their potential. Maybe some who have struggled will turn their seasons around, or the early surprises slowly come back to earth. High school football, like life, is often unpredictable.
Let's take a look at a few storylines we're following for Week 3.
High school football in SW Indiana:Complete coverage from the 2023 season
There were more running clocks than surprises during Week 2.
The five Southern Indiana Athletic Conference games were decided by an aggregate score of 176-20 while the Pocket Athletic Conference's margin was also a lopsided 264-82. The only one-score game? Class 3A No. 8 Gibson Southern defeated Mount Carmel (Illinois) 21-14 on the road to bounce back from a Week 1 blowout loss.
And, well, this Friday's slate might offer more of the same in both conferences. But this often is the week we truly see teams begin to separate themselves. More than half of the teams within the C&P coverage area are 1-1, so the landscape could be clearer when the dust settles from Week 3 — even if it takes a few more whompings.
Through two weeks, only these two teams sit at 2-0 atop the SIAC standings. Another win this Friday would solidify them as the favorites considering more than half of the league already has a loss.
Class 4A No. 2 Reitz was the consensus preseason pick after it completed an undefeated run through the league last season. The Panthers, with playmakers at nearly every position, have coasted to a pair of wins over Harrison and Vincennes Lincoln.
Yet, this week could present a greater challenge against Jasper (1-1) considering they have thrashed each other the last two years. Reitz won 41-14 at the Bowl last year; Jasper won 42-21 in 2021.
Memorial, ranked No. 5 in 4A, last opened with back-to-back victories to start their 2019 state championship campaign. The Tigers have won seven of their last eight games, including Jasper and North to open this season. A showdown with Central (0-2) awaits this week.
Class 3A No. 6 Heritage Hills (2-0) is one of the hottest teams in Southwestern Indiana behind a running game that's produced over 300 yards on the ground in back-to-back games. Meanwhile, the defense has only yielded 20 points, the fewest of any team in the PAC.
And this week, the result against Boonville (1-1) counts for the Big School Division race. The Pioneers struggled offensively in last week's 18-0 loss to Southridge and may have their work cut out this Friday trying to curtail a still-evolving Heritage Hills offense, which is still run-oriented despite switching to spread scheme.
The last two meetings, however, have been decided by six total points with each team winning on its home field. Perhaps a quarterback battle breaks out at Bennett Field with sophomores Grant Davis (Boonville) and Jett Goldsberry (HH) facing off.
After each won their openers, last week offered a letdown for these two SIAC contenders.
This showdown will be pivotal as they both hope to remain in the race — should Reitz and/or Memorial win on Friday, the loser of this game will be two games behind. There's one glaring motivating factor for Class 2A No. 6 Mater Dei (1-1), especially.
Vincennes Lincoln (1-1) was one of only three teams to take down the Wildcats during their state championship run last season as quarterback Xander Hunt ran for 159 yards and a touchdown in the 31-28 victory. Now, both teams look to get back on track after scoring just one touchdown apiece last week.
The key to success for the Raiders (1-1) usually comes down to their running game and strong defense, and both units produced last week against Boonville. Senior O'Ryan Curry ran for 178 yards and three touchdowns while four of fellow senior Yamil Arroyo's seven total tackles were for a loss.
Southridge is playing Tecumseh (0-2) for the first time since 2007 this week. The Braves have been outscored 90-27 since making the return to the PAC, so should the Raiders take care of business, they can likely put their Week 1 letdown against Heritage Hills behind them.
The Raiders still have all of their season goals within reach.
Courier & Press sports reporter Treasure Washington can be reached via her email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and on X, formerly known as Twitter, @Twashington490.
Castle (1-1) at Bosse (1-1), 6:30 p.m.
Harrison (0-2) at North (1-1), 6:30 p.m.
Memorial (2-0) at Central (0-2), 6:30 p.m.
Reitz (2-0) at Jasper (1-1), 6:30 p.m.
Vincennes Lincoln (1-1) at Mater Dei (1-1), 6:30 p.m.
Forest Park (2-0) at Tell City (1-1), 6:30 p.m.
Heritage Hills (2-0) at Boonville (1-1), 7 p.m.
Mount Vernon (1-1) at Pike Central (1-1), 6:30 p.m.
Princeton (0-2) at Gibson Southern (1-1), 7 p.m.
South Spencer (1-1) at North Posey (2-0), 7 p.m.
Tecumseh (0-2) at Southridge (1-1), 6:30 p.m.
Washington (1-1) at North Knox (1-1), 6 p.m.