CG Football Looks for Sixth Win of the Season on Homecoming Night


A. Matthews

Junior defensive end James Schott gets into a defensive stance in the team’s victory over Warren Central. Defense will be integral to the Trojans’ gameplay against Lawrence Central.

Earl Ridlen, Staff Writer

Tonight will be one of the most unique homecoming nights to date. No pep rally, no dance, no parade, not even a big crowd–just Trojan football.

“It’s a big game because it’s the next game,” senior wide receiver Ben Balsley said.

So far this season, Center Grove’s defense is yet to give up more than 14 points in a single game, winning each game by an average point differential of 34.8. In last week’s matchup, No. 1 Center Grove defeated No. 5 North Central 47-0. That win improved the Trojans to 5-0 on the season,and 4-0 in the MIC. The 4-0 mark in the MIC is a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since the historic 2015 campaign where the Trojans went undefeated and won the state championship.

“We can only beat ourselves,” said senior corner Harrison Roberts. “If we stay focused, then we’ll get the win. As long as we do our jobs, we’ve got a great defense. We just have to do our jobs and everything will be good.”

Lawrence Central is led by junior Shamari Jackson, who often makes big plays with his speed and athleticism from the quarterback position. The Bears are 0-5 up to this point in the season, losing by an average of 25.4 points. These stats, however, do not matter to the Trojans, as they recognize that any MIC team could give them a run for their money at any time.

“They’re a MIC team so they’re a good team,” said Roberts.

Roberts and Balsley are two seniors who have been able to get on the field on Friday nights, despite not being listed as starters. This is the case with many of the second team players on this year’s team, as the Trojans have been handily beating the opponent in just about every game.

“It’s great,” said Ben Balsley, “I love getting in, especially right out of halftime. It really is a great experience for me.”

With a win Friday night, the Trojans will remain the only undefeated team in the MIC, and be able to give the homecoming crowd something to cheer for.

“It also is homecoming,” said Ben Balsley, “So we hope to see a big crowd out there if possible.”

The team isn’t focussed on any of the flashy festivities taking place during the reduced-capacity game, but rather the simple concepts in order to win this game.

“The biggest thing for the players is just executing the game plan,” Balsley said, “The biggest thing for the fans is just getting out here and doing their best to create an atmosphere.”