Trojan football opens season at No. 5 Warren Central


Emma Matlock

Senior Caden Curry dives into the end zone, scoring his first career touchdown, in last year’s 38-0 regional championship victory over Warren Central.

Coming off an undefeated season, defending state champion and No. 1 Center Grove looks to extend its 14-game winning streak when they face off against No. 5 Warren Central in the opening game of the season.

Junior slot receiver Eli Hohlt believes it is important to start the season with a statement.

“Tonight is important because it starts off this season,” Hohlt said. “We’re going to see what our team has really become as one. Tonight is when we will see how hard we worked over the summer.”

Center Grove faces a tough challenge with Warren Central senior quarterback Prince Powell. Powell had the second most rushing yards on the team last season with 361 yards and eight touchdowns. Powell is not just a rushing quarterback; he’s a dual threat, throwing for 1,172 yards and four touchdowns last season.

Senior Caden Curry, who finished last season with 8 sacks and 61 tackles, said controlling the dual-threat quarterback is key.

“I will play Powell more cautious of a roll out and try to keep him trapped in by the defensive line,” Curry said.

Powell’s number one target, Joe Walker, racked up 244 receiving yards last season, the most receiving yards by any returning player on the roster.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Trojans lost Connor Delp and Indiana Mr. Football Carson Steele, but the Trojans also bring back several offensive weapons including Tennessee commit and senior quarterback Tayven Jackson. Jackson threw for 1756 yards and 17 touchdowns with only five interceptions last season.

Junior receiver Zach Greller’s connection with Jackson will be important to the success of the Center Grove offense due to the loss of senior receivers Delp, Trent Veith and Mason Long.

“The task of filling the shoes of the seniors from last year will be a very difficult one,” Greller said. “Following in the footsteps of two collegiate athletes and another very talented receiver is quite a lot of pressure, but with the pieces we have such as Harrison Stomps and our great running backs, Wheat, Weems, and Coyle, I don’t think the fans will notice a difference from last year.”

Junior Austin Wiese who started all of his sophomore season believes the keys to winning from an offensive line perspective are in the execution of the basics.

“As the offensive line, we have to stay thick on our blocks by using good footwork and hands, and we have to ensure that we don’t get called for holding,” Wiese said.

Senior Harrison Stomps is Jackson’s number one returning receiver. Last season, Stomps had 8 catches for 93 yards and one touchdown.

“It’s a big year, kind of like the last hurrah,” Stomps said. “We need to make sure we stay relaxed and focused. We are talking about being so good. We just need to stay humble and focused.”

Head Coach Eric Moore believes the way Center Grove will win is by playing their own game and not falling into Warren Central’s trap.

“CG can’t beat CG,” Moore said. “We need to limit fumbles, turnovers, penalties and big plays given up on defense.