Football Aims for Homecoming Game Win Over Pike


E. Matlock

Senior safety Mitchell Evans looks downfield during the team’s 56-7 win over Decatur Central on Aug. 27.

Zach Greller and Micah Robertson

Coming off a MIC shutout against Lawrence Central, Center Grove looks to take another victory against the Pike Red Devils. This won’t be just another game, this is homecoming, which means the atmosphere within the stadium and on the field will be unlike any other game all season. Last week’s win gave the Trojans a 20-game win-streak, a benchmark that has never been achieved before in school history, and head coach Eric Moore and his team intend to continue growing it.

“That’s just something for the players to have for the rest of their lives that they’ll keep, and the coaches, it’s not the end of the world, but it is a great accomplishment, and to extend that even another game further would be grateful and it’s a really cool thing to have in our pocket,” Moore said.

The Trojan’s defense will play an important role in Friday’s game, not only in the physical aspect but in ensuring that the rest of the team stays mentally focused. Senior defensive end James Schott, who has been dominant on the field with 19 total tackles through six games, has a very important role off the field as well.

“My role in the game, probably beyond the football fundamentals, will probably be just making sure everybody keeps their head straight, making sure nobody loses their mind or temper,” Schott said. “We have to stay calm and collected and play Center Grove football. Obviously with it being homecoming, there’s going to be a lot of fans there, and you know one of the big things we play for is the fans. Obviously it’s going to be a tough game; it’s going to be a big game. Everybody will be there. We’re playing Pike, and Pike brings it every year. They’ve always got a couple stud athletes, and we have to watch out for them.”

Not only has Center Grove been  stifling opponents on defense, their offense has also been domineering, posting 281 points in the first six games of the season, for an average of 47 points per game. The Trojan’s rushing game has proven vital to their scoring, with 23 of the teams’ 33 touchdowns being scored on the ground. Junior Micah Coyle, senior Daniel Weems, and junior Drew Wheat all share the load as running backs.

“This game is important because it’s one of our only home games this season, so we have to make sure to take full advantage of every home game that we have,” Coyle said. “My role specifically in the game is going to be any inside runs and get Drew Wheat any outside runs.”

Senior tight end Shane Bennett, who had a breakout game last week with 4 catches racking up 104 yards, and a touchdown, knows the importance of conference games with the Trojan’s being the reigning, undefeated MIC champions. 

“We just gotta keep playing because we have MIC games coming up and we have to stay focused,” Bennett said.

While many make the homecoming game out to be a big deal, Moore disagrees.

“It’s always ‘that’ game for Center Grove, it’s always a big game, it’s the next game. It’s great that there’s tradition and value tied to it, but in all honesty, it’s just the next game for us to complete our task,” Moore said.