Center Grove hunts for fifth consecutive regional title against Lawrence North


M. Stoops

Drew Wheat rushes to the sideline in Center Grove’s 43-19 victory over Lawrence North.

Zach Greller, Staff Writer

Coming off of a 41-7 sectional championship victory over Columbus North, the Trojans look to continue their state run in the regional championship. The Trojans face a red hot Lawrence North team that has a two game MIC win streak, though the Trojans currently have a 25-game winning streak coming into the game. The Trojans look to have a repeat of the last meeting where they won 43-19. The Trojans are no strangers to regional championships, winning the last 4. 

“It means a lot, especially being part of the senior class, you want to set an example for the younger guys,”said Tayven Jackson.

Looking back on the week 8 matchup between the Trojans and the Wildcats, it was quite one sided. The Trojans had 413 all purpose yards while the Wildcats only racked up 292. Tayven Jackson had a breakout game week 8 throwing for five touchdowns , going 10 for 11 in the air with a 169.5 QB rating. Drew Wheat added into the offensive onslaught with 14 carries for 126 yards. He also had an impact in the passing game with 27 receiving yards and a touchdown. All of this took place in just two quarters; after halftime the second strings went in.

“I’ve watched a lot of film on them and studied the things that they did last time, and the things I did to perform well against them last time and I converted those things into practice this week in hopes to go out and have another good performance tonight,” Drew Wheat explains

This rushing attack was greatly influenced by the dominant force from the O-line. Five out of six offensive linemen were either all MIC, all MIC underclassmen, or honorable mention all MIC. This is quite a rare occurrence in the MIC conference. A large contributor to the O-line is senior center Jacob Newlin. Newlin has played in every game, not missing a single game due to injury. 

“For this game the o-line is going to need to set the tone early, stay on our blocks, and try and limit mental mistakes,” Jacob Newlin said.

Not only did the Trojan offense have a field day, so did the defense. The defense forced three turnovers with Matthew Neff and Mitchell Evans both getting a fumble recovery, and Ethan Watt adding in an interception. The star-studded defense will be without a key factor this week with Louisville-commit Carl Biddings suspended due to a late hit early in the second half. 

“Keep our minds focused on the one task in winning this game and just watching film and keying on what I need to do in order to succeed” Ethan Watt says about the preparation towards Lawrence North.

The Trojans have prepared heavily for this game and have their eyes set on a regional championship and a semi-state bid. They see this game as what it is, the next step on the journey to a state championship.

“It would mean a lot to us because it is part of the ladder we are climbing to get back to the top. We have to win tonight to get to the semi-state, but you know winning the regionals is part of the journey to get to the semi-state and eventually the state,” Head Coach Eric Moore said.