Football team seeks Homecoming victory over Lawrence Central


Sam Findley

Senior running back Jalen Thomeson celebrates in the end zone during the Trojans’ 36-0 win over North Central on Sept. 16.

Ethan McComb and Micah Robertson

After a convincing shutout victory over North Central, No. 2 Center Grove looks to improve their record to 5-1 against No. 10 Lawrence Central. Adding to the excitement of another win, the Trojans will be playing in front of an impassioned crowd with this week’s matchup being the annual Homecoming game. Head coach Eric Moore recognizes the importance of keeping the right mindset despite the heightened excitement.

“I like for everyone to have school spirit, but when push comes to shove, it’s time to get ready to play football, not homecoming,” Moore said. “If they want to play in the game, if they want to be successful, they’ll get their mind right.”

The Lawrence Central Bears roll into town with a lot to prove. After a 0-2 start to the season, they have quickly turned things around, winning three games in a row including victories over Warren Central and a 21-3 win over Lawrence North. The Bears average nearly 400 yards of total offense per game, which is ranked amongst the top 10 in Indiana. However, sophomore defensive end Ryder Woolwine is eager to match up against the LC offense.

“I just need to do my job every play, which will allow my teammates to make plays. If we do each of our jobs we will be able to control their offense,” Woolwine said. 

Despite having a check in the loss column for the first time in three years, the Trojans still hold onto an impressive streak: 32 consecutive wins in Indiana. The streak is not something that the team takes for granted, and it serves as a source of motivation. Senior defensive back Parker Doyle takes pride in the Trojans’ continued success and realizes what is at stake every game.

“Adding to the 32 game win streak means everything for our team. It shows how the relentlessness of our program hasn’t worn off at all,” Doyle said. “We will continue to work hard at practice and perform as we do.”

Regardless of the challenge that comes with facing one of America’s top defensive linemen in Josh Mickens, Center Grove plans to stick to the fundamentals of blocking and running the football. The LSU recruit has seven tackles for loss through five games, which is well above the national average. Senior running back Jalen Thomeson is relying on the preparation the team is putting in leading up to the game.

“Doesn’t change a thing for me and the offensive line,” Thomeson said. “We know Mickens is a player, but we know what we can do as a team, and we have lots of confidence going into this game.”

With a new quarterback at the helm, the passing attack has been a pleasant surprise for the Trojans this season. In addition to the connection between junior quarterback Tyler Cherry and junior wide receiver Noah Coy, a top target for Cherry is senior wide receiver Owen Wright. 

“Last week was a great win, and we handled business like we wanted to,” Wright said. “Lawrence Central has a great passing defense, but having the best quarterback in the state leading our passing attack, I’m not worried about what they do, only we can stop ourselves.”

Senior safety Gage Rees is confident in the Trojans ability to secure another win, especially amidst the homecoming atmosphere. 

“Against last week’s team we did exactly what we needed to do and what we were expected to do, so this week we’re coming out ready to go against a really good Lawrence Central team,” Rees said. “We are ready to bring home another homecoming win like usual.”