Hamilton Southeastern football coach Scott May knows how important the next two games are in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference race.
The Royals are locked in a four-way tie for the conference lead with Class 6A No. 7 Fishers, 5A No. 2 Westfield and unranked Noblesville (4-1). The Royals host Westfield on Friday night and are at Noblesville on Oct. 4. Hamilton Southeastern’s loss was 51-31 to Fishers. The Tigers also beat Westfield in triple overtime but lost their season opener to Noblesville.
“These next two games will separate us out or knock us out of it,” May said. “These are must-wins for us and them.”
The Royals are powered by their running attack featuring Hunter Hardee and Jamitreus Crockham, who missed last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He has 384 yards on 47 carries. Hardee leads with 511 yards on 84 attempts.
Crockham suffered a stinger during the game against Zionsville on Sept. 13. He saw some action at linebacker and running back last week in a 42-22 victory at Lafayette Jeff.
“They are different types of runners,” May said. “Crockham is going to try to run over you and he is hitting the hole as fast as he can. Hardee is a little more patient. He makes some cuts and does a good job laterally.”
May hopes his offense can control the ball to keep Westfield off the field.
“They have a pretty good running attack with their inside zone type plays,” May said. “They balanced it out with a quarterback (Nick Ferrer) that is pretty good. (Devin) Reece is a good wide out. I don’t think they force it to him. They got some good kids that go with him and they make you defend the whole field.”
Marshall coach Tony Henderson wasn’t sure what his team was going to do to replace 2013 graduate Demetrius Anderson at quarterback. Then Aric Powell approached him last winter and told him he wanted to come out for the team.
“He literally fell out of the sky and into our laps,” Henderson said.
Powell had decided not to play football in 2012 after transferring from Broad Ripple. Powell, who also plays cornerback, has been a big reason Marshall is 5-0.
“He’s been remarkable from the very first day,” Henderson said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s led when he’s had to open his mouth. He’s led when he had to use his shoulder pads. Usually the head coach is concerned when your quarterback is hitting people, but when he’s on defense his game is physical. When he’s on offense if you don’t tackle him you are not going to get him down.”
Henderson said Powell played 100 percent of the plays on offense and 80 percent on defense in Saturday’s 19-12 victory over previously unbeaten Shortridge. Henderson said it was Powell’s decision to play so much.
“I told him if you get tired, let me know,” Henderson said. “He never raised his hand the whole game to come out.”
The Patriots were 6-3 last season in their return to varsity football. They are competing in Class 3A this season.
Big play man
Plainfield coach Brian Woodard describes Josh Miller as a difference-maker. The senior showed that in Friday’s 35-7 rout of visiting Greenwood. Miller scored on runs of 50 and 45 yards and on a 45-yard interception return.
Miller starts as strong safety and splits time with sophomore Jacob Maple at running back.
“He plays a lot bigger than he is,” Woodard said of the 5-9, 175-pounder. “He hits hard and is a very good tackler. He’s good in open space. He’s a good pass catcher, just a very well-rounded athlete.”
Miller has gained 316 yards on 29 carries (10.9 average) and scored six touchdowns. He has two catches for 33 yards, including a TD. He is averaging 14 yards on punt returns. On defense, he has 37 tackles and two interceptions.
Woodard said Miller has been lightly recruited so far, but he expects that will pick up, especially from Football Championship Subdivision and Division II schools.
The Quakers (4-1, 2-0 Mid-State) will play at Decatur Central (2-3, 2-1) on Friday. The Hawks are averaging 58.8 points per game.
“I don’t think we can win a shootout,” Woodard said. “I don’t want to sell our kids short but that’s not really our philosophy of football. We’re more of a ball-control type team. It’s going to be a challenging game for us because they’re very good. The stats don’t lie, that’s for sure.”
Westfield junior defensive end/tight end Jacob Robinson, 6-4, 230, enjoyed his visit to Bloomington for Indiana’s game last Saturday vs. Missouri. “As of right now, I’d say it’s my top school, but I still plan on visiting and talking to more schools,” said Robinson, who also has a scholarship offer from Toledo. … Fishers senior wide receiver J-Shun Harris, an IU commit who missed last week’s game with a concussion, is questionable for Friday’s game with McCutcheon.