On the surface, Lawrence Central may not look like much of a test for Class 6A top-ranked Center Grove.
The Bears’ 2-3 record wouldn’t suggest it, anyway. But a deeper look makes Friday’s football game at Lawrence Central one of the more intriguing on the Week 6 schedule. The reason? Gerrid Doaks.
Doaks, a senior running back and University of Cincinnati recruit, has already rushed for 1,049 yards and 13 touchdowns midway through the season. After he was held to 35 yards in the opener against Cathedral, Doaks has rushed for 189 yards (loss to Chatard), 221 (win over Lawrence North), 242 (loss to Warren Central) and 362 (win over Pike). In the past three weeks, Doaks has rushed for 13 touchdowns.
Center Grove (5-0) is the toughest defense Lawrence Central has faced since Cathedral. Led by defensive linemen Jovan Swann and Cameron Tidd, the Trojans are allowing just 87 rushing yards per game.
Prediction: Lawrence Central has some momentum and this would clearly be its biggest win since Jed Richman took over as coach in 2013. Another big game here and Doaks could make a statement as a legitimate IndyStar Mr. Football candidate. It may be tough sledding against this Center Grove defense, however. Center Grove 28, Lawrence Central 21.
Avon (3-2) at Fishers (4-1): This may be the most intriguing matchup of the weekend. After closes losses to Ben Davis and Hamilton Southeastern, Class 6A No. 9 Avon has responded with impressive lopsided wins over Brownsburg and Whiteland. Brandon Peters (1,351 passing yards and 19 touchdowns) continues to put up big numbers for Avon. Sixth-ranked Fishers got a much-needed win last week over Brownsburg after a heartbreaking loss to HSE. Avon 28, Fishers 24.
Pike (2-3) at Warren Central (3-2): Jay Coe’s performance in Warren Central’s victory over Ben Davis last week was as impressive as I’ve seen this year. Also, keep an eye on David Bell (nine catches, 194 yards) for the Class 6A No. 7 Warriors. It’s not often a freshman is ready to contribute at this level. Bell also threw for a touchdown last week. Pike looked strong through four games, but allowing 61 points last week to Lawrence Central was a step back. Warren Central 34, Pike 26.
Hamilton Southeastern (4-1) at Zionsville (3-2): Maybe the Colts can’t beat Zionsville, but Class 6A No. 5 Hamilton Southeastern is the challenge for the Eagles this week. Carter Poiry (1,210 passing yards, nine touchdowns) is quietly having an excellent season for the Royals. Class 5A ninth-ranked Zionsville is on the upswing but took a tough 23-21 loss to Noblesville last week. HSE 33, Zionsville 20.
Bishop Chatard (4-1) at Noblesville (3-2): It’s a tough closing kick for Noblesville, which has Hamilton Southeastern, Brownsburg and Avon after this one. Class 3A No. 3 Chatard is strong as usual with the ground attack, but junior receiver Max McGinnis (15 catches, 297 yards) is a weapon in the passing game. Bishop Chatard 21, Noblesville 17.
Plainfield (3-2) at Decatur Central (4-1): Decatur Central’s young core should make the Class 5A seventh-ranked Hawks a formidable program for the next few years. Plainfield, which has lost four of its past five to Decatur Central, is coming off a 42-23 loss to Greenwood. Decatur Central 30, Plainfield 23.
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.