Another Friday, another football playoff game

Irish to host Plainfield at UIndy



After defeating Terre Haute North 56-0 on Oct. 22 in the first round of the Sectional, the football team looks to continue their tournament run against Plainfield on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. The game will be played at the University of Indianapolis instead of Arlington High School.

Will Mayer, Sports Editor

After the Sectional opening round’s crushing 56-0 victory over Terre Haute North, the Irish look to host the Plainfield Quakers for the Sectional semifinal. 

Head Coach Mr. Bill Peebles ’88 said, “I think our guys wanted to get the previous week off their chest and really put the Center Grove (a 21-6 loss to the Trojans in the final regular season contest) game behind them. The best way to do that is to go out and play a really strong game. Our guys did exactly that. I told them that this game was a business trip. We needed to take care of our business and do our thing. Our guys came out strong and out defense put our offense in some really easy scoring positions early in the game where we were able to score in some pretty quick drives.”

Scoring in quick drives may have been a positive from the game against Terre Haute North, but scoring out of the gate seemed to be difficult for the Irish. Their first two drives only resulted in field goals by senior kicker Ben Gomez. Regarding the teams’ performance early on in the game, Peebles said, “We have to execute in the red zone. Terre Haute (North) caught us in a blitz, then we had an unfortunate five-yard penalty, which put us in a position where we had to complete a third-down and long play inside the 10 yard line.

“We didn’t execute in those situations. We just have to get better at it. We can’t rely that every week. We’re going to get big plays all the time. We’ll obviously take them when we get them, but we have to be good in short-yard situations and we haven’t been as good this year as we have in the past.” 

Our young guys are the Number-1 factor in helping us be prepared each week.”

— Head Coach Mr. Bill Peebles '88

When it comes to progressively getting better each week, many of the young team members help the starters by providing what is called a scout team. Peebles said, “Our young guys are the Number-1 factor in helping us be prepared each week. Our young guys and scout team players, they’re the ones who make everything go for us on Friday nights. Because they are very good football players, A lot of those guys would start at those other schools. They challenge out guys every day in practice.

“There are times where (Assistant) Coach (Mr. Adam) Barth and I get mad at our own players because our scout teams challenge our varsity teams. They’re the ones who help us execute on Friday nights. They give us good looks, they represent the defense or offense we go against. Each week, our scout defense learns a new a new defense depending on who we’re playing. Same for our scout offense. Our young guys get a lot of reps and learn a lot of football because of what we’re asking them to do in practice. They’re learning 10 to 12 different formations every single week during the year so their football knowledge and IQ go up, just from what they’re doing during the week for us.

“When looking at the Plainfield team on paper, they have many underclassmen playing on both sides of the ball. Some of their key players are their two quarterbacks, sophomore Carsen Melvin, and (Hunter) Newell, their freshmen. Both split time at the position. Peebles said, “They have a freshman and sophomore who both have a lot of talent. The freshman kid has received some publicity this year because he’s put up some big numbers in some games. He did get dinged up a few weeks ago, we don’t know if he’ll be back or not.”

Another key player for the Quakers is their senior running back, Juan Nieto. Nieto has 656 rushing yards and four rushing TDson the season. Peebles said, “Nieto is a solid player. They have a very good offensive line, not quite as big as ours but they have some size. Their offense mixes it up, kind of like we do. They run and pass the ball a lot depending on who they play and they’re going to try and keep their play calling balanced.

“Though the Quakers are 4-5 on the season, Peebles said this team looks way better than on paper. Anything can happen in a playoff football game and if one team becomes complacent, things may just go the wrong way for them. Peebles said, “We simply worry about us. We don’t worry about the opponent. Our board in the locker room shows that we play the Irish every week. We just have to make sure we take care of our business and we have to make sure the Irish don’t beat themselves.”