The first week of Mid-Indiana Conference football play is headlined by Northwestern vs. Lewis Cass. Both teams hope to contend for the conference crown.
Northwestern is 2-0 after non-conference victories over Clinton Central and North Miami. Cass is 1-1 after beating perennial Class A power Pioneer and losing to Class 3A No. 6 West Lafayette.
West Lafayette drilled the Kings 56-8 in a game that was halted after three quarters because of lightning.
“The last thing you want to do is play them after the loss they had last week,” Northwestern coach John Hendryx said. “I’m sure they’ve had a very spirited week of practice. I don’t think that was their ‘A’ game they brought to West Lafayette.”
Cass coach Scott Mannering noted his squad ran into a buzzsaw against the Red Devils.
“It was hard to find a lot of positives out of last week’s game. We got worked over by a really good West Lafayette team. I think they’re as good as any team they’ve had since we’ve been playing them — at least they played that way against us,” Mannering said. “We try to be consistent in our approach. We want to get better every week. We’re just not really sure, with a game like that, if we made any progress or not.
“We’ve made a couple changes that we hope will make us stronger. We have a couple injuries that aren’t going to help, but overall this has been a normal week [of practice]. It’s a big week for us playing our conference opener and especially playing Northwestern.”
For Northwestern, Cass marks a big step up in competition. Hendryx hopes his squad is ready for the challenge.
“[Cass’] competition those first two weeks — no offense to who we’ve played, they’re just better [opponents],” he said. “It seems like some of the years it’s taken us a quarter or more to get up to their game speed and their physicality. We can’t wait until then. We have to be ready to play from the opening kickoff. We have to be ready for their speed and physicality because it will be different than what we’ve seen so far.