”And we’ve got to play stellar defense. We got a pretty good groove in the game [two weeks ago] and we were able to move the ball, but Bud will have something new to the mix.
”It’s going to come down to mistakes, field position, and which defense is going to be able to play the strongest.”
PIONEER AT CARROLL
The squads last met a year ago at this same stage, the semifinal round of Class A Sectional 42 play. Last year, Pioneer took a 35-21 victory. Carroll returns eight players on offense and eight on defense from that team.
”We just got out of a film session with last year’s game with them and we look up and we’ve got a third and 17,” Carroll coach Steve Keown said. “We’ve got to stay away from those situations. Penalties, fumbles, negative plays on that side of the ball, we’ve got to stay away from them.
”On the defensive side of the ball, we’ve got to be disciplined. We’ve got key reads, we’ve got things we’ve got to be looking at, and do your job and don’t feel like you’ve got to do somebody else’s job, because that’s exactly what [Pioneer’s Wing-T] offense wants you to do — somebody else’s job — and they’ll take advantage of it.”
The teams have four common opponents and both Pioneer and Carroll have won all those games. No. 9-ranked Pioneer has won eight straight after starting with losses to Cass and Class A No. 3 Winamac.
Carroll QB Jared Miller has thrown for 502 yards in five games. Kreed Switzer has 24 catches for 495 yards. Jaden Reneau has run for 1,223 yards while Brandon Dillon has run for 575 and has 316 receiving yards on 18 catches (he was Miller’s replacement at QB when Miller was injured). Chandler Eurit has run for 501 yards.