High School Football Game of the Week Preview – Central vs Mater Dei
The Central Bears head to Evansville's west side in an attempt to get back on the winning track over the currently undefeated Mater Dei Wildcats.
With sectionals just three weeks away, the Bears would certainly like to string together a couple of wins in the final weeks of the season in hopes of building momentum for the state tournament.
Offensively, they have the weapons. Senior running back, Isaiah Kemper has been a workhorse out of the backfield all season long, piling up 1,045 yards so far this season on 189 carries, including a 249 yard night last week in a 24-12 loss to the Memorial Tigers. Junior quarterback, Noah Fuchs has had his ups and downs going 38 for 84 on attempts for 565 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions. Four of those touchdowns went to senior receiver Jalen Pemberton.
Despite the ability to run circles around their opponents in the rushing game, Central has had difficulty converting long, sustained drives into points. They've been very good at getting into the red zone, but can't quite punch it in.
They've also struggled in stopping opposing offenses. In their three losses this season, they've given up an average of just over 38 points (38.3333333 to be exact). They'll have their work cut out for them against a Mater Dei offense who have also been able to run the ball effectively thanks to the skills of running back Logan McCann, and receiver Julian Weidner who they like to utilize out of the slot position in a jet sweep.
In last week's 48-7 rout over Bosse, the Wildcats utilized 12 different ball carriers for 357 yards on the ground. 140 of them coming from Weidner.
For Central to come out of the Bowl with a win Friday night, their best defense might need to be their offense. If they can get Kemper rolling in the run game, eating up a ton of time in the process, and keeping Mater Dei's offense off the field, they'll have chance.
If Mater Dei can stifle Kemper, and force the Bears to rely on the passing game, the Wildcats have a great chance to remain undefeated going into the final game of the year against Reitz.
If you can't make it to the game, you can catch every snap on ESPN Evansville 105.3, and online at ESPNevansville.com with pregame at 6:30pm, and kick off at 7:00.