Week 5 preview:After rivalry games canceled, undefeated Vikings, Blue Jays come together for meeting
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Tippecanoe Valley (4-0) at North Judson (4-0), 7:30 p.m.
Valley football coach Stephen Moriarty called in his players from the practice field to the locker room and broke the news: The Vikings would not be playing Rochester on Friday and would instead be traveling to North Judson.
North Judson was seeking an opponent after their game with Winamac was canceled earlier Wednesday.
This could create a matchup of star linemen between Valley’s Wade Melanson and North Judson’s Brennen Benson, an athletic 300-pounder.
North Judson has not allowed more than 14 points to any opponent through four games. Valley has not scored fewer than 36 points in any game.
“Their defense is very good,” Moriarty said. “They have a lot of athletes. … They have got some big guys in the middle and some athletes that fly around. So it’s going to be tough to move the ball on them, that’s for sure. … This is probably one of the best defenses we’ll play all year.”
This is the first meeting between Valley and North Judson since 2004. They met in the season opener every year from 1997-2004, and the teams split the eight meetings.
Valley beat Manchester 36-0 last week. They held Manchester star running back Braxton Ream to 51 yards rushing and picked off quarterback Brock Casper twice.
Wade Jones had one of those interceptions and returned one of them for a touchdown.
“He’s a great center fielder,” Moriarty said of Jones, using a baseball analogy. “Being the free safety and being able to roam a little bit, he has a great nose for the football. And his athletic ability sure does go along with his smarts to make him a great football player. Yes, he does study a lot of film, but once again, he does his job and is able to understand what can hurt him pass-wise and does a good job of reading the quarterback.”
Jones and his defensive mates will be mindful of North Judson quarterback Aldric Harper, who threw two touchdown passes in a 21-14 win over Knox last week, and junior running back Cheyenne Allen.
Watch game live here: