PREP FOOTBALL: Falcons, Trojans hope to break through

Sep. 2—CAYUGA, Ind. — After two non-conference games, both the North Vermillion and Covington football teams want to make a big statement tonight.

The Trojans visit the Falcons tonight in the Wabash River Conference opener for both teams and a chance to add a great chapter to the rivalry between the two.

Covington is 2-0 after home wins over Tri-County and South Newton for first-year coach Justin Wheeler.

"We had a couple of things we had to fix from the first game going into the second game and we did a great job of executing against South Newton," Wheeler said. "It is a matter of taking things one game at a time and focusing at the job at hand. We had a nice start, but this is a what have you done lately business and it is all about the next one."

"They are much improved and he has done a really nice job,": North Vermillion coach Brian Crabtree said. "They play hard, they have good, solid schemes and I am sure he believes they are on schedule as far as improvement."

The Falcons easily won their first game against North Central, but lost a close game last week to Paris 21-14.

"I thought our kids played hard to win and I was proud of their effort, but we didn't play well enough to win," Crabtree said. "We made too many mistakes down the stretch and credit to Paris because they are a well-coached team and were poised to win it in the last minute."

Even with the loss, Crabtree is excited from what he saw from the team and says they have not reach their potential yet.

I like our group. They are a fun group to coach because you don't have to coach them hard," Crabtree said. "Whatever you want them to do, they get it done and are ready to do more. If you have a group that likes to be coached and pushed hard, a lot of good things happen. There is some nice potential here and if they realize it, we can get some more victories."

"They have a great quarterback in Jerome White. He was off from the last game, but he will be playing this one and he's a very good athlete that can make every throw in the book and he can scramble," Wheeler said. "We are going to gangtackle and swarm as a defense. They have some nice players, but Jerome is the key to the offense and to what they want to do. If we can control him and put down our program, everything should shake out fine."

Crabtree is also wary about Covington's offense. Cian Moore has rushed for 355 yards and five touchdowns for the Trojans so far, while Wyatt Moncrief has passed for 356 yards with three touchdowns and Max Waddell has had seven catches for 181 yards.

"They are explosive on offense and the kids up front on offense and defense are good and play aggressive," Crabtree said. "Their ball carriers and receivers are good athletes and dangerous with the football."

The Falcons have been on the road the first two weeks, so tonight's game will also be the home opener.

"We've had to be road warriors for two weeks and it is nice to not pack up the buses," Crabtree said. "We are always thankful to play at Gibson Field and we are looking forward to that first home game."

For Wheeler, while he has the team focusing on one game at a time, he had no problem getting the team ready for North Vermillion.

"This is the first conference game and we are going against a tough opponent who has been well-coached by coach Crabtree since he has been there," Wheeler said. "I think the kids have had good practices this week. We are coming in with a chip on our shoulder and we are going to see what we can do.

"We want to get together and control what we need to control. We are dedicated to knowing about this week's opponent and then we go after it for gametime. We consider every day a battle and if we can get a lot of wins during the week, then everything should go fine."

The game will start at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.