Last Five Meetings
Munster leads 3-2
Munster 20 Lake Central 19
2015 Regular Season
GAME NOTES: They may be smaller and there may be less of them, but that hasn’t stopped the Mustangs from getting the better of the Indians in the last three season openers. Will it be the same this year?
The Indians are coming off a disappointing end to a disappointing season. But despite all that disappointment, there is hope for 2016 thanks to a new group of leaders who are bringing with them a positive energy to the St. John campus. Head coach Brett St. Germain doesn’t know how many wins that will translate into, but he knows his program is better off than a year ago. “We were better from day one because of the leadership this class of incoming seniors has brought to our program.”
Like St. Germain’s squad, Leroy Marsh’s Mustangs saw their season sputter to an early close, thanks in large part to the loss of quarterback Andrew Jumonville in week six. Drawing Lowell in the first round of the sectional didn’t help either.
BREAKDOWN: The Mustangs have won the last three between these clubs and for that they deserve credit. Just the same, the Indians made it easier than it should have been all three times. On paper, LC has the advantage, just as they did in 2013, 14 & 15. More players, bigger players, faster players – you get the idea; but that hasn’t meant victory. So what makes anyone think this year should be any different?
The last two contests have come by a total margin of just four points, so the Indians are close. The number of LC turnovers in last years game, along with the timing and location of those turnovers were the difference in the game (as were some ill-timed penalties). There’s no question that protecting the football will be key on Friday night, but so too will emotion. These two schools are rivals in every sport and with the ‘Stangs getting the better of the Indians three years running, the home team will need to play with a purpose.
A week one win can set the tone for the rest of the season, so expect a take no prisoners approach by Lake Central. This game isn’t about X’s and O’s – they have the manpower to win with whatever game plan makes sense. It’s about heart and soul. The 2016 Indians want to make a statement – to themselves as much as anyone – that last year is ancient history.
The Mustangs open the season with Lake Central and Chesterton, making a 2-0 start a tough proposition. But that isn’t their concern at the moment – getting to 1-0 is. How do they make that happen? For starters, they’ll need to play with the same intensity as last year…and win the turnover and penalty battle again. The bend-don’t-break defense they’ve employed in recent matchups with LC has proven effective, so expect to see more of that in this game.
CHRISTENSON CHEVY KEYS TO THE GAME: If the Munster defense can keep the Indians from doing too much damage on first or second down and force them into some third and longs, the pressure to move the chains shifts from senior tailback Anthony Giles to sophomore QB Zach Bundalo, who’s making his first varsity start. In the three previous defeats, LC quarterbacks have not performed well enough to win and there’s no doubt Munster D-coordinator Tom Largus wants the ball in the sophomore’s hands rather than the senior’s.
Offensively, Munster might want to consider running the ball on every play, if for no other reason than to shorten the game. The new 40-second clock reset rule gives the advantage to the offense, especially big play ones like Lake Central, so the Mustangs want to maintain possession and keep the clock ticking. Don’t forget about Jaylon Scott either. If the ‘Stangs pull off the upset, the senior speedster will be a big reason why. When they need a big play, expect Scott’s number to be called. Stay within striking distance and give yourself a chance to win it late to would be a reasonable expectation for the Mustang gridders.
Expect the Indians to spread the ball around on offense. When they throw downfield, Bundalo will look in the direction of senior wide out Austin Atkins, as dangerous of a receiver as there is in the Region. On the ground, Munster will have their hands full with Giles, who should get the majority of the carries for the team in blue. But no matter the game plan, LC just needs to play good football. If they avoid the turnovers and costly penalties that have plagued them in recent meetings, the outcome should be evident midway through the fourth quarter. Oh, some emotion from Lake Central would help their cause, after all – this is a rivalry game – and we know Munster will be ready.
FRIDAY NIGHT FORECAST: Lake Central 31 Munster 16