Week 9 can reveal the strength of a team’s mental toughness and focus.
In the final game of the regular season, it’s hard for players and coaches to not look ahead to the first round of the sectional.
Make no mistake, this week’s imperative.
If the game’s overlooked, attitudes and momentum can deflate at the worst time possible.
A bad loss in Week 9 can spell disaster.
Teams need to start peaking, and any regression could lead to an early postseason exit the following Friday.
Seymour and Brownstown Central both need wins.
In what’s proved an up-and-down season, Seymour (3-5) needs to beat Madison (1-7) — a team that has lost seven straight games — tonight.
They need to go out and take care of business, and build some momentum with titan Columbus East staring down the barrel.
In last week’s 35-20 loss to New Albany, senior Alan Perry acted as the Owls’ workhorse.
Perry threw for 264 yards (2 TDs) on 31 throwing attempts and ran 20 times for 136 yards, with Alazae Louden and Tyler Bullard both eclipsing 100 receiving yards.
Do the math: that’s 400 yards of offense involving Perry.
Perhaps that’s an indication of how the offense will go the rest of the season, but that’s to be determined.
Playing from behind changes a game plan.
The Owls were able to score in three of the four quarters, but couldn’t slow down the Bulldogs’ athletes.
Digging themselves a 28-7 deficit at half, the Owls had to play catch-up in the second half.
Looking at all eight games in 2017, the Owls play better when ahead at half.
In their five losses this season, Seymour has trailed at intermission four times. The only time they lost when ahead at the break was against Brownstown.
Seymour led at the half in all three of their wins.
If the Owls jump on the Cubs from the get-go, the numbers say they’ll come out with a win.
Brownstown (7-1) will face Scottsburg tonight for the first time since 1983.
The Warriors (3-5) spent the past three seasons as a junior varsity team, but now they’re back.
There’s a little bit of unknown for the Braves going into this game, but I believe it’s a good thing.
Often times, teams know exactly what they’re going to get going into games.
Teams can key-in on certain players, and know what offensive and defensive schemes are coming their way.
There is, after all, just one season of game film on the Warriors.
With the way schedules are constructed, players can face the same team in Week 9 for all four years of eligibility.
Maybe facing a new team will fire up the squad and keep it focused on the task at hand after a huge win against Silver Creek.
While I think the Braves are focused the Warriors, it has to be hard to not look to Lawrenceburg.
Last year’s semistate loss was devastating and still has to linger in the back of the mind for many in the program.
There’s a chance to get revenge, but it will need to wait.
While they’re in a little bit of a different situation, Trinity Lutheran got a big victory last week.
The Cougars scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to earn their first win of the season, 14-13, against Indianapolis Shortridge.
With two seconds left in the game, Jacob Rowe caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Gocker. Kaleb Baumgartel hit the extra point to win it.
The victory was the first for Trinity since Oct. 3, 2014.
Trinity’s making steps towards rejoining the IHSAA, and last Friday’s win was a big boost for the program.
Jordan Morey is the sports editor for The Tribune. Send comments to email@example.com.