Previewing Friday night’s Independence Bank Border Bowl matchups

Game day is upon us, as a very festive weekend is about kick off here in the OWB. The Independence Bank Border Bowl takes place Friday night and Saturday night and will feature four of Evansville’s best versus the four Owensboro schools. All games this weekend on HRN will be brought to you by mooredeals.com: to shop over 13 brands, and 1000 vehicles, visit mooredeals.com to see the Moore advantage. Best Value, transparent, and upfront.

Most folks and the talking heads agree that the Owensboro schools are decisive underdogs in all of the matchups, but games must be played on the field and not on paper.  First up, is the Fridays matchups that’ll test Apollo and Owensboro Catholic to the max.

Evansville Central vs Apollo: The Bears come into this game ranked #3 in the Indiana coaches poll in class 4A. Apollo is coming off a 50-22 thrashing of Muhlenberg County last week, and the Eagles sent notice that they’ll be a tough game for anyone in 2017. Central defeated Paoli 56-15 last week, but Paoli certainly isn’t the level of competition that Apollo will be tonight. Central Sophomore Tor’Jon had 450 yards of total offense by himself last week, and accounting for 5 touchdowns. The Bears also have a very capable quarterback in Brennon Harper who passed for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns last week. Kiave Guerrier is a beast a linebacker at 6’1 200lbs and is the leader of the defense. Central is not only considered a favorite for the SIAC (Southern Indiana Athletic Conference) title, but the Indiana Class 4A state title as well.

Apollo is a completely different team than they were last season. Although it was a win over Muhlenberg County (50-22), Apollo showed a much improved defense with a balanced attack. Junior quarterback Colby Clark had one of the most efficient games in the area going 18-21 258 yards and 2 touchdowns. The rushing attack for Apollo is a deadly 4 headed monster with Nic Brooks, Mariano McKenzie, Sam Parm, and Quentin Miller leading the way. All state wide receiver candidate Peyton Peters showed his ability and along with Hunter Byrne, gives Clark adequate targets. The big question for Apollo is can the Eagle defense slow down the high octane offense of Central? While Muhlenberg has some nice athletes, Central is on a completely different level. The obvious goal for Apollo tonight is a win, but if the Eagles can simply be competitive, it’ll go a long way for success for the rest of the season.

Evansville Reitz vs Owensboro Catholic: Reitz comes into this game ranked #2 in both the coaches and media poll in the state of Indiana’s class 4A. Owensboro Catholic is considered one of Kentucky’s top 5 class in 2A. Reitz linebacker Joey Diekmann led the entire state of Indiana in total tackles, and is the undeniable leader of the Panther defense. Quarterback Eli Weithop threw for 145 yards against Henderson, while running back Da’Ziaun Sargent pitched in with 184 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. Wide Receiver Isaiah Dunham has committed to Yale University of the Ivy League. The Panthers are always solid up front, so expect Reitz to have a major advantage on the lines.

Owensboro Catholic got a major scare against city rival Daviess County last week at Steele Stadium. The Aces have received lots of attention in the offseason as a team that could win Kentucky’s class 2A state championship. However, after the performance against a much improved Daviess County team, lots of Aces fans were left wondering if Catholic can actually win a state title this season. Coach John Edge still found a way to get Catholic a win in the game, and fully expect the Aces to make adjustments from last Friday to this Friday. Catholic should get offensive lineman Jayden Hall back which will help shore up the protection for Will Warren. Against Reitz, Catholic has to make the Panthers drive the length of the field and avoid giving up the big plays that haunted the Aces against Daviess County. Offensively Catholic needs to move the ball every possession to avoid letting Reitz have great field position. I’m not sure anyone expect Catholic to beat Reitz, but I fully expect Catholic to give the Panthers a run for their money until well in the 3rd quarter.

Be sure to tune into HRN tonight at 5:20 as we’ll start the broadcasts brought to you by mooredeals.com.

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