GAME OF THE WEEK: Bad Blood Smears Indian-Irish Rivalry

Gold a Common Factor

Since the stunning shutout last season at Finley stadium in the first round, the Indians haven’t lost game, going a perfect 11-0 in the second round this season.  And with both teams sporting gold on their uniforms, it’s fitting to see both squads facing off for a chance at Red Bank and hopefully Alcoa down the road.

Although Sequatchie County is undefeated, the Irish are no stranger to breaking unblemished records.

In 2015, after downing Sequatchie County and Upperman, the Irish travelled to East Ridge, ending their 12-game winning streak on the season.  The Irish would fall drastically to Alcoa, but their semifinal run trumped the Pioneers who seemed to be a team of destiny.

And it goes without saying that the Indians have never been to fond of the Irish way as urban and rural, public and private collide in the postseason.

And although it’s not been a premier rivalry, it does span back to the 1950s when the Irish won the first two games by a combined 75 points.  The Indians, however hold the lead in the series, 15-8.  The Irish have won the last four, but the Indians dominated back into the early 90s as they won ten straight from 1992 until 2011.

When you add in the the city vs. country vibe along with a former Indian assistant coach bolting for Notre Dame two season ago, the plot thickens the and the blood goes bad.


GAMETIME INFO:

Notre Dame at Sequatchie County

Indians Stadium, Dunlap, TN

Kickoff Time:  7:00 PM CT/8:00 PM ET


RIVALRY RECAP:  LAST TEN MATCHUPS

All Time Series Record:  Sequatchie County, 15-8 (23 Meetings Since 1959)

Irish 38, Indians 0; November 6, 2015 [2015 Class 3A Playoffs, First Round]

Irish 35, Indians 7; October 17, 2014

Irish 34, Indians 0; October 18, 2013

Irish 41, Indians 7; October 12, 2012

Indians 26, Irish 14; October 14, 2011

Indians 42, Irish 14; October 15, 2010

Indians 41, Irish 14; October 16, 2009

Indians 27, Irish 21;  August 2000

Indians 28, Irish 0;  August 1999

Indians 12, Irish 0;  October 1996


PLACE YOUR BETS

DISCLAIMER:  These are not actual spreads or odds, and cannot be used in kind of sports betting context.

The Spread:  Notre Dame (-1.5) at Sequatchie County

Odds to Win:  Notre Dame 14 to 13; Sequatchie County 13 to 14

Over/Under (Total Points):  (48.5 Points)

Breaking Down the Bets:  ‘The Spread’ is based on who is favored in the matchup and by how many points.  ‘Odds to Win’ are the odds for a certain team to win that game and is not related to the odds of ‘The Spread.’  The ‘Over/Under’ is how many points both teams are expected to combine for, unrelated to ‘The Spread’ or “Odds to Win.’  These betting lines are simply to display what Vegas would perceive the matchup at and cannot be used in any sports betting enterprise.


QUICK HIT STORYLINES

Indians Come into Friday Night undefeated with an 11-0 Record

ND’s Andrew Banks and SC’s Hunter Davenport Each Scored 5 TDs in First Round

The Irish Come in with a four-game winning streak against the Indians

Notre Dame Blanked Indians in the 2015 Playoffs, 38-0


INSIDE THE FILM ROOM

The Indians’ Wing-T approach to this season–with a lot more power running–has been successful with Hunter Davenport and Austin Stephens headlining the push.  Ethan Barker has been able to get the pas going, especially against Region 4-3A opponents, which tend to have more stingy pass defenses.  The Offensive Line, with John Higgins and Gabe Jackson to name a few, have really put forward a push and shown the more physical side of the Indians play this season, especially against a speedy Howard team in the first round.  That group will have to get a lot of penetration on the defensive side of the ball.

Notre Dame will bring out a lot of formations with a tilt toward the spread style of play, using Pro and Ace style setups (under-center with one or two backs straight behind) in close yardage situations.  Signal-caller Cameron Wynn will have a passing attack worthy of the Indians’ secondary with targets like Calvin Sims and Justyn Baker on the outside.  The short passing game may be where they stick all night, though, with the success they had against Smith County on inside slants and quick routes.  Downfield passing, though, could be crucial late in the game if the Indians get winded.  The less this offense stays on the field, the better chance Sequatchie County has to advance.


GAMEDAY GRADES

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KEY ON-THE-FIELD MATCHUPS

Cameron Wynn vs. Sequatchie County Secondary

Wynn has had some remarkable games this season, but a lot remains unclear about the gap between Sequatchie County and Notre Dame in 2016.  Most of that comes in the speed and quickness of the Indians.  If they can hold fort on the defensive side of things, especially against the Irish passing game, they’ll be in a favorable position late.

Sequatchie County Defensive Line vs. Andrew Banks

Hunter Davenport wasn’t the only area player to dip in for five touchdowns on the ground.  Andrew Banks at Notre Dame accomplished the same feat against Smith County, scoring as fast as lightning on several plays.  The defensive line for the Indians will have to penetrate if they want to stop both Sledge and Andrew Banks on the ground while also putting pressure on Wynn in the pocket.


PLAYERS TO WATCH

Notre Dame:  Cameron Wynn (Sophomore Quarterback), Andrew Banks (Senior Running Back), Akil Sledge (Junior Running Back), Calvin Sims (Senior Wide Receiver), Justyn Baker (Junior Wide Receiver), Patrick Johnson (Senior Outside Linebacker), Kolby McGowan (Junior Cornerback), and Sam Stovall (Junior Offensive Tackle)

Sequatchie County:  Ethan Barker (Junior Quarterback), Hunter Davenport (Senior Linebacker/Fullback), Austin Stevens (Senior Halfback), and Kyle Cates (Senior Tight End/Linebacker), and John Higgins (Senior Defensive Lineman)

Contact Chandler Morrison at TheSpearSportsBlog@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter@RCS_Chandler!

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