The 2019 football season opens with rivalry night on the Southside, some interesting changes and a special night at Franklin Central.
Rivalry matches on opening night (Friday, Aug. 23) feature Southport at Roncalli in a neighborhood kickoff, Lutheran at Beech Grove in an important Indiana Crossroads Conference matchup, Center Grove is host to Warren Central in a key Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference matchup, and Decatur Central at Franklin Central. Manual and Perry Meridian open at home while Greenwood is on the road.
A pre-game ceremony at Franklin Central at 6:45 p.m. on opening night will name the Flashes’ football field in honor of retired four-time state champion coach Chuck Stephens.
The new season holds big promise for Lutheran with 20 of 22 returning starters and unusual depth, Center Grove with more than two dozen seniors, Beech Grove with burly linemen and speed, enthused Southport with a new quarterback, and rebounding Roncalli. Greenwood, Manual and Perry Meridian have lots of question marks.
All teams will compete under IHSAA’s new mercy rule: When the point spread reaches 35 points in the second half, the game clock will become a “running” clock except for timeouts, scores or injuries and cannot revert to normal timing if the score differential becomes less.
Another change finds Cascade replacing Park Tudor in the ICC.
Key players to watch include: Beech Grove lineman Josh Fryar, an Ohio State University commit; Center Grove lineman Ethan Crowe and junior running back Carson Steele; Franklin Central linebacker Nate Talhelm; Southport quarterback Ryan Luzon; Roncalli defensive end Jack Wardzala; Manual quarterback De-fayebeon Pittman, a sophomore with great promise; and Lutheran running back Marcus McFadden.
Trojans loaded for another great year
Franklin Central expected to have better record in 2019
Offensive line may spark Falcons in 2019
Another conference contender at Southport
Beech Grove aims to contend for conference
Greenwood anxious for bounce back year
Roncalli ready to overcome adversity from 2018
Manual ready to score more points
Lutheran with three straight semi state appearances