Photo Courtesy of Darci Walters
Week Four Keys: Vikings Welcome the Blue Devils to Town
By Baylen Hite | 107.3 WRSW
Another night of Friday night lights is upon us. It’s hard to believe we are already a third of the way through the regular season. With three games down and three wins in the pocket of the Vikings lets look at their next chance to pick up a win and remain undefeated.
The Tipton Blue Devils enter Viking territory with a (1-2) record after losing to South Adams in week one and losing to West Lafayette last week. Sandwiched in between the losses is their lone win of the year against Elwood.
Tipton is led into this game with an extremely young group of contributors on both sides of the ball. On defense the Blue Devils only have 3 starting seniors and on offense right tackle Aidan Blair is the lone senior.
On offense the Blue Devils are led by Calvin Condict a shifty running back that Valley will have to try and stop from getting over 100+ yards for the first time this season. Condict ran for 111 yards last week against a strong West Lafayette defense.
What will it take though for Valley to stop the Blue Devils? Let’s break down our week four keys to the game for the Vikings.
Battle in the Trenches
Enough can’t be said about the Vikings 5 up front on offense. Many of those guys aren’t playing their natural positions and moved into the role this offseason. So far so good for the offensive line as they have only allowed 2 sacks and helped the offense average 250 yards on the ground through 3 games.
Tipton runs a 3-4 defense that should show vulnerability at the first line but it will be up to the offensive lineman to help with blocking at the 2nd level. Tipton’s linebackers are led by Cole Hussey who moves quick and efficiently as the team leader in tackles with 25 this season.
Senior offensive/defensive lineman Phil Smith told us last week that Twin Lakes “didn’t want to hit hard”. He felt like Tippecanoe Valley was able to take advantage of that early and ultimately led them to the 35-7 win.
If both sides of the line for Valley tonight can win in the trenches the Vikings could see themselves winning like they did a week ago.
Air it Out (again)
Much like last week Valley will face another defense that is susceptible to the deep ball. West Lafayette threw for 405 yards against the Blue Devils.
Tipton is vulnerable in the secondary just like Twin Lakes was. We saw the Vikings attack that to a tee with half of Cody Eastgate’s completions going for touchdowns.
Wade Jones and Trent Marshall each caught a touchdown. I like Trent Marshall tonight to have another chance at a big game. So much attention is placed on Nate Parker and Wade Jones by opposing defenses (for good reason). I think guys like Trent Marshall, and Landon Durkes can take advantage of that with their size and have a big game.
The game script might not allow for Valley to take as many shots as they’d like but I still think there will be a fair share of opportunities for the Vikings passing attack.
Keep Condict in Check
Calvin Condict is the motor of the offense for coach Aaron Tolle. On the ground he has ran for 334 yards on 69 carries with 4 touchdowns. When he is on the Tipton offense is humming. He will get a bulk of the attention from Valley tonight as they try to stop him from going over 100+ yards on the ground. He has done that in every game so far this season.
Dalton Alber, Brock Derf, and Grady Moriarty are all players who could disrupt the routine against Tipton.
The biggest key is wrapping up the shifty running back. His strength like Nate Parker is making guys miss while showing deceptive strength in between the tackles. Broken tackles equal big plays and with Condict those can lead to scores. Slow him down and you are able to control the pace of the game on defense.
Where to Listen?
You can listen to the game on 107.3 WRSW with pregame coverage at 6:30 pm and kickoff at 7 pm. Join Baylen Hite, Micah Lukens, and the legendary Rita Price from Smith-Bibler Memorial Field.