It is the final week of the regular season, the final tune-up before it truly gets real and a loss sends you home and ends your season.
Conference championships are locked up, but there is still plenty to watch. Here are five guys to keep an eye on under the lights tonight.
AMIR DREW, JUNIOR, CONCORDIA
Drew was held to a season-low 29 yards on 13 carries last week in a loss to Carroll. It was the first time since Week 3 that the running back was held out of the end zone, with eight touchdowns over the four games prior to Week 8.
A bounce-back game is in order as the Cadets entertain North Side at Zollner Stadium. This one could come down to Concordia being able to establish the run game and allow the Cadets wide receivers to work in space downfield. Look for Coach Tim Mannigel to try and establish Drew early tonight.
QUALEN PETTUS, SENIOR, NORTHROP
Bishop Dwenger is very difficult to run against consistently, meaning if Northrop is going to have a shot to knock off the Saints at Spuller Stadium, it needs to convert some plays in the pass game.
Pettus is the leading receiver for the Bruins, hauling in 24 balls for 336 yards and a pair of scores. But he has been held without a catch for the last two weeks. Can be make an impact against the Saints?
RYAN BURTON, JUNIOR, HOMESTEAD
Burton is the primary running back now for the undefeated Spartans with Braeden Hardwick out. The junior had not had a single carry all season until he rushed 15 times for 102 yards and three touchdowns last week against Wayne.
Homestead should have no problem with South Side this week, but it will be interesting to watch Burton as he further acclimates himself to the starting offense. He and the entire offensive unit will need to be on its game in a few weeks when the postseason begins.
GREG BOLT, SOPHOMORE, COLUMBIA CITY
The Eagles have lost four straight games heading into tonight’s showdown at home against Norwell in what could be Columbia City’s final home game on its current field before moving into new digs in 2020.
Bolt has been electrifying for most of the year, throwing for over 20 touchdowns but also throwing a fair amount of interceptions. It is expected for a youngster to make some miscues, but Bolt is far older than his class in terms of playing time at the varsity level, seeing most of the snaps at QB as a freshman.
Norwell’s defense is opportunistic and will take advantage of bad throws. Bolt needs to be on target and on his game for the Eagles to end their losing skid.
BEN REIDY, SENIOR, WOODLAN
It has been a long year for the Warriors, with just three wins and injuries preventing Woodlan from being at full strength for most of the schedule.
Reidy (pictured) is one of those who has missed time, having played in just four games entering Week 9. He has thrown a pair of touchdowns and close to 400 yards on the year, but has a chance on Friday at Adams Central to make an impact.
To knock off the Flying Jets, Reidy will have to be on point with his wealth of talented receivers. That corps includes brother Joe Reidy, who leads the Warriors in both receptions and yards but has yet to catch a touchdown pass from his brother.
Maybe Friday is the night.