With the biggest game of the regular season on tap for Friday night, I figured I'd roll out an all-Warren Central-Carmel version of our weekly football Stock Watch. Currently No. 1 and No. 2 in our Indiana POWERADE rankings, both teams are 6-0, both sport relentless defenses, and both are loaded with playmakers on offense.
UP — Deionte Buckley, Warren Central RB
The Warriors' running game didn't lose a beat when Buckley went out with a concussion two weeks ago, but they sure are glad to have him back. The senior returned last week against Terre Haute North and ran for 85 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 606 yards and 11 TDs on the season. With Buckley running strong, Warren Central's offense should be operating at peak efficiency against Carmel.
DOWN —Jonathan Burt and Josh Posley, Warren Central DEs
Warren Central has one of the most talented defensive lines in the country, led by senior DT Sheldon Day (six sacks). But for some reason, Posley and Burt haven't been filling up the stat sheet this season. Burt and Posley have combined for just three sacks, and with Day drawing so much attention, you'd think the two Cincinnati recruits could create more pressure off the edges. They have been solid against the run, however, which may end up being more important against Carmel on Friday.
UP — Langston Newton, Carmel DE
Coming into the season, Warren Central's defense received a lot of hype. And while the Warriors have been spectacular on D, Carmel may be even better. The Greyhounds have already shut out three opponents, including the last two weeks. Newton is a big part of that, as the 6-foot-4 defensive end has been virtually unmovable at the line of scrimmage. Look for Warren Central to run to the side opposite Newton.
DOWN — Chris Perkins, Carmel RB
Perkins burst onto the scene in Week 1, going over 100 yards in his first game as a varsity player. But since then, the Greyhounds' running game has leaned more on senior RB Jalen Duncan and senior QB Brandon Denning. Perkins is a good long-term option, but in such a huge game, expect Carmel to keep going with what's been working — the veterans.