Preview: East Central at Lawrenceburg

The Blitz 5 Tour stops in the Hoosier state to kickoff the 2019 season. Two backyard rivals with state title aspirations waste little time getting right to it with a playoff-caliber contest in the opener.

East Central is ranked #14 in the preseason Blitz 5 Top 25 poll. The Trojans enter the game with a new head coach. Former alum and quarterback, Jake Meiners gets the promotion from his assistant position. The 28-year old Meiners, has never lost to Lawrenceburg as a player or a coach.

As for the host Tigers, there is plenty of motivation fueling their fire. No one currently on the Lawrenceburg roster was alive the last time the school came up victorious over East Central.

Kickoff: 7:00 p.m at Dick Meador Stadium, Neary Field
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PLAYERS TO WATCH: Five East Central players were named Class 4A All-EIAC in 2018 – seniors SS Devon Donawerth, DB Chase Ludwig, WR/QB Trevor Becker, DL Gage Ertel and junior OL/TE Luke Collinsworth.

The 6-foot-6, 275-pound Collinsworth was named to the First Team of the 2019 Preseason All-TSF Team in 2019. He has offers from Cincinnati and Indiana. Donawerth is one of the area’s top return men with four career punt returns for touchdowns. He also has eight takeaways three FRs, five INTs) at the varsity level. Senior DL Kyle Krummen is coming off of an 11 sack campaign.

Lawrenceburg returns four Class 3A All-EIAC players from a year ago – sophomore QB Garrett Yoon, seniors WR Gavin Yoon, OL Daulton Dixon and LB Marshall Kinnard. Also, back for the Tigers are four more Honorable Mention All-EIAC honorees – seniors LB Andrew Rennekamp, LB Andrew Roth, OL/DL Jack Bradley and junior OL Ethan Parris.

Garrett Yoon threw for 2,138 yards, ran for 694 yards and accounted for 26 touchdowns (14 pass, 12 rush) while starting every game as a freshman. Older brother, Gavin, has 82 receptions, 1,579 receiving yards while pulling in 16 touchdowns in a Tigers’ uniform. He also has five career interceptions on defense. Keep an eye on the 6-foot-9, 310-pound Jason Morton, who missed last season with injuries. He will be a Division I recruit by the time the season ends.

TEAM TRENDS: East Central is looking for its fifth straight season of 11-plus wins. The Trojans are enjoying their most prosperous run in school history having won four consecutive sectional championships.

Last season was just the second losing season in the eight years that Ryan Knigga has been the head coach at Lawrenceburg. Knigga has compiled a 66-29 record at the school. He hopes to guide the program to its third sectional title in the last four years.

EAST CENTRAL’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Size and depth must come into play for the Trojans. East Central has the players to make that happen, but that won’t be a factor if they can get some separation from Lawrenceburg. Making the Tigers play from behind will stagnate the running game for the home team. Winning the war on special teams could make this a long night for Lawrenceburg.

LAWRENCEBURG’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Getting to the fourth quarter and still being close or ahead will be a plus with a huge home crowd behind the Tigers. Lawrenceburg has big-play, quick strike capabilities, but controlling the clock by running the football and limiting East Central’s possessions will work to the Tigers advantage as the game wears on.


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