Preview: Turpin at Kings

Turpin WR Logan Hurley (photo by Dan Bieneke/

It is time to find out who is for real as Turpin takes on Kings in this week’s Blitz 5 Game of the Week. These two ECC rivals did not meet during the regular season so it is only fitting that bragging rights will come out of this Division II, Region 4 quarterfinals showdown. 

To this point, both schools have barely been battle-tested. With only one common opponent, Lebanon (which both teams beat), it is hard to put a gauge on who is the superior squad. That makes this contest so wonderfully intriguing.


Kickoff: 7:00 p.m.
Kings Stadium
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PLAYERS TO WATCH: Seniors Kaidan Naughton, Max Gundrum and Logan Hurley have scored 23 of Turpin’s 28 offensive touchdowns. Naughton is the Spartans’ top rusher with 641 yards and seven scores. Gundrum and Hurley have combined for 55 receptions, 918 yards and 13 touchdowns. Junior quarterback Will Schulok has thrown for 1,373 yards and 19 touchdowns. The junior has had two touchdown passes in five of Turpin’s six games. 

Running back Ty Stylski has accounted for 47.1 percent of Kings’ yards from scrimmage (937 rushing, 273 receiving). The senior has found the end zone 18 times (16 rushing), but only twice in the last three games. Stylski is not a one-man show. Sophomore quarterback Will Kocher has been excellent in game management. He has thrown for 826 yards, ran for 326 yards and accounted for 14 touchdowns (seven passing, seven rushing). Senior Gabe Hunt has made a difference in all phases of the game. Defensive back RJ Jackson leads the team with four interceptions.

TEAM TRENDS: Turpin is looking for the program’s second regional title. Kings has never won a regional crown.

Turpin has not beaten a team with a winning record. The Spartans’ opponents have a combined winning percentage of .429 (18-24). Take out a loss to Winton Woods and that number drops to a .314 winning percentage. The Turpin defense has been stingy, allowing just 15.0 points per game.

Kings only has one win over a team that is above .500, Anderson (6-2). The combined winning percentage of the Knights six victims is .372. The Kings’ offense is explosive, averaging 48.5 points per game with an average margin of victory of 29.2 points. They have scored 34 points or more in every contest and 41 points or more five times.

Turpin: Kent McCullough (25-12 at Turpin, fourth year; 64-38 overall, 10th year)
Kings: Alex Garvin (12-4 at Kings, second year; 12-4 overall)

Turpin: (12th appearance, 12-11) – 2020, 2019, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, (Regional Champion), 1995

Kings (15th appearance, 14-14) – 2020, 2108, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 1999

TURPIN’S KEYS TO VICTORY: Keep this game close going into halftime. Kings has deflated foes, having gone into intermission with leads of 20 points or more in five of its six wins. Keep the ball out of Stylski’s hands. That starts with long sustained drives from the Spartans’ offense. Showcasing all the weapons on this side of the ball will keep the Knights’ defense back on their heels. The fewer the possessions for the Knights, the better the chances for a Turpin win.

KINGS’ KEYS TO VICTORY: Jump out to an early lead and force Turpin to play catch up. This has been at the center of the Knights’ success all season. Kings runs the ball on three out of every four plays. Not straying from the game plan should make for a successful outcome.

Prediction: Kings 28, Turpin 24 

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