In 2020, Lawrence North beat Lawrence Central for the first time since 2007. During that year, Spider Man 3 was the highest grossing film and the president was George W. Bush.
The victory was a long-time coming for the Wildcats, who narrowly lost to the Bears in each of the previous five matchups, four of which were decided by less than a touchdown.
“It felt like a burden lifted off our shoulders to finally beat our rivals,” Lawrence North safety Samirion Ford said.
“It’s an exciting feeling,” Lawrence North DE/OLB Danny Royster said. “I know the game is always hyped up and it’s a lot of emotion into it, but they beat us for 14 years straight and that’s pretty personal to me. I prepare by watching a ton of film and studying who I’ll be going against and what he’s good at as well as what he is bad at.”
This year Lawrence Central, led by second-year head coach Will Patterson, is back and ready to reclaim victory over their rivals.
“It’s feels great to play in this historic game, but we’re just focusing on going out there and having fun and competing,” said LC defensive back Jahmad Harmon. “We’re preparing the same way as we would for any other opponent. We all know it’s a big game but the preparation is the same for every week.”
Harmon is one of several players on a team with plenty of college talent. He is a Furman commit who also holds offers from Indiana State, Air Force, Kent State, and Navy. Teaming up with him on defense is corner Trent Baker-Booker, a name to know in the 2023 class. Expect junior Joshua Mickens, an athletic 6’4 225-pound defensive end who holds Power 5 offers, to wreck havoc up front.
“I’m just trying to push myself and my teammates harder everyday and just trying to key in on the things that will help us beat the other school in Lawrence,” Mickens said. “I’m not going too deep or talk too much but just know this Friday they (are going to) see what we really on.”
Lawrence Central can also put points on the board offensively. They beat Lafayette Jefferson 49-21 last week. Wideout Davion Owens is someone Lawrence North defenders have their eyes on.
“I think (Owens) is their best player, he’s a problem,” Ford says. “Because he’s very shifty and he has unexpected strength for his frame.”
The Wildcats are currently undefeated after a Week 1 victory over Avon. Though they lost QB Donovan McCulley to graduation, they return wide receiver Omar Cooper, one of the top players in the Midwest who verbally committed to Indiana. Cooper is a special player who garnered 18 offers from around the country and chose to stay home in Indiana. They also return Ali Richardson, who had 25 carries for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns and 3 catches for 18 yards and 1 touchdown receiving in the Avon win.
Linebackers Romaro Warren and Josh Noble lead the team in tackles. Royter, a Ball State commit, returns on defense and registered a sack and four tackles in Week 1.