This week, NECC divisional play kicks off with a very critical divisional matchup between Churubusco and Eastside. Dating as far back as the return of the two-division format in 2014, Eastside vs Churubusco has become the premier matchup in the NECC’s Small-School Division.
What amps up the intensity for this game is the fact these two schools are long-time rivals. They have played football against each other since Eastside’s inception in 1964. They were two of the eight founding members of ACAC football in 1968 along with Adams Central, Fort Wayne Carroll, Heritage, Leo, Norwell, and Woodlan. Eastside went to the NECC in 1980 with Churubusco arriving nearly a decade later.
This will be their 60th meeting in the history of this bitter rivalry where Busco holds a 36-23 lead on Eastside. Eastside has won the last three meetings by outscoring Busco 88-27, but their last meeting was a respectably close 20-13 Blazers win at Busco. Eastside hasn’t won 4 straight games against Churubusco since 2001.
When looking at how these two teams matchup, Busco has been historically known for their Wing-T offense, and it remains true in 2022. Busco averages 245.3 yards per game on the ground where Busco is unbeaten so far when they reach 200 yards on the ground. That rushing attack is thanks in part to the play of seniors Riley Buroff and Wyatt Marks combining for 488 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns.
Riley Buroff is also a quick and athletic quarterback as he has thrown for 306 yards and 2 touchdowns. He’s been getting plenty of interests from colleges in football and track and field.
For Eastside, they will need to get back to getting stops on defense and protect the ball. Eastside allowed 171 rushing yards on 37 less carries and committed three turnovers in their 28-27 OT loss to West Noble. WN’s QB Drew Yates had such a great game on the run with 97 yards and 2 touchdowns and a TD pass.
Eastside has Carsen Jacobs whose their starting quarterback, punter, and their elite corner. They’ll need another great game out of him, as well as a strong running game from Briar Munsey, especially since Dax Holman didn’t play in their last game. If Eastside is able to contain Riley Buroff and control the clock, they should be able to slow down the Wing-T. But it comes down to not giving Buroff good opportunities to burn them with his arm and speed.
This should honestly be a fantastic football game in Butler, and as you know those Blazer Fanatics love their football! Busco will travel well in this one! I expect a great football game.