In Kendallville, the battle of the Knights will take place as the East Noble Knights host the undefeated Norwell Knights. East Noble looks to stay in the NE8 hunt after losing in heartbreak fashion to the Leo Lions 28-21, while 5-0 Norwell hopes they can build off of the dominance of their 59-7 win over New Haven.
East Noble on the ground averages 204 rushing yards per game this season led by Tyson Reinbold with 524 yards on 93 carries. Quarterback Zander Brazel has thrown for 544 yards on 50.6% completion. Obviously QB play and the ability to establish a consistent running game are key to competing with Norwell.
But when it comes to the Norwell Knights, it’s easier said than done. Norwell’s recipe seems clear: they’re going to play a physical brand of football under the Modified I offense and tackle extremely well. Everyone talks about the depth that makes Norwell’s backfield the three-headed monster led by Luke Graft. Quarterbacks Lleyton Bailey and Drew Graft don’t throw the ball a lot, but local experts like myself keep saying they’re capable of throwing the ball for big yardage.
If East Noble is going to make this an interesting ballgame, they must score first and they can’t commit turnovers in this game. In their last meeting, East Noble committed 3 turnovers and produced just 200 yards of total offense in a 17-0 loss in Ossian. For those that know, Norwell will obviously keep playing that physical brand of football through their backfield and then try to milk a lot of clock once they have the lead.
In the season series, East Noble holds a 17-16 lead. Norwell hasn’t beaten East Noble in 3 straight meetings since 1999, when at that point Norwell had won 9 of their first 11 meetings.