Preview: Ben Davis, Pike are no strangers on the gridiron
INDIANAPOLIS – As if it were written by something out of NFL Films, Derek Moyers talked about his opponent for the third week of Pike’s season.
“It’s Ben Davis,” said the Red Devils head coach. “You only have to say those two words and there’s a lot of things that come to mind.”
Most of those will be concerns for Moyers as his talented Pike team faces the Giants on Friday evening on what will be their warm home field. The Giants are not only ranked No. 1 in the IFCA Coaches’ Poll this week and No. 2 in the AP but they are also ranked 17th in the country by USA Today.
“Speed, athleticism, physicality, physical toughness, high-powered offense, an explosive offense,” said Moyers as he went on about the Giants. “They’re defense is very nasty. They get after the quarterback and they’re always really good at special teams as well.”
The first two games have proven that as Ben Davis faced little resistance in wins over Cathedral and Avon. Their high-powered offense showed their skill by scoring 101 points in their first two games in double-digit victories and are arguably the most impressive team in the state the past two weeks.
But Moyers’ Pike team is far from a pushover themselves. Ranked 5th in both polls in Class 6A, the Red Devils themselves are 2-0 on the season and caught the eye of many when they put up 59 points in two-and-a-half quarters in a 40-point win over Brownsburg in the openers.
Against a top-ten ranked Class 6A opponent in Fishers last Friday, the Red Devils picked up a 26-22 victory in which they made a defense stop late to preserve the win.
“It really showed us that we can come together as a team when we need to through adversity and get a win out of a really tough situation,” said quarterback Beau Trudeau-who caught the attention of many the week before when he threw six touchdowns in the win over Brownsburg.
But understandably this week could be bigger than most this regular season because of the team’s trends the last two years. In both 2012 and 2013, Pike and Ben Davis faced each other in the regular season and the postseason with the same set of circumstances taking place.
In 2012 the Giants beat the Red Devils 24-0 in the regular season but Pike got revenge in the opening round of Sectionals with a 35-25 win at home. It happened again in 2013 as the Red Devils lost to Ben Davis 49-48 in overtime in Week 5 but Pike got them back in the second round of Sectionals with a 34-32 win on the road.
“We’ve been working all week, everyone’s been talking in practice all week that ‘It’s Ben Davis week, It’s Ben Davis week,'” said cornerback Josh Hayes. “We know they’re coming but we’ll be ready for them.”
After all, they’ve had to be ready for each other a lot the past few years.