It's a showdown in the Northern State Conference Friday night as undefeated New Prairie travels to 3-1 Jimtown in our Martin's Spotlight Game of the Week.
First place in the Northern State conference is on the line.
"I just think it's going to be a great football game, great atmosphere--the stands are going to be packed," Jimtown football coach Mike Campbell said Tuesday. "They want to beat us and we want to beat them. Hopefully the ball runs the right way, and the Jimmies come out on top."
Jimtown came out on top when the two schools met last year. New Prairie was 4-0 heading into that game just like they are this year. That was one of just two losses the Cougars suffered in their first year under Russ Radtke, with the other coming in sectionals.
Radtke is now 13-2 in a year and a half at New Prairie. The Cougars won a total of just 11 games in the three previous seasons before his arrival.
That loss to Jimtown last year was lopsided. The Jimmies prevailed 42-12. Now a year later, it's time to see how far the Cougars have come.
"I just look at everything like that like its a learning experience," Radtke said Tuesday.
He remembers back in his days as the head coach at North Judson that his team lost 63-8 in Semi-State. One win away from playing for a state, his team was crushed in its most important game of the season. But Radtke's Bluejays learned from their mistakes and a year later what in the state title game.
"You take what happens to you, you learn from it and you try to make yourself better," Radtke says. "You are trying to find out where you are at, how far along you are, how far to we get there."
"The community, the administration and everybody around here has been very positive about it but you still have to remember, we are still in just our second year. We are going to make mistakes and we have to see how far we can correct them."
Jimtown has owned the series between the two schools over the last three plus decades. The Jimmies are 29-3 against New Prairie dating back to 1981.
Jimtown's won six games in the series with New Prairie last winning in 2006 at home. The Cougars also won at home in 2004. You have to go back to 1988 for the last New Prairie won at Jimtown, which is what the Cougars are attempting to do this Friday.
I will be live at Jimtown's Knepp Field with a full preview of the Jimmies and Cougars Friday night starting on NewsCenter 16 at 5:30.