ELWOOD — Sammy Mireles' pursuit of the state rushing title is an extremely important storyline for the Elwood football team this fall.
But one of the season's biggest goals all along has been defending the program's Central Indiana Conference championship. In that regard, tonight's game against Eastbrook (2-2, 2-0 CIC) couldn't be larger.
"It's a big game because it's the next one," Elwood coach Marty Wells said. "That's kind of the mentality we took last year. The more you win, the bigger they become next week."
Elwood (2-0, 2-2) is coming off a wild 74-54 win at Madison-Grant that Wells said was unlike any other in his 14 seasons as a head coach. Elwood trailed 34-26 midway through the third quarter then scored 42 unanswered points to take control.
The Argylls hammered Elwood with a unique rushing attack out of extremely tight formations. Wells likes to say Madison-Grant's offense would fit in a phone booth, and that's not far off the truth.
Constant motion by the guards and backs keeps defenses guessing where the ball is, and the scheme has been consistently effective. Against Elwood, Madison-Grant had three rushers top the 100-yard mark and gained 543 yards on the ground overall.
"It's a difficult offense to defend," Wells said. "Especially the first time you see it."
Wells was more concerned that Elwood allowed the Argylls to make some big plays in the passing game — an area that is hardly the team's strong suit — to get out of third- and fourth-down situations.
The challenge against Eastbrook is different but just as daunting.
After losing its first two non-conference games to start the season, Eastbrook has exploded against CIC foes. The team has won by scores of 62-8 and 62-0 in the past two weeks, and the attack centers around star quarterback Jacob Singer.