PENDLETON — There still will be a Furrow in the heart of the action, but just about everything else is new for the Pendleton Heights football team this year.
Except the expectations.
The Arabians have posted a 28-9 record and won two sectional titles in the past three seasons. And head coach John Broughton has similarly high hopes this fall.
But there are enough new faces in the mix — especially at the offensive skill positions — to add a little intrigue ahead of Friday's kickoff against Muncie Central.
"It's hard to tell right now," Broughton said when asked how his team is coming along. "We need a ballgame to find that out."
Pendleton Heights entered last year in a rebuilding mode after graduating a large and highly successful senior class. The biggest shoes to fill were on the offensive and defensive lines, where just one starter returned.
The Arabians expected to have all five starters back on the offensive line this fall, but injuries will sideline left guard Trey Green and left tackle Mason Loman at least for Friday's opener.
Then there's the void left by versatile Jon Furrow, who did a little bit of everything for Pendleton Heights in 2012. He was the team's leading rusher with 1,109 yards and 17 touchdowns, earned all-state honors as a defensive back with 52 tackles and one interception and might be most difficult to replace on special teams.
As a placekicker, he made eight of 10 field goals and 45 of 49 extra points last year. He also averaged 36.2 yards per punt.
Freshman Payton Huth will get first crack at the kicking duties, and senior Jim Arney (who rushed for 762 yards and six scores in 2012) will take over in the backfield.
But much of the offensive load will fall on the shoulders of junior quarterback Jesse Furrow. Jon's younger brother completed 80 percent of his passes for 1,794 yards with 18 touchdowns and six interceptions in his first year as a starter.