While the Indians prefer to pound the ball on the defense, the Big Reds’ game plan is to air it out.
Michael Starcevich is the No. 5-rated passer in the state, completing 91 of 174 passes for 1,721 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has been intercepted three times.
Sterner knows his defense has to be disciplined against the senior signal-caller.
“Starcevich is a very talented quarterback. We will need to know where he is at all times,” Sterner said. “He can beat teams with the throw, but also he is talented enough to beat teams with his running and scrambling.”
Starcevich is also the second-leading rusher for Centerville with 332 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns. Grant Walker leads the team with 353 yards and four TDs.
Sterner has been satisfied how his defense has been playing lately and is confident the defense will find a way to control Starcevich.
“It just shows us that our defense is rising and growing,” he said. “We are set up to be disciplined and when the opportunity knocks we will be ready to make a play.”
Wisse leads the defense with 114 tackles and has recovered one fumble. Riley Coniglio has pounced on four fumbles and has made 68 tackles. Nick Rutledge, who has been in on 65 tackles, is the team’s interception leader with six. The Indians have pilfered five other passes this season.
Also, Ki-Jana DeJong blocked a pair of extra-point kicks against Knoxville which spurred the win for the Indians.
While the teams don’t have much time to prepare for the playoff opener, Sterner was happy how the players got ready for the task at hand.
“I like the way our kids have come back excited to have fun and play for each other,” Sterner said. “We are treating this like a new season, with new challenges.”