May 21, 2024

The Orange Bowl, a perennial Southern Indiana high school football attraction, pits the Paoli Rams and the Springs Valley Blackhawks in what is undoubtedly one of the best rivalry games in the state. What other choice did he have here at SISN than to make it our featured “Game of the Week.” Without further ado let’s get into the nuts and bolts of each squad as we preview The Orange Bowl.

Paoli Rams

The Paoli Rams come into this game 1-1 on this young seasons but scored a huge win last week against Corydon Central. Confidence should be high and this game is definitely one that the Rams have marked on the schedule as they always look to beat their rival.

Strengths

Paoli has an amazing running game spearheaded by Junior RB Trey Rominger. The Rams run the Wing-T and look to pound the ball on the ground almost religiously.

Weaknesses

Defensively the Rams haven’t been able to put together a complete game. Week 1 they gave up an astonishing 229 yards on the ground. Week 2 they were able to adjust to stop the run, but could not stop the pass to the tune of 263 yards.

Players to Watch

Junior FB/LB Trey Rominger: Trey ran for an astonishing 255 yards with 3 TD in week 2. This kid is a beast.

Senior QB/DB Braxton Elliot: Braxton has not thrown the ball that much this year but is deadly on the ground. He comes in second in rushing on the team and is always looking to break the big play.

Senior FB/LB Austin Benales: Austin comes in third in rushing but has made a definite impact on the defensive side of the ball. He came up with 2 huge sacks and 3 TFL last week.

Springs Valley Blackhawks

Springs Valley is considered to be one of the top teams in Class A and I would not be surprised to see them make a deep postseason run. They are efficient in nearly all facets of the game and have won both of their games this year by over 35 points.

Photo Courtesy of @FootballSprings

Strengths

The Blackhawks also impose a daunting running attack led by Senior RB Ezra Mills. While sticking mostly to the running game, the ‘Hawks have shown to be adept at the pass as well. Defensively they are holding opponents to single digits this year with a suffocating style of D.

Weaknesses

Statistically, I gotta admit, I’m not finding much of a weakness to this year’s squad, although both games have come against subpar competition. Their week one opponent is ranked 50th in Class A while their week 2 opponent is ranked 54th in 2A. It will be interesting to see what they can do against a tougher opponent in the Paoli Rams.

Players To Watch

Senior RB/OLB Ezra Mills: Ezra leads the team in rushing with 234 averaging 9 yds a carry and comes into this game with an incredible 7 TD.

Junior QB Mavrick Land: While he has not been called to throw the ball very often he has been the model of consistency when his number is called. Land comes into the game with 205 yards passing with a 67% completion percentage and an insane 149.3 QB rating.

The entire defense: The ‘Hawks D comes into Friday’s contest with 22 tackles for loss including 7 sacks, and 2 picks through 2 contests. They have also held each opponent to single digits on the scoreboard.

SISN Prediction:

This week we thought we would leave it up to the fans and see who they think will come away victorious in this years iteration of “The Orange Bowl.” Vote Below!!

Who ya got?!(required)

We can’t wait to head down to French Lick and witness the spectacle that is “The Orange Bowl” and we hope yall pack the place and scream your heads off! Please follow us on all our social media by clicking the icons below for more great Southern Indiana sports coverage.

All Stats Provided by Max Preps, the official stat provider for the IHSAA.

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