May 21, 2024

Friday, September 8th at 7:30 pm EST, the Paoli Rams will travel to Perry Central, to play out what could be a potential sectional 40 matchup. These two teams are no strangers and share little love for one another. Two of the best running backs in Southern Indiana are set to square off, and I assure you there will be sparks.

Paoli’s Trey Rominger, the incoming second place rushing leader in the state, and Perry Central’s Sawyer Guillaume, who is currently the number 2 rusher in the state with 612 yards and has 3 rushing TD in each of his first 3 games. Trey is sitting at 17th with 483 rushing yards and 6 TDs.

Trey Rominger, #24 SR FB/RB, Paoli Rams Football
Trey Rominger, #24 SR FB/RB, Paoli Rams Football

John Harrel’s Game Capsule

Paoli (2-1) at Perry Central (1-2)
GAME TIME: 6:30 pm CT, Perry Central.
COACHES: Neil Dittmer, 23-12 in 4th year at Paoli. Greg Gibson, 77-46 in 12th year at Perry Central.
SAGARIN RATINGS: Paoli, 58.31, 114th overall, 9th in 2A. Perry Central, 38.09, 226th overall, 39th in 2A.
LAST OUTING: Paoli defeated Springs Valley, 42-18. Perry Central defeated Crawford County, 60-7.
OPPONENTS’ RECORDS: Paoli 3-6. Perry Central 4-5.
SERIES LAST 35 YEARS: Perry Central, 20-14
LAST MEETING: Perry Central, 49-26, Sep. 9, 2022.
jh PREDICTION: Paoli, 38-21.

The graphic above is from John Harrel’s website. Mr. Harrel is picking Paoli to win this time around 38-21, which is great for Paoli, but I think it’ll be a little closer. In my eyes, the Commodores have the advantage, they hold the historic record over Paoli 20-14, and in his tenure at Paoli, Rams’ head coach Neil Dittmer, has not beaten this Greg Gibson coached team. Doesn’t mean its bad to be the underdog either.

As in previous years, this game will be all about rushing the ball. Perry will rely heavily on Sawyer, while Paoli has a couple more weapons, with Rominger, Cole, and Padget all capable of explosive plays. The real test will be the battle at the line, who can create the most gaps, and which defense comes to play.

Perry Central has had big linemen in the past, monsters, and they didn’t have a problem controlling the momentum. The Commodores lost 3 senior Lineman from last season, I’m not sure if they’re the bulldozers I remember, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting Sawyer’s open lanes. He’s still running marathons.

Guillaume had room to run all day in last year’s matchup, and Paoli knows they need an answer this time around. He had 19 carries for 277 rushing yards and 5 TDs in their previous win over the Rams.

Sawyer Guillaume, JR RB, Perry Central
Sawyer Guillaume, SR RB, Perry Central

On the flip side, Trey Rominger had 18 carries for 123 yards and no TDs. Trey did break the Rams career rushing record in the game, but with the loss and lack of scoring opportunities it was a bittersweet moment.

This year Trey is coming off a monster game at Springs Valley. His 30 carries for 235 yards and 4 TDs. 7 tackles & 1 FF nominates him as a SISN Player of the Week. Paoli came to play against Springs Valley and brought a lot of spunk. They’ll be bringing that vibe south Friday.

The Comodores are coming off a huge win over Crawford County, 60-7.

Paoli’s defense is much improved from last season, but I still see Sawyer having a big day for Perry. The Rams will be tested more in this game than they were against Boonville. I know that both teams adamantly want to get this win. It’ll be a mental battle just as much as a physical one.

Perry Central’s current season has started off a little funky with a record of 1-2. They lost their first two games to Tell City and Forest Park, both opponents playing good football to start the season, especially Tell City. PC’s Guillaume had great games in both of those losses, but his opponents were able to answer back and win.

As I’ve said in every post from here out, the difference again will be Paoli’s defense. The linebacker core of Rominger, Nunez, Reynolds, Apple and Hannon are tough. The D line are holding their assignments well, allowing the backfield to operate. They will have to outlast and get some key stops. It’ll be a shoot-out, and a single mistake could cost the game.

Regardless of the outcome, I imagine it’s going to be an exciting brawl in the trenches between two great teams in IHSAA Sectional 40.

SISN IU Football Photo Opportunity

Sadly, I will not be able to attend the game. I will be attending my first IU football game as a photographer. I wasn’t aware until last week that the IU game was a Friday game. And to quote IU’s head coach Tom Allen, “Friday Night is for High School Football.” No college should be playing on Friday’s, but whatever. After going back and forth, I decided I wanted to experience being on the field for a college game and just take it all in.

In 1996, my dad took me to Memorial Stadium. We watched IU phenom running back Alex Smith just have his way with whoever they were playing. From that experience, I always told myself I wanted to be down there on the sidelines. Down in the trenches. I probably thought it’d be as a football player, but I’m too lazy for all that. Being on the sidelines taking photos is still pretty cool. I’ll take it. Look for me in the endzone, it’s hard to miss my giant butt.

A prep standout at Franklin County, Alex Smith was the first IndyStar Mr. Football. He set a Big Ten freshman rushing record with 1,475 yards and flirted with Herschel Walker’s NCAA record. Injury slowed him his sophomore year (769 yards), but he rebounded a year later with 1,248 yards. His 3,492 career rushing yards (in just three seasons) are third-most on the school’s all-time rushing list, behind only Anthony Thompson and Antwaan Randle El. – From Indy Star Article

So yes, I was torn about missing this Paoli and Perry Central game. I do live in Bedford, so a Friday night when I’m not driving two hours one way is nice, but I’ve grown to really like this small town of Paoli and the people who’ve accepted me and read the articles I write. They probably ain’t great, but it’s all you folks have for now. So, you have to stomach me for just a little bit longer! I like this football team, the coaches, and the young men I’ve watched grow from the sidelines.

I’ll be keeping close tabs while I’m at the IU game and I’ll still be writing an after-game review. But if you fans at the game want to help, I thought it may be cool to post some of your thoughts on the website. Someone tell Olivia to send us some pictures, we’ll get her featured on the site, if she wants to. Keely will also be making her professional debut with some photos as well! (I also think she should write us a blurb!)

If you are going to the game and would like to send us pictures, videos, or a quote about the game, please do! We’ll share your photos, and any quotes you wanted to share, with credit to you. Give us your thoughts on how the game played out, some quick recaps, your players of the game, shout outs, etc. You can send us a message on Facebook or email us at SINSportsNetwork@gmail.com. And Perry Central fans, please feel free to send us stuff as well!

Once again, we’d like to thank Rominger Farms for sponsoring our coverage of Paoli Rams Football. We wouldn’t be doing this without their support! Thank you!

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