Bulldogs prepare for matchup against Heritage Christian

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20210909tp lapel football12Lapel quarterback Brennan Stow, shown here in a file photo, completed 13 of 18 passes, with one interception, for 161 yards and three touchdowns in the win against North Decatur on Friday. Brian Gill | For The Times-Post

LAPEL — Coming off one of their better games of the season, the timing couldn’t be better for the Lapel Bulldogs.
Lapel improved to 5-1 with last week’s 45-15 victory at Traders Point Christian.
“I thought our kids came ready to play,” Lapel head coach Tim Miller said. “Defensively, I thought we played really well. We gave up one score early, but for the most part we were solid all night. Offensively, we were about as efficient you could ask for.
“I thought, all around, it was one of our better performances this year.”
Lapel wants to continue playing well and take momentum gained into this week’s matchup.
The Bulldogs visit Heritage Christian, unbeaten and ranked No. 6 in Class 2A.
The teams are a combined 11-1 on the season, with Lapel’s lone loss coming to Lutheran, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 1A.
Located in Indianapolis, Heritage Christian may not have that natural rivalry with Lapel, but the two programs have built one over the past few years.
The teams have met in each of the past seven seasons. HC leads that series 4-3, including the past two games. Lapel won three straight from 2016-18.
For the most part, the games have been close, though the Eagles won big in 2020 (41-19).
“We’ve been on each other’s schedule for eight years and have developed a nice little football rivalry,” Miller said. “We are eerily similar, even to the point where we run versions of the same defense and we’re both run and pass. It should be a great one at their place on Friday.
“You want as much momentum going into the tournament as you can.”
Both teams have a big-time quarterback, running back and favorite target.
Lapel quarterback Brennan Stow is coming off another strong game. He completed 13 of 14 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win. He also ran the ball seven times for 66 yards and a score.
On the season, he has completed 69 of 86 throws for a startling 80.2 percent accuracy. He has 13 TD passes and three interceptions.
HC quarterback Kyle Antoine has similar numbers. Antoine also has 13 TD passes and two interceptions. He averages 203.2 passing yards per game and has completed 98 of 139 (70.5%) for 1,219 yards. Antoine has rushed for eight touchdowns and 295 yards. Stow has two rushing scores 318 yards.
Lapel junior running back Tyler Dollar gave the Bulldogs a nice run-pass balance in the win against Traders Point.
He had 23 carries for 182 yards and two touchdowns. For the season, Dollar has four 100-plus rushing yards games, 14 touchdowns and 886 total yards on the ground.
Heritage Christian will answer with Colton Brown, who has six 100-plus rushing yards games and 800 yards on the year. He has six touchdowns.
Stow and Antoine have favorite receivers, too.
Lapel sophomore Nick Witte had five grabs for 154 yards and two TDs last week. For the season, he has 24 receptions for 502 yards and eight scores.
Heritage Christian’s top receiver, Zac Schloemer, has 45 catches for 557 yards and nine touchdowns.
In the win versus Traders Point Christian, the strong defensive performance mentioned by Miller was led by linebacker Kyle Shelton, who had a team-high 10 tackles and one of the team’s four interceptions.
Brock Harper had two picks to go with seven tackles. Isaiah Hicks had the other INT. Charlie Pitcock and Ethan Stewart each had three tackles for loss. Coleton Kadinger had nine tackles.
The similarity doesn’t end with the offensive stars and the defensive schemes.
Both Lapel and Heritage Christian have wins over Traders Point Christian and Shenandoah. Heritage Christian has also defeated Eastern Hancock, the Bulldogs’ Week 9 opponent.
“They’re undefeated. The last few years we’ve had some great games with them — hoping for another one on Friday,” Miller said.