Eight years have gone by since Greenwood and Indian Creek began a Week 2 football rivalry that’s already managed to deliver a sufficient amount of suspense.
Though the Woodmen hold a 5-3 series advantage, four of the final tallies have been by six or fewer points. The past three games alone were decided by a total spread of 12 points.
Another case of opposites attracting.
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Greenwood and Indian Creek are in different classes (4A and 3A, respectively), different conferences and different sectionals.
The Woodmen like to employ a yards- and clock-consuming running attack on offense, while Braves coach Mike Gillin has yet to meet a pass play he wouldn’t try at some point.
Yet it works.
“I think we probably look at the rivalry a little different than they do,” said Gillin, who can pick up career win No. 300 with an Indian Creek victory Friday night at Greenwood. “For us it’s a measuring stick.
“We always respect Greenwood, and I know (Woodmen coach) Mike (Campbell) does us. I wouldn’t call it a heated rivalry. A lot of the players from the two teams know each other. It’s more of a find-out game, but I’ll tell you, Greenwood is pretty good.”
The Woodmen opened their season by dominating Perry Meridian on both sides of the line of scrimmage in a 34-7 romp. Indian Creek also started with a home game but was dealt a 42-21 drubbing by a very good Lawrenceburg squad.
All of which means nothing when it comes to Greenwood vs. Indian Creek.
Campbell knows the team they’re about to square off against is spending this week’s practice sessions attempting to clean up whatever mistakes were made in the loss to Lawrenceburg.
You don’t stand on the cusp of 300 career “W’s” — Gillin will be the eighth coach in the history of Indiana high school football to achieve such a milestone — by being ordinary.
“Playing Indian Creek is a great challenge for us because of how precise they are in their passing game and the adjustments they make defensively. Mike and I are both competitive guys, but you have to respect the consistency of his programs,” he said.
Adding with a laugh, Campbell added, “Certainly I want him to get his 300th win. Just not this Friday.”
Last season Greenwood opened up a 20-7 halftime lead before holding off the Braves at the end for a 27-21 victory.
During the first year of the rivalry Indian Creek was in its final season as a Class 2A program. The Braves have been classified as 3A in football since the start of the 2009-10 school year.
“Indian Creek was transitioning from a 2A to a 3A program,” Campbell said. “The timing was right.”
The schools signed a four-year contract last November, which keeps the series going at least until the second week of the 2019 regular season.
Indian Creek athletics director Justin Ray wouldn’t be surprised if continues into the 2020s.
“It’s been such a great rivalry,” Ray said. “It’s a great game to have at the beginning of the year, and it draws very well.”