It's rivalry week in the Black Diamond Conference with the top four teams going head to head. Undefeated Fairfield travels to undefeated Carmi-White County while Johnston City and Chester square off at Johnston City for second place.
"We both got beat by 4-0 ball teams, so there are some similarities with how our seasons have gone," said Johnston City coach Dan Mings. "We're 3-1, so it's not the end of the world, but this a big game and we don't want to make it tougher on us that it has to."
Since joining the Black Diamond in 2010 the series is tied at 3-3, but Chester has won the three of the four meetings, including 34-21 last year.
"This is a big week and it seems every time we play them it's a final quarter type of a game," said Chester coach Jeremy Blechle. "I love week five with Johnston City even though they have a cool home field advantage with loud speakers, big scoreboard, turf field and a big grandstand. It's a hard place to play."
Chester (3-1, 3-1 BDC) lost to Fairfield 22-12 to open the season, but since then has won three in a row and is coming off a 28-8 win over Sesser-Valier-Waltonville-Woodlawn at home.
Last week the Yellow Jackets scored on the first drive of the game on running back Chris Lang's 47-yard touchdown reception from Nick Meyer. S-V-W-W fumbled the kickoff and 40 seconds later and Jacob Golding rushed in from 15 yards out and Chester led 14-0.
Offensively, the Yellow Jackets had 266 total yards. Golding led the rushing attack with 81 yards on 14 carries with Lang adding 78 yards on eight carries. Meyer threw for 108 yards completing four of seven passes for two touchdowns and no interceptions.
For the season, Chester has averaged 264 yards a game rushing with Lang the leader with 443 yards and seven touchdowns. Golding is second with 286 yards and three touchdowns.
"Our tailback Chris Lang doesn't always get the bulk of the carries, but he's the guy who makes big plays," Blechle said. "We also have a big-time fullback Jacob Golding. He's ground and pound tackle to tackle. He gets our hard earned yards."
Through the air Meyer has completed 11-of-24 passes for 249 yards with three touchdown passes and one interception.
"Nick's older brother Curt started the season at quarterback, but he got hurt against Fairfield and little brother stepped in and really shined," Blechle said. "He's developed faster than we thought. He scrambles well and can throw on the move. He also has a good pocket presence."
Defensively, defensive end Golding led with six tackles and one sack. Defensive backs Nick Hefferman and William Moreland had five and four tackles, respectively.
"The last three games we've held our opponents to 100 yards or less," Blechle said. "Golding is a tear and has to be accounted for. We made a point this summer to work on pass coverage and they've been pretty stingy when it comes to the pass game."
Johnston City dropped out of a tie for first place with a 33-14 loss to Carmi-White County last week.
"We're not a bad football team, but we looked like one," Mings said. "Last week was a shock to my system with the lack of effort. We talked to them and then had one of the best Monday practices I've ever had, so we hope we can rebound this week."
The Indian offense was held to seven first downs and 143 total yards. Leading rusher Luca Gualdoni was held to 45 yards rushing on 12 carries and quarterback Alex Blades threw three interceptions while completing 6-of-16 passes for 72 yards.
The Indian defense gave up 20 first downs and 341 total yards, including 193 yards passing and 148 rushing.