Bellmont will be playing for a winning season against offensive powerhouse East Noble Friday, while Adams Central eyes a 7-2 regular season finish with a win against Woodlan, and South Adams will try for four straight wins at Southern Wells.
The Braves might have to go without all-time leading rusher Daniel Meyer, who is still suffering some affects of a sprained ankle. He's been rehabbing all week and hopes to play.
"Daniel will start the game, and it'll be his 47th straight start. We don't know after that," said Burkhalter, who would like to have Meyer 100 percent in one week when the Braves host No. 1 Eastbrook in a rematch of last year's sectional title game, won by Eastbrook.
"Daniel has worked hard and done everything he needed to in order to heal it this week. I'd hate to see him aggravate it," said the coach.
Meyer will be honored prior to the game for being the all-time leading Bellmont rusher with 3,444 yards to date.
Bellmont has a big task with a new-look East Noble team.
"It's a lot different than the two tight ends of past years. They have very fast kids, they spread the field and throw the ball, plus their quarterback (A.J. Dove) can flat out run. They're going to test our defense," said Burkhalter.
East Noble has 1,693 passing yards and over 3000 total yards, 8.29 a play, and Dove has 44 touchdown passes. He adds 476 rushing yards.
East Noble used a last-second TD pass to beat Homestead, but then lost to Columbia City 56-55 on a two-point conversion at the end.
The Eagles, East Noble and Homestead go into the final game with a share of the conference lead.
"You've got to credit their coaches for matching their talent with that offense. They have the tools," said the BHS coach.
"We have to have some defensive stops, some three-and-outs. We have to pound the ball at them and keep it away as much as possible," explained the coach.
Landon Baker and Brad Busse will see action at fullback if Meyer does not go. Junior Brooks Faurote will likely miss another game at defensive back, with Josh Hall playing in his spot.
Woodlan The Game
Our biggest challenge this week is not looking past Woodlan for Churubusco," said AC coach Michael Mosser.
"This is hard to do. Even our coaches are gearing up for 'Busco."
The Jets used solid defense to stop Bluffton last week 14-12.
"I'm really excited about how well our defense is playing. We needed them to come along, especially with the playoffs approaching.