Current Weather

Gridiron Preview – The 2022 BDC Championship Game

Finally. The game we have all been waiting for all season long. The undefeated, #8 ranked Carmi-White County Bulldogs and the undefeated, #9 ranked Johnston City Indians battling it out for the Black Diamond Conference title. What else could you ask for? 

For the Bulldogs, the biggest game of the year also means the toughest game of the year. Johnston City has rolled their way to a 7-0 record, with their only speed bump being a thrilling, last second win over Sesser-Valier last week, 33-28. For those fans that recall this Johnston City squad from a year ago, they finished the regular season 8-1 overall and 8-0 in the conference, winning the BDC for the 2nd straight year. Their go-to guy last season was Austin Brown, a 6 foot 1, 195 pound defensive back who has recorded a pair of tackles for the Wisconsin Badgers this season. He is gone, and yet this Johnston City team has gotten better. 

The Indians offense is nearly identical to what the Fairfield Mules have run for years. Huge offensive linemen, fast running backs, and an offensive formation that is extremely difficult to prepare for and stop. JC will distribute the ball to three different running backs, Isaiah Watson (#10), Boston Peyton (#7) and Kaden Dover (#23). Watson is the 2nd leading rusher in the BDC behind Isaac King. Watson has rushed for 801 yards on 87 carries with 18 rushing touchdowns. Peyton has rushed 50 times for 358 yards and 3 touchdowns in just 6 games. Dover has carried it 40 times for 291 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Johnston City, much like Carmi-White County, has had success this season without having to throw the football very much. Quarterback Conner Mowery (15) has only attempted 9 passes this season for 185 yards and 5 touchdowns. 

Along with the speed in the backfield for Johnston City, they have the size up front that has opened holes for Watson, Peyton and Dover. Most notably their left tackle, 6’4” 270 pound senior Logan Hunter (#75), who announced his commitment to Lindenwood University earlier this week. There is no question that the Indians are the biggest and toughest team that Carmi-White County has faced all season, but the Bulldogs have the pieces on their side to win their first conference championship since 2011. 

Led by all-state running back Isaac King, the Bulldogs are in the midst of a historic season. Last week, King broke the CWCHS all-time scoring record, passing Logan Rogers with now 314 points. There are more records in the near future for King. Isaac is 314 yards away from breaking the all-time Black Diamond Conference and the CWCHS career rushing record and 626 yards away from breaking the BDC single-season rushing record. But King isn’t alone, Draxtyn Aud returned back to action after missing week 6 with an ankle injury and did so emphatically, scoring three touchdowns against Eldorado. The Bulldogs have already clinched a playoff spot, but now they are fighting for a top seed in the southern 2A bracket. A win on Friday would almost guarantee a top 3 seed for CWC. 

It has been a while since Carmi had a chance to clinch at least a share of the BDC Championship. In 2016, the Bulldogs entered week 9 with a 7-1 record, needing to beat 4-4 Sesser-Valier to win a share of the conference title. The Dogs were upset 26-7 and eventually lost in the first round of the playoffs. In 2011, Carmi-White County took care of business against Elverado/Trico 63-6 to complete the undefeated season and win their first BDC title in 5 years. In 2003, 8-0 Carmi-White County met 7-1 Johnston City in week 9. A win for Carmi clinched the conference and a win for JC would set up a 3-way tie between CWC, JC and Carterville. The Bulldogs won in convincing fashion, 46-13 to give CWC the crown in their first year in the BDC. That team would go on to nearly make the semi-finals, and is thought of as one of the best teams in school history. 

Calpreps.com predicts the Bulldogs winning a nail-biter, 35-31. 

For fans that can’t make the long drive to Johnston City, they can listen to the game LIVE on 97.3 FM WRUL and online at WRUL.com. They can also watch the game on the WRUL Sports YouTube Channel.

Kickoff is set for 7 PM, the Taylor Eye Care pre-game show will begin at 6:45 PM.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *