As Columbus North football coach Tim Bless points out, his team knows how to honor its seniors.
The Bull Dogs have gone 7-1 on Senior Night since 2002, and most of those wins have come in emphatic fashion.
The only defeat in that stretch came in 2008 against Southport, the team North will host at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the 2012 version of Senior Night.
In North’s past seven victories on Senior Night, it has outscored the opposition 280-42, and four of those wins were shutouts.
About the Cardinals
North’s opponent: Southport Cardinals
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Columbus North High School
Record: Southport 5-3 overall, 4-2 Conference Indiana after an 18-7 win against Bloomington North on Friday
Most recent meeting: Lost to Columbus North 28-27 in 2011
Key players: QB Robert Webb, TB Christian Perry, WR David Boyer, WR Tim Jewell
Southport coach: Bill Peebles
Certainly, North needs that kind of defensive performance against the Cardinals, who are 5-3 overall and 4-2 in Conference Indiana.
Not only are the Bull Dogs (3-5, 3-3) facing a team that has won four of its past five games, it will be trying to mount an offense with some key injuries.
Starting tailback Jesse Tompkins continues to be out with an AC joint sprain, and his backup, Jamaal Halliburton, is questionable with a sprained ankle. Sophomore Josh Holt might get the call.
North has been primarily depending on its rushing game because its passing attack has struggled most of the season.
The Cardinals’ defense has given up a lot of yards and points this season, so North might be able to rely on its offensive line to keep the momentum building for the playoffs. North has won its past two games after a 1-5 start.
North’s defense will be facing Cardinals quarterback Robert Webb, who has completed 63 percent of his passes this season and also is a top running threat. Tailback Christian Perry is closing on 1,000 yards rushing, and wide receivers David Boyer and Tim Jewell have had big seasons. Jewell has averaged 25 yards a catch.
Southport’s top defensive player is defensive end Dondaycee Millbrook, who has seven sacks.
The two teams have split the past four games of the series, with North taking a 28-27 win last season.