High school football: Nick Page, Brinn Robbins provide 'backbone' of Central Catholic defense

LAFAYETTE - They are defined as safeties, but utilized more as linebackers.

They certainly play with a linebacker mentality in Central Catholic's 4-2-5 defensive look.

And they are the heart and soul of the Knights' defense.

Nick Page is the cerebral outspoken leader. Brinn Robbins is the savvy, athletically-gifted hard hitter who always seems to be around the football.

"Both of those guys are playing the same position and they have been the backbone of our defense," Central Catholic coach Brian Nay said. "Most of the time they are at the second level. They are able to get everybody lined up in front of them. They are able to communicate coverages on our back end as well.

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"We ask them to do it at a high level and they’ve been doing it all year. The defense has been up and down, but those two have been consistent throughout."

Central Catholic duo leading the way on defense

Combined, Robbins (37) and Page (33) have 70 tackles, which is even more impressive when you consider their first assignment is to turn ball carriers back inside and let linebackers Aiden Sattler and Isaac Buche clean up.

Robbins leads the team with three interceptions, including a pick-six at West Lafayette, and Page has two pass breakups.

"We feed off of each other’s energy and the defense’s energy," Robbins said. "If somebody makes a play, we all make a play."

Central Catholic's Nick Page (18) dives into the end zone to score on an interception during the fourth quarter of an IHSAA football game, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 in Lafayette.
Central Catholic's Nick Page (18) dives into the end zone to score on an interception during the fourth quarter of an IHSAA football game, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021 in Lafayette.

Football wise, the duo is very similar.

Their personality traits are far different, however.

Robbins is soft spoken and a self-described "lead by example and hope everyone else follows" type.

Page has memorized the playbook and knows every defensive player's role and is never afraid to voice his opinion.

"I see myself as a leader on the defense and if I am going to lead the defense, I have to know what everybody is doing," Page said. "I can’t just lead certain spots, I have to lead everybody. I take it upon myself to watch film and I’ve been getting the playbook so I can learn all the spots and help everybody out."

They both come with championship experience and hope to bring that to the upcoming football state tournament.

Page was a key player for CC's basketball team that reached the state championship game last season before losing in double overtime.

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Robbins was a starting outfielder and pitcher for the Knights' Class A state championship baseball team last spring.

Both were instrumental for last season's sectional championship football team.

"We’re taking it one week at a time. We’re playing good football and our goal is to be playing our best going into the sectional," Page said. "That is what we do here. We perform in the playoffs and we’re going to try to make a deep run this year."

The last two weeks - wins over Tipton and Rensselaer - have been perhaps CC's best showings of the season, especially considering the caliber of opponents.

The Knights will look for more of the same Friday night against Twin Lakes.

"This feeling of how we’re going right now, how we’re climbing higher up the mountain and hopefully reaching the top, that feeling of (winning state in) baseball is coming in because it is getting close to playoff time," Robbins said. "These are our practice games before it."

Sam King covers sports for the Journal & Courier. Email him at sking@jconline.com and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @samueltking.

IHSAA football Week 6 recap:High school football Week 6 scores and highlights

Twin Lakes (1-5) at Central Catholic (4-2) game info

Time: 7 p.m.

Sagarin ratings: Twin Lakes 18.34, Central Catholic 58.47.

Series history: Central Catholic has won 22 of 35 meetings, including three straight after last year's 63-7 victory.

About Twin Lakes: The Indians average 14.5 points and allow 27.5 per game. ... Twin Lakes has scored just 13 combined points in its last three games. ... Since starting the 2020 season 4-0, the Indians have won just four of 21 games. ... Stat leaders - Passing: Gavin Businger (63-135, 420 yards, 2 TD, 9 INT). ... Rushing: Saige Brandt (104 car., 556 yards, 4 TD), Jacob Oliver (47 car., 228 yards, 3 TD). ... Receiving: Adyn Venters (13 rec., 148 yards, 1 TD), Anthony McFadden (18 rec., 115 yards, 1 TD). ... Tackles: CJ Brummett (56), Kaedon Dishon (39). ... Sacks: Landon Arthur (5), Michael Lohrman (5). ... Interceptions: Caleb Turner (2), Bryce Wilhite (2), McFadden (2). ... Kicking: Ethan Need (9-13 PAT).

About Central Catholic: The Knights average 32.5 points and allow 26.8. ... Central Catholic 35 or more points in its four wins and just 31 combined in its two losses. ... The Knights are ranked seventh in the Class 2A Associated Press and coaches polls. ... Stat leaders - Passing: Bobby Metzger (94-161, 1,145 yards, 17 TD, 8 INT), Ben Mazur (9-14, 103 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT). ... Rushing: Baylor Smith (133 car., 784 yards, 5 TD). ... Receiving: Evan Dienhart (49 rec., 511 yards, 8 TD), Owen Munn (21 rec., 420 yards, 8 TD). ... Tackles: Aiden Sattler (61), Isaac Buche (42). ... Sacks: Aiden Schaefer (2). ... Interceptions: Brinn Robbins (3). ... Kicking: Thomas Henry (26-26 PAT, 2-2 FG, long of 27).

Coach Nay's take: "They are always well coached and they’ve got guys that can make big plays for them. It’s definitely one of those weeks where if you just look too much at someone’s record, you are going to end up disappointed."

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Journal & Courier: IHSAA football: Nick Page, Brinn Robbins lift Central Catholic defense