West Lafayette drilled the Kings 56-8 in a game that was halted after three quarters because of lightning.
“The last thing you want to do is play them after the loss they had last week,” Northwestern coach John Hendryx said. “I’m sure they’ve had a very spirited week of practice. I don’t think that was their ‘A’ game they brought to West Lafayette.”
Hendryx hopes his squad is ready for a big step up in competition.
“[Cass’] competition those first two weeks — no offense to who we’ve played, they’re just better [opponents],” he said. “It seems like some of the years it’s taken us a quarter or more to get up to their game speed and their physicality. We can’t wait until then. We have to be ready to play from the opening kickoff. We have to be ready for their speed and physicality because it will be different than what we’ve seen so far.
“We have an awful lot of seniors, but an awful lot are playing Cass for the first time other than on some special teams here and there. It’s going to be different.”
Cass also is breaking in a lot of new players this season following heavy graduation losses. The Kings went 11-2 and won a Class 2A sectional last year.
“It’s a little different Cass team,” Hendryx said. “They’re not as big as they’ve been, but I think they’re as quick or quicker than I’ve seen them for awhile. They really run to the ball well defensively. Offensively, we run a very similar offense, and I think they have very impressive guards. The [Cody] Campbell kid might be the best lineman in the conference. They present a lot of challenges.
“And I don’t put a lot of stock into last week. I’ve been on the end of those games. Once it starts snowballing, you can’t stop it.”