This is part of a series on the state of area football conferences after the first third of the regular season.
By Justin Kenny of Outside the Huddle
This is the third in a series on the state of area football conferences after the first third of the regular season.
How quickly things change.
From 2015-2017, no one outside of Adams Central could get within striking distance of the Woodlan Warriors.
How lopsided was the domination?
Over three seasons, the Warriors went 17-1 in the ACAC with the lone blemish a 30-21 loss to AC in Week 9 last year that earned the Flying Jets the league title. The 17 victories were by an average of 33 points per game. Only one of those wins was decided by single digits, a 21-20 victory over Adams Central in 2015.
But Woodlan is adrift right now. Prior to last Friday’s 33-14 win over Heritage, the Warriors hadn’t scored a point this season, one year after averaging 48 points a contest.
To no one’s surprise, the Flying Jets have ascended to the top of the ACAC. Logan Macklin, despite only coming up to my shins at 5-foot-7, is the best player in the league. But he isn’t alone. Jalen Hammond is a great complement to Macklin on both sides of the ball, while quarterback Parker Bates can make all the plays.
Last week’s convincing 49-21 road win over Class 2A No. 11 Lapel reinforced my opinion that Adams Central does not have an equal within the confines of the ACAC.
Elsewhere, South Adams is 3-0 and looking like the closest competition for AC. The sophomore class has exceptional talents such as two-way stud Nick Miller, quarterback Jason Arnold and defensive standout Christian Summersett. The quarterback carousel seems to have stopped on Arnold, who has looked serviceable at the position, allowing junior Nic Stuber to settle in as the primary ball carrier.
Can the Starfires hang with AC in Week 6? We will see, but Coach Grant Moser’s team feels like it is a year away from the Flying Jets’ level.
Bluffton started the season 2-0 for the first time since 2013 before struggling at South Adams last Friday. Everett Johnson is averaging a first down every carry, showing out much like Brandon Lockwood did last year for the Tigers.
The Patriots of both Heritage and Jay County are still looking to find their respective ways. Heritage’s schedule is frontloaded with difficult foes before lightening up in late September.
Southern Wells appeared to be on the right track with a 42-0 win over Fremont in Week 1, but that game had to be forfeited. Now, the Raiders are 0-3 and have state-ranked Monroe Central and Woodlan the next two weeks.
When it comes to projecting area conference winners, the ACAC looks to have the least intrigue. Adams Central is the standard in 2018.
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