The middle of September is about the time we can begin to make judgments about teams with a healthy amount of certainty. There is enough of a sample size to determine who is good and who isn’t.
It also means we have crossed into the second half of the season, with every team guaranteed 10 games.
As we prepare for the final month of the regular season, let’s look back and give out some first half awards.
MVP – Logan Macklin, Adams Central
Blitz debated this category for awhile, then realized it is a no brainer. Macklin is one of the best two-way players in the area and is one of the stars for undefeated Adams Central.
As a wingback, Macklin has amassed 609 yards rushing and eight touchdowns along with eight receptions for 187 yards. Defensively, he has been just as effective from his linebacker spot (28 tackles, 2.5 TFL, two INTs).
This is a true “most valuable” with Adams Central being a 1A team. With so many guys going both ways, those who are difference makers on both offense and defense shine brighter.
Macklin is your MVP in the area. It is not close.
HONORABLE MENTION: Bailey Meerzo, Northrop; Craig Young, Wayne; Kaiden Harshberger, East Noble.
BIGGEST SURPRISE – Northrop
In a league full of weekly surprises, it is tough to determine a true shocker in the upper half of the league.
The Bruins are “only” 2-3, but a dominating victory over Carroll and competitive losses to Homestead, Wayne and Concordia have made Northrop a tough out each Friday.
The offense has always been dangerous, but this year it feels like it has been taken to another level. Bailey Meerzo is one of the best quarterbacks in the area, and he has plenty of weapons to choose from in running back Jeremiah Green and wideouts Davieun Berry and Qualen Pettus.
Northrop is a threat to win every single week. That was not something that could be said in recent years.
HONORABLE MENTION: West Noble, Central Noble, Warsaw.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT – Homestead
It is not that the Spartans have been terrible at 2-3 and victories over Northrop and Concordia, it is just that we expected more. And why wouldn’t we? Homestead had lost three or more regular season games just once since 2014.
Many people want to debate the two-quarterback system of Luke Goode and Jake Archbold. But that duo has thrown for over 1,100 yards through five games.
The concerning aspect of the offense has been the running attack and the inconsistency of the offensive line. The Spartans are averaging just 3.4 yards per carry. Scoring just 17 points over the last two games – the lowest two-game total for Homestead since 2004 – is a sign that the offense is still seeking consistency.
HONORABLE MENTION: Carroll, Leo, Garrett.
BREAKOUT STAR – Gaven Vogt, Carroll
Jack Miguel did not get enough respect for what he did behind center for the Chargers last year. The same can be said about Vogt in 2018.
Through five games, Vogt has thrown for 1,283 yards and 13 TDs. Prior to last week’s trio of interceptions against Dwenger, the senior had tossed just two picks. He was particularly effective in the 38-14 win over Snider, throwing for 227 yards and a score and also running for a touchdown.
With Vogt behind center, Carroll is a threat in every game.
HONORABLE MENTION: Liam Fletcher, Concordia; Brandan Young, Wayne; Alonzo Derrick, Snider; Nick Miller, South Adams.
BEST GAME – North Side 52, Bishop Luers 49, Sept. 14
This game had it all, except maybe defense. The two teams combined for over 1,000 yards of offense as both the Knights and Legends marched up and down the field at will. Norm Knapke threw for a Luers record 551 yards in defeat, while Alex Holliday-Robinson rushed for a school record 328 yards for North Side.
While this game wasn’t a big one in terms of the SAC race, it was an entertaining game all the way until the end with North getting a defensive stop with the Knights driving. It also saw the Legends end their 20-game losing streak.
HONORABLE MENTION: Luers 34, Concordia 31, 2OT, Week 4; Wayne 41, Northrop 40, Week 3; New Haven 24, Leo 21, Week 4.
TEAM WITH BEST CHANCE TO REACH INDIANAPOLIS – Adams Central
There are plenty of quality teams in the upper classes, but none have looked like a shoe-in to reach Lucas Oil Stadium over Thanksgiving weekend. Snider will have to deal with a brutal 6A field. The 4A North is loaded, making the road tough for the likes of Dwenger, Wayne and Angola.
Adams Central is a senior-laden squad that has handled all challengers with relative ease, although South Adams and Woodlan loom. The Flying Jets have forced 10 turnovers, are holding teams to 3.6 yards per rush and barely 11 points per game. The destruction of state-ranked Lapel was an eye-opener.
It’s not a sexy pick, but the Flying Jets hold the edge here.
HONORABLE MENTION: Bishop Luers, Concordia.
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