Showdowns in the SAC and ACAC have us intrigued entering Week 6 of the high school football season.
Who should you keep an eye on tonight? We name five players that could play a big role in their teams’ chances.
BRANDAN YOUNG, WAYNE
The Generals’ brutal second-half schedule begins tonight against Snider, and all eyes will be on the quarterback spot for Wayne.
Craig Young is the predominant threat offensively, but he is marginalized if Brandan Young (no relation) doesn’t do his job behind center.
Young has done an exceptional job protecting the football since Week 1, a three-interception night against Bishop Dwenger. But the challenges presented by the likes of Bishop Luers, Northrop, North and South pale in comparison to a Snider defense that continues to refine itself with each passing week.
Brandan Young can make the plays necessary to propel Wayne to a win. Will he deliver?
TAVAREON SCOTT, SNIDER
Combating Brandan Young will be a Panthers defensive line built around senior stud Gianini Belizaire. But coming off the edge is a guy with a name almost as good and a skill set just as disruptive.
Scott leads Snider in tackles (32), tackles for loss (six) and sacks (four). His abilities match his athleticism. One play he is sealing the edge preventing a run to the get to the outside, the next he is brings pressure on a speed rush.
The shifty Brandan Young will present a challenge to Scott and the Snider defense. The senior is a part of the first line of defense against the Wayne QB tonight.
JASHAWN BERLANGA, ADAMS CENTRAL
Sure, we could write about Logan Macklin here and it would be well deserved. But there are plenty of other players that are key to the Flying Jets’ success.
One is Berlanga, who from his linebacker spot has 31 tackles, four sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss through five games.
The Flying Jets are a tough team to move the ball on because of guys like Berlanga, who at 5-foot-11, 230 pounds is one of the beefier players on the roster.
With South Adams still a predominantly young team, could AC have the edge tonight because of senior experience? Berlanga, along with guys like Macklin, Parker Bates and Jalen Hammond, are primed to prove just that.
JAMES ARNOLD, SOUTH ADAMS
The sophomore set a record last week for passing yards in a single game when he went for 328 yards in a rout of state-ranked Monroe Central. Can he have another stellar game against an undefeated opponent?
Ideally, the Starfires are able to move the ball on the ground against Adams Central with Christian Summersett and Drake Deitsch. That will open up opportunities in the passing game for Arnold.
While still young, Arnold has proven he can shine in the pocket in the clutch. Can he do it at home against the undefeated Flying Jets?
NORM KNAPKE, BISHOP LUERS
After throwing for 551 yards last week, could we see an encore tonight?
The senior may not post crazy numbers like he did in Week 5, but he should have another good game against Northrop. The Knights and Bruins are allowing a combined 64.6 points per game, so expect plenty of points on the scoreboard.
Knapke has thrown for 1,423 yards and 13 touchdowns through the first five games. With Luers likely having to match Northrop score for score to get a win, expect those season stats to jump even higher.