Blitz_Inset 2Power Polling is not easy folks.

Blitz tends to put a lot of credence on strength of schedule and just who teams are playing instead of by record. Each week, I tend to hear from folks wondering how I have Adams Central so low or why Angola isn’t above at least half of the teams in the SAC.

Well, I tend to grade on a curve, and the difficulty of the SAC tends to tip favor towards those teams that reside there.

Feel free to call me out if my thought process burns me later.

  1. BISHOP DWENGER

    WHY #1?

    The Saints continue to hold the top spot down after another impressive performance last Friday against Concordia. After a scoreless first quarter, Dwenger turned it on to run away with a 36-13 victory.

    It remains to be seen if Brenden Lytle is the long-term option at quarterback with Patrick O’Keefe nursing an injury. If so, Lytle each week is showing more and more comfort at the position and is gaining confidence in his downfield throwing.

    WHY NOT HIGHER?

    No. 1 reigns supreme.

  2. WAYNE

    WHY #2?

    Any remaining doubters of the Generals at this point are simply haters. The last vestiges of uncertainty regarding the validity of Wayne as a top SAC team were washed away in a 21-7 victory over Snider last Friday.

    There was plenty that stood out in terms of impressiveness with Derrick Moore’s team, none more so than the ability to hold Snider to its lowest point total in an SAC regular-season game since a 10-0 loss to Bishop Dwenger in 2009. Yes, this Panthers offense lacks the teeth that we are used to seeing, but it is still a dangerous group that can go for a long score on any play call if a defense falls asleep.

    The final three games – Concordia, Homestead and Carroll – are not easy. But it is not out of the realm of possibility that Wayne finishes with eight regular-season wins, its most since 2014.

    WHY NOT HIGHER?

    Week 1’s 22-0 loss to Dwenger isn’t going away, but the Generals could get a chance at revenge with the two teams residing in the same sectional.

  3. SNIDER

    WHY #3?

    It would be easy to drop the Panthers after what we saw, and didn’t see, out of the team last week. But really, who deserves to move ahead of Snider right now?

    By now it is clear to see that the offense struggles to move the ball consistently against good defenses. But the offensive line continues to improve and Jon Barnes Jr. is only going to get better.

    However, Snider’s success the remainder of the season will surely come down to how effective its defense is. Wayne made just enough plays and the Panthers made just enough mistakes to lead to a 14-point loss last Friday. If the defense can shore up the miscues and stay healthy, Snider is still a threat in every game it plays.

    WHY NOT HIGHER?

    That aforementioned offense.

  4. HOMESTEAD

    WHY #4?

    Why indeed.

    Despite losses in three of their last four games, I am still under the impression that the Spartans are one of the best teams in the area. Maybe it is the amount of talent on both sides of the ball. Or maybe it is the fact that Homestead is the team that has presented Dwenger will the toughest challenge so far this year.

    Homestead goes to Wayne in two weeks. Keep an eye on that one.

    WHY NOT HIGHER?

    The running game still has not gained much traction for the Spartans’ offense. The team’s leading rusher is sophomore Braeden Hardwick with 324 yards rushing. How many games can Homestead win relying on the arms of Luke Goode and Jake Archbold?

  5. BISHOP LUERS

    WHY #5?

    Another seemingly sentimental pick. But if we treat the SAC where each team outside of Dwenger gets a mulligan, Wayne would be undefeated and Luers would have just one loss – to the Generals.

    Of course, that’s not how things work. But it does point out just how impressive the Knights have been this year outside of the loss to North Side – at least on the offensive end.

    By the way, Jordan Presley is averaging over 200 all-purpose yards per game.

    WHY NOT HIGHER?

    That defense. Luers has Dwenger this week before South and Snider to conclude the regular-season schedule. Can the defensive unit string together some solid games entering the playoffs?

  6. ANGOLA

    WHY #6?

    Downing Fairfield by 70 points was impressive, but last Friday did not teach us anything that we already didn’t know about the Hornets. Fact is, not much over the rest of the regular season is too intriguing for a team that should be undefeated entering the playoffs again.

    WHY NOT HIGHER?

    As I have said previously, the rout at the hands of Dwenger in last year’s regional game looms large. Just how good is Angola REALLY? We won’t know for another month at least.

  7. EAST NOBLE

    WHY #7?

    Entering this week, the Knights look like the class of the NE8. But the next two weeks will be telling against Columbia City and New Haven.

    Quarterback Bailey Parker was zoned in against Norwell, completing 70 percent of his throws for 249 yards and two touchdowns.

    East Noble reminds me of Dwenger in that it does not look like much in terms of star power and domination, but continue to take care of opponent after opponent.

    WHY NOT HIGHER?

    4A is a cluster, so ranking area teams behind Dwenger (and perhaps Wayne) is difficult. East Noble is one of those teams you wish would play an SAC school in the regular season to gain more knowledge of where they stand.

  8. CARROLL

    WHY #8?

    In hindsight, I was a bit too harsh on the Chargers last week, having the silver and blue ranked No. 12. Gaven Vogt has been as unstoppable throwing the ball as teammate Camdyn Childers has been hauling in passes.

    Carroll is going to continue to be a threat considering just how high-powered its offense can be in any given week.

    WHY NOT HIGHER?

    Of Carroll’s three wins, two are against North Side and South Side. The Chargers could very easily be 6-3 or 3-6 at the conclusion of the regular season with a remaining schedule of Homestead, Concordia and Wayne.

  9. CONCORDIA

    WHY #9?

    It is tough to remember a year in which so many SAC teams had the ability to be a threat in any given game because of their offense. Concordia fits into that mold thanks to quarterback Jake Byrd, wideout Kamari Anderson-Drew and others.

    With the conference title out of reach, the remaining third of the regular season will be prep time for the Cadets as they round into form for the 3A playoffs.

    WHY NOT HIGHER?

    This is a team with pieces, but not a complete set in which to compete with the top teams in the league for four quarters. The Cadets will be a tough out in the postseason, but in the grind of the SAC there are too many teams who go deeper than them in terms of personnel.

  10. ADAMS CENTRAL

    WHY #10?

    Logan Macklin rushed for close to 170 yards against county rival South Adams and also forced a pair of fumbles. The kid continues to amaze and is surrounded by fellow seniors that have their sights set on an ACAC title and Lucas Oil Stadium.

    South Adams hung around for a half last Friday, but bowed to the relentless Flying Jets offense in the second half.

    This really could be a special season for AC.

    WHY NOT HIGHER?

    Again, tough to place the Flying Jets above many of the other teams on this list. But that is no knock on AC, but rather how it is as a 1A school surrounded by higher-class powers in the region.

    NEXT FIVE

    11. Northrop

    12. Columbia City

    13. New Haven

    14. Leo

    15. Woodlan

 

 

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