Let’s dissect another week of area high school football with your favorite part of the weekend – Bear Necessities.
- The Battle of the Bishops first came to fruition in 1965 when Bishop Luers beat Bishop Dwenger 27-2.From that inaugural meeting to 2016, the two teams played games decided by two points or less just twice – Luers victories of 13-12 in 1979 and 28-27 in 1993.
- Over the last two years, the rivals have equaled that mark with Dwenger winning 15-14 in 2017 and 15-13 on Friday.
- Speaking of Dwenger, is anyone surprised that it was Hayden Ellinger with the big play on the two-point conversion try by Luers late?
- Ellinger got penetration on the inside run by the Knights as they attempted to tie the game and blew up the play, keeping the Saints ahead.
- It was the latest in a season-long highlight reel for the junior linebacker. Through seven games, Ellinger has 46 tackles, nine tackles for loss and nine sacks.
- It was not a bad night for backup quarterbacks in the SAC, at least in the stat line.Sophomore Brandon Davis threw for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns without an interception for Concordia in the absence of Jake Byrd. Davis helped the Cadets put a big score into Wayne in a 27-20 loss.
- Meanwhile, Seth Pearson, in for normal Northrop starter Bailey Meerzo, finished with 122 yards passing and three scores as the Bruins hung tough with Snider for a half before falling 48-21.
- North Side grabbed its 52nd win in the Civil War with South Side dating back 90-plus years, taking back the Totem Pole for the first time since 2015.
- The star on Friday was Alex Holliday-Robinson, who rushed for 231 yards in the victory for the Legends. The junior now has 949 yards on the ground for the year and leads the SAC in that category over the likes of Amir Drew of Concordia and A’nyis Lockett over Snider.
- The fact that Holliday-Robinson is doing what he is doing without much around him in terms of offensive production is even more impressive.
Perhaps forgotten in the Totem Pole loss was the play of Omar Jackson, who kept the Archers close to their first win. Jackson was inserted in at quarterback early in the game, threw for a couple hundred yards and scored all three South Side touchdowns.
- As if it needed any help, East Noble got a boost when junior Hayden Jones returned to the football field a few games into this season.
- A standout on the basketball court, Jones has made an immediate impact for the Knights. On Friday, he was on the receiving end of a 58-yard touchdown pass from Bailey Parker, his first score after missing the first three games, in a 28-14 victory over Columbia City.
- Jones is one of the better two-way players in the NE8. He has an interception to go with 11 tackles defensively, in addition to his nine receptions for 167 yards on offense.
- With Kaiden Harshberger, Gage Ernsberger and now Jones, the Knights have a trio of wideouts who are going to be difficult to handle in the postseason.
- DeKalb has shown that its victory over Columbia City in Week 5 was no fluke, shutting out Huntington North and Norwell in back-to-back weeks to move to 4-3 overall.
- The last time the Barons shut out two straight opponents? You have to go back 32 years to the start of the 1986 season when DeKalb shut out both Carroll and New Haven by a combined score of 48-0. The Barons went on to go 13-1 and win the 4A state title.
- Credit Jay County for a huge 15-14 victory over visiting South Adams. The Patriots are 3-4 but have been close to scoring two more wins, falling to Huntington North by five in Week 2 and getting edged 63-62 by Bluffton a few weeks back.
- Jay County is similar to Leo a few years back, a 4A school in a league full of lower-class foes that could dominate if it gets things going. Coaches across the conference worry about the Patriots finding their way and becoming a dominant force.
- Performances like Friday will elevate that concern looking down the road.
- Just how much better is Adams Central than the rest of the ACAC? The Flying Jets have scored 317 points on the year. No other ACAC team has scored more than 237 points (Woodlan).
- Lost in all of the Angola love in the league this year has been the play of the Lakeland Lakers.
- One week after dropping a double-OT thriller to Central Noble, the Lakers picked apart West Noble on Friday, a team that had lost just once up to that point.
- The key to success has been the running game, with Brandon Pruitt leading a big stable of backs that keep coming after you. It is almost like Lakeland can demoralize foes with the amount of fresh bodies it can put on the field that can carry the ball.
- Lakeland isn’t competing for an NECC Big School title this year, but don’t be surprised if they are back in the mix in the near future.