Blitz is with you, he is getting excited about the sectional championship games we have on tap next week.
But before we at OutsidetheHuddle.net delve into looking ahead, let’s look back on Friday night and what we learned.
- Snider coach Kurt Tippmann used the word “sponge” to describe junior quarterback Jon Barnes Jr. when talking about his ability to take in information. His transformation from a guy who looked noticeably uncomfortable in the pocket in Week 2 against Carroll picked apart the Chargers’ defense on Friday to the tune of 244 yards and four touchdowns on just 13 pass attempts in a win.Confidence on offense goes a long way, and Snider has plenty of it entering next week’s game against Homestead. The offensive line has been solidified after early-season sketchiness and Barnes’ development complements a solid running game.
- How long before people start giving some serious kudos to the Homestead defense?The Spartans limited Northrop to just seven points in Friday’s victory, snapping a streak of 22-consecutive games in which the Bruins had scored in double digits.Junior Cam Rogers is a man child at the middle level of the Spartans defense. He has the physical attributes to fight off blocks and has the sideline-to-sideline speed to blow up teams trying to get to the edge. Fellow junior ‘backer Nik Martin is a great guy on the outside of the defense as well.
The question going into next Friday is, can this Homestead defense get the necessary stops to contend with Snider? At this point, Blitz thinks they can.
- OK, let’s talk Dwenger v. Wayne.For the second-straight week, the Generals destroyed an opponent, this time a not terrible New Haven team. Meanwhile, the Saints went about their business in shutting down Leo.
In Week 1, the Generals could do next to nothing on the ground at a sloshy (yes, sloshy) Zollner Stadium. Kelsaw did not play while Fields was held to 47 yards on 14 carries.As Blitz sees it, Wayne will be ready emotionally up front to open holes for the backs. Can Dwenger match the intensity?On Friday, Devonair Kelsaw and Keshaun Fields combined to rush for 275 yards rushing and four touchdowns. The Bulldogs didn’t have a chance as Wayne out-muscled them from the opening kickoff.
There are a lot of different story angles we could take with next week’s showdown at Wayne Stadium. To Blitz, a lot of what will decide this game will come down to Wayne’s running game.
- Blitz said it on Twitter on Friday night and he will say it again here. Bellmont is precisely the reason why everyone makes the playoffs in the state of Indiana.
Sure, 99 percent of the time a winless team exits the postseason fairly quickly. But there are instances, such as the Braves’ 28-21 win over Concordia that now has Coach Marty Ballard’s team 2-9 after being winless entering the playoffs, that show that crazy things can and do happen.
To be clear, even at 0-9 Bellmont was far from a bad team. Their two non-conference foes were Adams Central and South Adams, two teams with a combined record of 18-3. The Braves lost to Norwell by six, New Haven by three and South Adams by three.
A favorable draw gave Bellmont some confidence with a win over Garrett, then followed that up with the upset of Concordia at Zollner.
Marty Ballard deserves to be commended for keeping his kids engaged and competitive through loss after loss. It paid off dividends on Friday.
By the way, Bellmont is 3-1 in its last four games against Concordia and Luers.
- The topic of Zollner Stadium and the condition of the field continued on Friday, with some people believing that aspect of the game helped seal Concordia’s fate.
Concordia starting quarterback Jake Byrd admirably dispelled much of that notion on Twitter on Saturday.
“Field conditions were difficult last night, no doubt about it,” said Byrd in a tweet. “Just takes a little bit more focus and execution. Our team would be the first to tell you that it made our jobs harder but we should have executed better. Never any room for excuses.”
Yes, the field was/is in horrible shape. But Bellmont has to play in the exact same conditions. While it no doubt slowed down Concordia’s athletes, the fact is that if the Cadets play their best football, the game isn’t close at Zollner, Lucas Oil Stadium or the surface of the moon.
Concordia lost that game, Zollner Stadium’s conditions did not lose it.
- Bluffton is not only playing for its first sectional championship since 1988 next week when it hosts Bremen, it also has secured its first seven-win season since 1982.Coach Brent Kunkel is one of the more underrated coaches in the area. In just two years he has completely changed the culture at Bluffton, building from the ground up a program that hasn’t been consistently competitive in a long time.
The Tigers’ chances against Bremen will come down to the offensive line opening holes for Everett Johnson, who rushed for 216 yards and a pair of scores against Prairie Heights on Friday.
- How frustrated was Churubusco at halftime of its 35-10 loss to Adams Central?With less than a minute left in the second quarter, the Eagles were inside the 10-yard line down just four with the chance to take the lead. Following a sequence that included an interception, touchdown, fumbled kickoff and another touchdown on a Hail Mary, ‘Busco trailed 21-3 at the break.
Missed opportunities. The margin for error is slim when trying to knock off a team the caliber of Adams Central. Churubusco did what it needed to do on about 97 percent of the snaps on Friday, getting consistent penetration from its defensive front. Unfortunately, it was that 3 percent of plays that doomed the Eagles.