The opening week of the season is full of shockers, eyebrow raisers and much-too-soon blanket judgments on programs.
Allow Blitz to put some things in perspective as he breaks down all that happened in Week 1.
SUMMIT ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
The debut of sophomore quarterback Jeffrey Becker was nothing short of impressive in Carroll’s 42-0 demolition of Bishop Luers. After three-straight incompletions on the opening drive, Becker settled in and looked the part of a veteran QB running the offense for the Chargers.
Becker had the benefit of a tremendous amount of time in the pocket. Bishop Luers was never able to get a pass rush of any kind. Becker made some sophomore mistakes, including being a bit late on some reads and also not going out of bounds late in the first half that forced the Chargers to call a timeout. But by and large, Becker lived up to the hype of being one of the top young signalcallers in the area, finishing 16-of-30 for 224 yards and a touchdown pass.
Next week will be a much bigger test at Spuller Stadium against Snider. Do not expect Becker to have the comfort of nary a pass rush in Week 2.
• Should Bishop Luers fans be concerned?
Yes is the short answer, although probably not as much as some like to believe.
The lack of depth on the Knights’ roster has been a well-documented issue. Factor in some injury problems already and you have the recipe for the first shutout of Luers since 2013.
The offensive line was missing two starters and gave starting QB Christian Fly next to no time to throw. The senior looked uneasy anyway, but with Carroll defenders in the backfield on the regular it made Fly extremely uncomfortable.
That said, the score was 14-0 early in the third quarter when Fly hit Jamic Johnson down the seam for what looked like a sure touchdown. The pass was dropped and the Knights had to punt. If the Knights had closed to within 14-7 with momentum, it could have been a different story on Friday. At the very least, the game would not have appeared so lopsided.
• How long did it take for the first safety of the season to occur? It went down at Spuller Stadium on Northrop’s first possession against Homestead.
Jeremiah Green lost seven yards on first down, which pushed the Bruins back to their own 1-yard line. The Homestead defense eventually forced a punt, where Northrop punter Tarik Bajgoric bobbled the snap and the ball bounced out of the back of the end zone.
Minutes into the 2019 season and we had a rare 2-0 score.
• Who needs basketball?
Luke Goode (pictured) threw for 256 yards and four touchdowns for the Spartans in Friday’s 43-6 victory over Northrop. Half of those scores went to former quarterback Jake Archbold, who finished with five receptions for 30 yards
Archbold was also big defensive for Homestead, showing that moving away from the QB spot was a great decision both individually and for the team.
• Remember when Bishop Dwenger beat Wayne last November and Brenden Lytle completed just a single pass?
It was much different on Friday, with Lytle going 13-of-17 for 224 yards and two touchdowns.
The Saints no longer have to find ways to win games while protecting a sophomore quarterback, like they had to do at times in 2018. Now, Lytle is a legit weapon who can spread the field with a host of capable receivers.
Simply put, the Saints can not just win games with its passing game, it has the potential to dominate opponents with it.
• Brandon Davis looked shaky in the scrimmage against East Noble, but he showed out for Concordia in Friday’s win over South Side.
The junior threw for 235 yards and three scores in the win, taking some of the pressure off of running back Amir Drew, who eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark on 18 attempts.
All in all, it was a productive night for an offense mixing in a lot of new faces.
NORTHEAST 8 CONFERENCE
What a win for DeKalb over Angola, but more challenges loom.
The Barons last began the season 1-0 in 2015, but followed a win over Angola with losses to Garrett, New Haven and East Noble.
DeKalb’s next three opponents? Garrett New Haven and East Noble.
Look, this program deserves to celebrate what it did on Friday night. But it will be Coach Pete Kempf’s job to refocus the team quickly as it looks to continue the momentum in Week 2 and beyond.
• All Bailey Parker did in Week 1 was amass 360 yards of total offense, score five touchdowns, nine tackles, three passes defended and a forced fumble as East Noble fought back to beat Plymouth late with a monster comeback on the road.
And there are still people of the opinion that this kid wouldn’t be able to shine in the SAC. Please.
• The systematic destruction of Woodlan at the hands of Leo was a bit of an eye-opener in Week 1. While the Warriors have some athletes, they are rebuilding up front on both sides of the ball, something that does not come easy or quickly (just ask Bishop Luers).
Peyton Wall picked up 251 yards and four touchdowns on the ground on just 13 touches. For you interested in math, that’s an average of 19.3 yards per rush. Ridiculous.
• How about some kudos to Columbia City, which went to a different time zone for a 20-16 win over Hammond Gavit on Friday night.
A young offensive line played like one at times for the Eagles, and Greg Bolt was a bit nervous early at quarterback, but the Columbia City defense had five INTs (and dropped two others) to help the team to a W.
• So much attention is given to the Summit Athletic Conference in local media. Most of it is for good reason, with some of the top programs in the state residing within Fort Wayne.
But consider this: the Northeast 8 had four games decided by four points or less in Week 1. The closest game in the SAC was decided by 35 points.
Look, the majority of the best talent and the best teams are in the SAC, but the best GAMES week in and week out aren’t necessarily in that league. There is a lot of disparity between the Dwengers and Sniders and the Northrops and South Sides. Not having the ability to schedule out of conference hurts the product as well in terms of competitive matchups.
ALLEN COUNTY ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Blitz was stupid enough to pick against Adams Central on Friday, believing the lack of proven experience would cost them on the road at Bellmont.
The Flying Jets went on to win 40-0.
Coach Michael Mosser is as humble as they come in regards to his coaching ability and his team’s success, but he undersold his team considerably in preseason. It is just one game, but the new-look Flying Jets are going to be just as dangerous as the last few years.
• Cody Mittlestedt could be the next Bluffton running back to put up big numbers in the vein of Everett Johnson, Brandon Lockwood and D’Wayne Eskridge.
Mittlestedt went for 113 yards and a pair of scores for the Tigers in a 24-20 victory over Northfield.
NORTHEAST CORNER CONFERNCE
Angola lost but may have found a new offensive star in Antonio Luevanos. The senior amassed 304 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in the loss to DeKalb.
Don’t worry Hornets fans, your team is going to be just fine.
• Churubusco coach Paul Sade said over the summer that he was going to heavily rely on his proven veterans on offense to carry the load this year.
That was evident on Friday with Jake Fulk rushing for 278 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries in a 26-0 win over Whitko.
Fulk is a bruiser who only gets better the more you feed him the ball. Look for more of the same in the coming weeks from the senior.
• Garrett’s 35-0 shutout of Prairie Heights is the third straight year in while the Railroaders have opened the season with a blanking of the Panthers. Next Friday’s showdown with county foe DeKalb should be a bruiser; neither team is going to be willing to lose that one.
• There are plenty of things more important than football, including appreciating those people who have made a big impact on our youth.
That was evident on Friday as West Noble honored former track coach and teacher Chuck Schlemmer, who passed away last week.
West Noble coach Monte Mawhorter told WANE-TV last week that “no one will be able to replace Schlemmer” in the school community. While winning is secondary to bigger things, it was cool to see the Chargers get a victory over their rival Central Noble on Friday.
These opinions represent those of Blitz and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Blitz on Twitter at Blitz_OTH