Can we officially say football season is in full gear now that it is Week 2? Per usual for a Thursday, Blitz made his picks for game winners and Carroll and Snider were discussed in the Game of the Week preview but now it is game day Friday and that means mentioning five individual players you should be watching when you are out at games tonight.
EVAN ESHBACH, DEKALB
There was a lot of hype surrounding Eshbach (pictured) in the preseason for what he did at Wawasee a season ago. Justified? Nobody really knew the answer to that until opening night when he threw for 214 yards and three scores. On pace for another 2,000-yard season (through Week 1 anyway), Eshbach’s arm should no longer be questioned. His offensive line gave him time to be able to really read the field and he was able to do impressive things with the time. A thread-the-needle touchdown to Easton Rhoades as well as a downfield cannon pass to Kai Zacharias showcased his diversity.
Eshbach has also put himself in a leadership role as a senior despite being the new kid. DeKalb is still able to play with a chip on its shoulder and Eshbach is willing to wear the weight of that. While Garrett saw the ball thrown 21 times by Prairie Heights last week, none of it was to the effect that Eshbach can have in the pocket.
KYLE CAUDILL, SOUTH SIDE
Last week, Northrop was held to just 70 yards on the ground because of a strong Homestead defensive front. This week, the Archers will need to repeat what the Spartans did to keep Jeremiah Green from major yardage.
Caudill can be a major run stopper and once he wraps his arms around you, it is hard for any rusher to get away. While the Archers were on the losing end in Week 1, Caudill wrapped up Concordia’s Amir Drew several times. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound defensive end could play foil to Northrop if he can get into the backfield consistently.
NATE MOORE, WAYNE
Not to bore you with the details, but Moore was a stud receiver a year ago for the team he and Wayne face tonight – Bishop Luers. Neither team has gotten off to a positive start, but the guess is Moore will be a little more motived against his former team.
Last week, he caught three passes for just 15 yards as Wayne stalled against the Bishop Dwenger defense. Judging by the amount of points Bishop Luers gave up last week in a loss to Carroll, there are some holes in the Knights defense for Wayne to work with. A motivated Moore is clearly one of the top pass catchers in the area. There can’t be much more motivation for him than avoiding going 0-2 and beating his former team. Quarterback Aidan Meek is going to go to Moore quite a bit, let’s see what he does with it.
MICHAEL SIEVERS, COLUMBIA CITY
It didn’t take long into the season for Sievers to show why he’s a physical vertical threat. Early in the second quarter against Hammond Gavit in Week 1, he was on the receiving end of a Greg Bolt pass that went 92 yards for a score. It was one of three receptions on the night totaling 117 yards.
A big target, physically and skill wise, Sievers is a big part of why people think the Eagles could contend in the upper end of the Northeast 8. He has solid hands and the trust of his quarterback. Columbia City has the speed and size to try and attack Central Noble through the air, meaning Sievers could be in for another big night.
ANTONIO LUEVANOS, ANGOLA
Being on the losing end of a football game may not get as much respect put on your name as it deserves, but Luevanos was one of the break-out stars of Week 1 and he should be a similar type of threat against Leo, which wasn’t tested much against Woodlan.
While Luevanos only caught three passes, he made the most out of it with 159 yards receiving, bookending the Angola scoring with a pair of 59-yard receptions. His second came with under 15 seconds to go in regulation and was impressive because it showed his lack of willingness to give up in a game that seemed like it was over.
Luevanos also ran a ton of times for a ton of yards (18 times for 145 yards if you are counting). He is a major threat anytime he touches the ball and his slick cuts make pushing him to the sideline very difficult. Leo will have their hands full.