There may not be too many intriguing matchups in Fort Wayne and Allen County tonight, but the NE8 and ACAC are full of games that will set the tone for the conference season as league play begins.
As we look forward to another great night of football, Outside the Huddle has five players you should keep an eye on.
AMIR DREW, CONCORDIA LUTHERAN
The junior began the season well with 118 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns in a win over South Side. But last week against Homestead, he was bottled up for just 35 yards on 14 carries.
If the Cadets are going to hang around with Snider tonight, they will need more Week 1 Drew. It starts up front, where the Cadets are going to have to find a way to get consistent leverage on a physical Panthers defensive front.
Carroll was able to rush for 176 yards against Snider last week. Concordia may be able to study film to see what the Chargers did right and adapt it to their own scheme.
C.J. HALE, BISHOP LUERS
Keep an eye on this kid, a junior who isn’t overly tall (5-foot-6) but is squat and powerful with his running. He is now the primary running back for the Knights and will have to carry the load against Homestead.
Hale went for 115 yards and two scores against Wayne in Week 2. Can the offensive front open holes (and protect quarterback Christian Fly) and avoid being consistently beat off the line like against Carroll? If the answer is yes, Hale can have a big night.
AIDAN MEEK, WAYNE
This could be the break-out week for the sophomore. He is completing 65 percent of his passes on the year and threw for 162 yards and a score in last week’s close loss to Bishop Luers.
A lot of attention is going on fellow sophomore QB Jeffrey Becker of Carroll, and for good reason. However, Meek has made some impressive throws as well, although hasn’t shown the adept running ability of Becker.
With a winnable game at Northrop tonight, look for Meek to further develop the rapport he has established with wideout Nate Moore.
TANNER JACK, DEKALB
The Barons are looking for their first 3-0 start since 2002 with a win this week. It is a sneaky-difficult game on the road at New Haven, a team that is 0-2 and has the look of a squad with its back against the wall.
Jack from his slotback position could be a big factor. The Bulldogs’ speed from sideline to sideline will challenge DeKalb in its ability to big plays. Jack has the ability to break a play and make a defender or two miss. That could be the difference in stealing a win.
BEN REIDY, WOODLAN
We here at OTH thinks Reidy needs a hug. After some hype in the preseason, Woodlan has not even scored through the first two weeks, let alone won a game.
That changes tonight. Reidy has completed just 53 percent of his passes and has thrown four interceptions. The competition has been tough, but Reidy needs to rise to the occasion and be the catalyst that changes the offense’s fortunes.
The Warriors should win comfortably tonight over Heritage. Reidy’s night could lighten the burden on his shoulders and lead to bigger performances in the weeks ahead.