Teams crossed the finish line of the regular season on Friday with Week 9. All eyes will now go onto the postseason that kicks off next week.
Blitz and Outside the Huddle will jump into the deep end of sectional prep over the next week. But before we look ahead, let’s take a look back at all that went down on Friday night, and what it could mean in the coming weeks.
• Despite being 0-8 entering Friday, Wayne showed plenty of fight in a 20-12 loss to Carroll, particularly in the rush game.
The Generals put up 299 yards on the ground in the loss and added another 173 through the air with quarterback Aidan Meek. Keshaun Fields rushed for 157 yards and Shawn Collins added 104 on the ground.
Wayne has a tough challenge going to state-ranked Marion next week to open the postseason, but Blitz is encouraged with what he saw out of the Generals on Friday. This is a winless team that could have given up on the season by now.
He doesn’t like having to suffer through a season like this, but Coach Derrick Moore is showing how good of a coach he truly is getting his guys to still fight hard even though the team doesn’t have a victory.
• OK, so Blitz whiffed on the Concordia-North Side pick, going with the Legends to win. Instead, the Cadets earned a 35-7 victory that likely surprised many in the margin of victory.
Should we feel more optimistic regarding Concordia or pessimistic about North? Blitz is going with the former. Brandon Davis completed just seven passes but averaged 26.8 yards per completion. He connected with Tyler Grossman and Jalen Vanderbosch for touchdowns while also rushing for a 60-yard score.
Vanderbosch also had a pair of interceptions.
The ability of Davis to be a dual-threat quarterback could be paramount as Concordia looks to go deep in 3A. However, it is the defense who will be challenged next week against Maconaquah’s rushing game.
• If Homestead needed to make a statement in Week 9, it sure did so in a 56-0 rout of South Side.
The Spartans amassed 502 yards of total offense while holding the Archers to just 41 yards.
Luke Goode threw three touchdowns and rushed for another. The junior enters the postseason with a TD:INT ratio of 23:1.
Nik Martin continues to be the best player no one wants to talk about on the Homestead defense. The senior outside linebacker had team highs in tackles (seven) and TFL (three)
• Bishop Dwenger is always talked about as that disciplined team that does not shoot itself in the foot very often.
Friday’s 9-7 win over Northrop showcased some kinks in that believe regarding the Saints. A pair of lost fumbles killed drives and five penalties also hurt.
Dwenger also converted 7-of-10 on third down and held the Bruins to 182 total yards, but there are some issues the Saints need to address. Don’t put them in that 5A game against New Palestine just yet.
• Congratulations to Columbia City for ending its four-game losing streak with a tough 17-14 win over Norwell.
Blitz spoke to Eagles coach Brett Fox earlier this week and he felt positive about his team despite the skid. He mentioned how while his team needed to play better, it has been one of those years in which Columbia City just hasn’t gotten the lucky bounces or plays go their way.
With a Week 9 win, Columbia City will head into a rematch with DeKalb with some positive vibes.
• Bailey Parker’s six touchdowns in East Noble’s 56-7 beatdown of Bellmont tied him with Andrew McCormick and Nic Weimer for the program record for touchdowns thrown in a game. Parker has now accounted for 38 touchdowns on the year – 28 through the air and 10 on the ground.
There have only been four East Noble teams go undefeated in the regular season – 2019, 2004, 2003 and 1915, which was the first year for the program.
• We said earlier this week that GT Baker would be key when it came to Leo’s defense slowing down the DeKalb rushing attack. That ended up being the truth as the middle linebacker led the Lions with 12 tackles in the 42-19 road victory.
The Barons entered Friday averaging 263 yards per game on the ground. Leo held them to “only” 174 yards, but it was enough to stymie DeKalb’s offense and put it out of sync.
• New Haven rushed for just 43 yards in its 35-7 victory over Huntington North.
Quarterback Jakar Williams picked up the slack, throwing for 249 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to their fourth win in the last five games.
Jamar Hutchins and Nijae Fields-Lewis both had a pair of touchdown receptions for the ‘Dogs.
• Just when you think you have seen everything the South Adams offense has to offer, Coach Grant Moser throws something new at you to keep you on your toes.
In Friday’s 49-15 victory over Southern Wells, the Starfires put offensive lineman Parker Collinsworth in the backfield and he scored a touchdown after taking a handoff close to the end zone.
“Parker is a kid who has worked so hard for our program for four years and doesn’t get much playing time,” Moser said. “(The touchdown) meant a lot to him.”
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior adds another weapon for South Adams heading into the playoffs. Who doesn’t need a player to be “The Fridge” in short-yardage situations?
• It wasn’t pretty, but Bluffton’s 7-2 win at Lakeland was a good bounce back for the Tigers after laying an egg in Week 8 at home against Adams Central.
Coach Brent Kunkel’s team was held to just nine total first downs and two yards rushing, but the defense did not allow a single completion by Lakeland quarterback Colton Isaacs.
Can Bluffton make a run to a sectional title? Friday’s gutsy effort proved it is possible.
• Churubusco got right after a Week 8 loss to West Noble by beating Fairfield 36-14. Jake Fulk averaged 13.5 yards per rush, hauling the ball 27 times for 250 yards and two scores.
Gage Kelly got into the fun too by going for 122 and two scores on nine touches.
Will the Eagles be able to run the ball against undefeated Southwood next week? That will be the difference between a win and a loss.
• Eastside’s 14-13 victory over Angola is the program’s third win in a row by a single point.
The Blazers’ last one-point loss came in sectional in 2015, a 14-13 loss to Woodlan.
• Josh Gross had himself a night to cap his final career regular-season prep football game. He rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns in West Noble’s 42-7 victory over Prairie Heights.
Gross also picked off a trio of Prairie Heights passes as well.
West Noble has a tough road game at Glenn to start the playoffs next 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