The playoffs are officially underway.
There was a lot to process and digest out of Friday’s action in Classes 1A to 4A. Seasons ended for some, continued for others.
Let’s look back at all that went down in Week 10.
• What a game at Leo, where the Lions overcame a three-point halftime deficit to beat Angola 21-16. The two teams combined for zero turnovers, just three punts and 35 first downs, truly a great matchup between good programs.
But the difference in this one was, shockingly, Peyton Wall. The senior went for 172 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. He was the leader of a rushing attack that amassed 332 yards rushing on the night, with Mason Sheron chipping in 104 yards on 11 touches.
As long as Wall has room to run, Leo has a chance to beat whoever it plays in 4A.
• We talk so much about the DeKalb rushing game that we have largely neglected the play of the defense in recent weeks.
Entering Friday, the Barons had allowed an average of 14.8 points over their last six games. That includes the 42 points that Leo put up in Week 9.
Against Columbia City, the DeKalb D responded, holding the Eagles to 130 total yards, seven first downs and 2-of-8 on third down in the 29-14 victory.
The defense was pivotal in the second half. With the game tied at 14, DeKalb began to instill its will in the trenches on offense. At the same time, the defense began to shut down Columbia City. It proved to be the winning formula. A player like Jace Griffith doesn’t get enough credit for making the little plays, but was one of many Barons making important plays on Friday.
• Huntington North finished with just 26 yards in its 37-20 victory at South Side, the program’s first road win at an SAC opponent since 1990.
Not only did the passing game struggled, the Vikings finished with just 169 yards of total offense.
How did Huntington North pick up the dub? Special teams and turnovers.
Aidan Hosler’s 25 yard field goal put the Vikings up 16-12 a few minutes into the fourth. Soon after, HN added a touchdown from Reid Johnson to Cameron Foust. After South Side scored to trim the advantage to 23-20, Aden Dennis took an onside kick attempt 50 yards for the touchdown.
Four turnovers were also a big part of the story as well, helping the Vikings move into a home matchup with Mississinewa next week.
• New Haven quarterback Jakar Williams amassed 330 yards of total offense and four touchdowns for the Bulldogs as they rolled past Jay County 47-7.
On the whole, New Haven amassed 515 yards of total offense in the rout. Now, Marion has plenty of athletes too, but Blitz is seriously liking the chances for the Bulldogs at home next week.
• How much was Concordia Lutheran bent on slowing down Maconaquah’s run game?
The Cadets moved around personnel in its base defensive package against the Braves, including lining up cornerback Kam Johnson at defensive end at times in an attempt to seal the edge against running backs turning the corner. Concordia packed the box, daring Maconaquah to throw it, which it did nine times for just 12 yards. Johnson leads the Cadets with three INTs, but was more focused on defending the run on Friday. He wasn’t the only one.
The Braves did run for 385 yards, but Maconaquah had difficulty finishing off drives, while Concordia was piling up points on the other side.
• How about some kudos for West Noble going on the road and shutting out a decent opponent in John Glenn?
Now the Chargers get a powerful, one-loss Mishawaka Marian team, but before we worry about that one, allow Blitz to lay down a little knowledge.
According to Blitz’s research, the last time West Noble shut out a postseason opponent was when the Chargers beat Garrett 14-0 on Oct. 20, 1989.
• There is leaning on a guy that riding him incessantly to a victory. Heritage did the latter in its 29-8 win over winless Northwestern.
Junior Gage Pritchard rushed 33(!) times for 139 yards and two touchdowns for the Patriots. He gained all but four of the team’s rushing yards on the night. Not a bad night at the office.
• There were some nervous moments early on at Luersfield before Bishop Luers pounded Central Noble 45-0 to open the postseason. The game was scoreless at the end of the first quarter and just 3-0 a decent amount of time into the second.
It was good to see sophomore quarterback Carson Clark have a night with a pair of touchdowns as well as Ramon Anderson with two scores.
How high can the Knights fly in 2A? We will get a good idea of that next week when they hit the road to go to eight-win Eastside.
• Speaking of Eastside, great job by the Blazers in keeping their heads about them and not panicking in a scoreless game at halftime with Woodlan. Coach Todd Mason’s team came out and immediately executed a scoring drive to open the third, then began cruising in a 21-0 victory.
Outside the Huddle was at Woodlan for this one, and it was another showcase as we saw all around the area last night that the end of a high school career can be crushing. But something about Woodlan quarterback Ben Reidy scrambling and spinning away from a trio of Eastside defenders to complete the final pass of his senior season to little brother Joe warms the heart. The elder Reidy’s injury riddled senior season leaves a lot of questions of what could have been at Woodlan. But the last play helped.
• What happened to Bluffton? The Tigers’ 27-7 loss to Fairfield at home was Blitz’s biggest surprise of Week 10.
Four interceptions of Hayden Nern by the Falcons helped out immeasurably, as well as a running game that 239 yards on the ground. Fairfield only attempted four passes, completing one for 11 yards.
It was not the result we expected with Bluffton, which was in the conversation as a sectional title contender.
• Just another stat-filled night for James Arnold in helping South Adams to a 49-7 victory over Tri-Central. The junior went 14-of-23 for 303 yards and five touchdowns with a single interception.
Aidan Wanner and Drew Stutzman each caught two touchdown passes from Arnold, who continues to pile up ridiculous numbers for the Starfires.
• Adams Central held Tri-Central to 1.4 yards per rushing attempt in its 48-8 win.
If the Flying Jets take on Southwood in a sectional championship, it will be fascinating to watch how Coach Michael Mosser’s defense adjusts to what the Knights do. Southwood loves the short passing game with crosses and slants over the middle. Can Adams Central defend that in addition to stopping a running game that is no slouch?
Quite a good storyline if we see the two meet up in a few weeks for their fourth straight year in the playoffs.
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.