We all whined about the cold weather last night, but the warmth of watching teams celebrate with sectional championship trophies helped keep Blitz cozy.
There is plenty to review from Friday’s action around the area. Let’s take a look.
• Jake Archbold’s performance deserves to be revisited. His four touchdowns (scored four different ways) and four interceptions each rank as season-best performances individually. For them to happen in the same game is remarkable.
So remarkable, in fact, that Archbold’s heroism was noticed by USA Today, which posted a small story on the Homestead senior and the Spartans’ 38-14 victory. Outside the Huddle is even referenced, which of course is the most exciting part of this whole thing.
Archbold now has 16 total touchdowns and eight interceptions on the year.
• Bishop Dwenger opened Friday’s game with three straight three and outs, leading some to speculate that it was going to be another night of struggles for the Saints’ offense.
But Brenden Lytle got going for the Saints, leading them to touchdowns on their next five possessions in the 42-0 rout.
Lytle, who made big play after big play in the run to a state title last year, finishing with more touchdown passes (three) than incompletions (two) for the game. All three passing scores went to Griffin Eifert, who doubled his season total of receiving touchdowns.
• East Noble has now kept seven of its last nine opponents in single digits in points. Gage Ernsberger, Brooks Miller and Hayden Jones all had INTs in the winning effort on Friday.
Twenty years and three days prior to Friday night, East Noble coach Luke Amstutz’s playing career for Carroll came to an end in Kendallville in sectional play. Contrast that with East Noble capturing its first sectional championship since 2003 on the very same field, and you could see why Amstutz was uncharacteristically giddy on Friday following the 14-7 win over Leo.
• Leo’s approach to playing East Noble was a sound one on Friday. The Lions knew that limiting the possessions of the Knights was key in having a chance to win.
Blitz was impressed at how Coach Jared Sauder’s team executed. It put together a pair of first-half drives that took over eight minutes each off the clock.
Unfortunately, Leo was never able to get Peyton Wall in the open field. He finished with just 3.6 yards per rush on 25 carries.
• If there was one play in Friday’s Concordia Lutheran v. Peru game that showed the disparity in talent and speedy between the Cadets and Tigers, a seemingly-routine tackle in the second quarter showcased it perfectly.
With Concordia already up 42-0, Peru was trying to find any kind of positivity when it ran an outside run at its own 25 yard line. As the running back, seemingly in slow motion, attempted to reach the edge and turn the corner, junior defensive back Kam Johnson explodes onto the scene with exceptionally quick closing speed from 20-plus yards out. He takes the legs of the running back out for a loss, all while looking as if he had been shot out of a cannon.
Concordia and Peru was no contest. Many plays proved that, but that single play in particularly stands out in Blitz’s mind.
• Eastside held Fairfield to 85 yards of total offense, four first downs and forced five turnovers in the 34-0 rout on Friday that earned the Blazers their first-ever sectional championship.
It is the second shut out for Eastside this postseason, the first time that has ever been accomplished in the program’s history.
This was only a 7-0 game at the break, but Lane Burns truly helped the Blazers pull away. With a little more than two minutes left in the third, Burns picked off a pass and rushed the other way for a touchdown. Early in the fourth, it was Burns again as he scored from 24 yards out on a pass from Laban Davis.
What was a close game turned into a blowout pretty quickly.
• South Adams continued to break records on Friday, including a few that were done in the first half.
James Arnold’s seven touchdown passes is a record, while Aidan Wanner ties the school record with three touchdown receptions in a single game, along with Trey Schoch, who did the same.
Wanner now has a record 150 points on the seaon.
The team’s 12 victories ties for the most victories in a season in program history, matching the 1992 squad that went 12-1.
• Adams Central faced an incredible 22 third downs in Friday’s game at Northfield, converting 11 of them. The Flying Jets also picked up two fourth downs on four attempts in the victory.
The reward? A rematch with South Adams, with the Starfires earning a 42-14 victory the first time around in the slop.
Some Flying Jets fans are hoping for rain, but that didn’t slow down the Starfires offensively in that matchup.
Next Friday will be the first time that these two Adams County 1A powers will meet in the regional round.
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