The dust has settled and Blitz is making final preparations for his long hibernation. While you lesser beings are trudging through months of cold, snow and ice, this bear will cozily be sleeping away and looking forward to the 2020 football season.
Before Blitz takes his long rest, how about some season-ending awards? All this week, Blitz will be giving out some awards for each conference in northeast Indiana, and what about one more prediction?
We conclude today with the SAC.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JAKE ARCHBOLD, HOMESTEAD
The senior had the single-greatest individual effort of the season when he scored four different ways and amassed four interceptions in Homestead’s win over Carroll to capture a sectional championship. Yet Archbold was a stud all season long.
The two-way menace picked apart defenses from his slot position in the Homestead offense to the tune of 40 receptions for 665 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also added over 200 yards rushing and three scores on the ground.
Defensively, Archbold was arguably even deadlier, totaling nine interceptions and 45 tackles.
Archbold affected the game more than any other player in the conference.
HONORABLE MENTION: Luke Goode, Homestead; Randy Holtz, Snider; Cam Rogers, Homestead.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: JEFFREY BECKER, CARROLL
Carroll’s turnaround season from three wins to seven came due to a variety of factors, but tops on the list was the play of sophomore quarterback Jeffrey Becker.
Questions were about as the season began if a young newcomer could lead the offensive attack of the Chargers. All Becker did was throw for 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns and run for another 526 yards and six scores.
Time and again Becker used his agility to escape pressure and make plays outside of the pocket. His arm strength and accuracy impressed week after week, and the sophomore played with more confidence as the season progressed.
Without Becker, Carroll may have had trouble finishing above .500.
HONORABLE MENTION: Devon Tippmann, Bishop Dwenger; Keshaun Fields, Wayne; Duce Taylor, North Side.
BREAKOUT PLAYER: DUCE TAYLOR, NORTH SIDE
The Legends doubled its output of victories for the second straight season under Coach Mike Brevard, notching four wins on the year.
Taylor was the architect of every single one of those wins. Missing time due to transfer rules as well as a gruesome injury in which he lost the tip of a finger, Taylor fulfilled the role of one of the most dynamic and unpredictable players in the entire SAC.
Taylor’s propensity to lengthen plays and make the best of situations downfield helped North Side come back several times from deficits, namely the Totem Pole game where the Legends stormed back from down double digits to beat South Side 17-16.
Taylor will be a dangerous foe next season after another offseason of development.
HONORABLE MENTION: Layton Mitchell, Carroll; Maxwell Burney, South Side; Luke Palmer, Homestead.
COACH OF THE YEAR: CHAD ZOLMAN, HOMESTEAD
Homestead finished just one win away from winning an SAC crown back in 2017, the closest the Spartans had gotten prior to 2019 to winning the Victory Bell.
But that changed this past season with an undefeated run into the playoffs with Zolman at the helm. While the roster was talented, it was no more than past Homestead squads that had fallen short of earning the respect that comes from a league champion.
Zolman balanced expectations and pushed the right buttons for the Spartans all season long.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jason Garrett, Bishop Dwenger; Doug Dinan, Carroll.
GAME OF THE YEAR: SNIDER 21, CARROLL 20
Carroll appeared to be on the verge of tying Snider late in regulation of the teams’ Week 2 matchup at Spuller Stadium, but a block of the PAT by Panthers junior Reece Thomas ended up securing the victory for Coach Kurt Tippmann’s team.
A fabulous back-and-forth game was decided by the seemingly innocuous play that has been a benchmark of Snider success over the decades – making a big play in an unassuming situation.
This game also signified the emergence of Jeffrey Becker as a legit QB against the best the SAC has to offer.
HONORABLE MENTION: North Side 17, South Side 16; Homestead 17, Bishop Dwenger 15; Northrop 40, Concordia 33, OT.
BLITZ’S EARLY PREDICTION FOR 2020 LEAGUE TITLE: SNIDER
For the second-straight season, the Snider Panthers dropped a pair of games in league play. The program now has not won the Victory Bell since 2017, a drought that is the longest since 2006-2011.
Considering Snider’s powerhouse status, this is a big deal.
Jon Barnes Jr. and a host of other offensive standouts are gone. Same goes for a defense that loses stalwarts such as Gianini Belizaire, Kam Trotter and Jayshawn Underwood.
But Snider is Snider for a reason. It reloads instead of rebuilds. Blitz thinks the talent will be found to bring the Victory Bell back off Reed Road.
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