Week 2: Five area players to watch tonight on the gridiron

Some players turned enough heads in Week 1 that they should be a focus tonight

Laban Davis of Eastside

Week 1 was certainly an eventful one to get the 2020 high school football season kicked off. Is there any reason to believe that Week 2 will be different?

As always, each Friday we talk about five different players that you should keep an eye on. Maybe they did well last week? Maybe they have a favorable or intriguing matchup?.

The theme this week: all guys playing on the road.

Laban Davis, Eastside (at Adams Central)

Week 1 reminded viewers that Davis (pictured) can hurt you offensively in a lot of different ways. At this time last year, the junior was still coming into his own, but now he has certainly blossomed into a top dual-threat quarterback in the NECC and beyond.

Davis completed 7-of-9 passes last week, with three going for touchdowns. He also worked up 257 yards of offense between throwing and running. Adams Central’s defense is going to be substantially more stout. This was just a seven-point game last year though and with Eastside looking to end a two-year skid versus AC, Davis is going to be focus No. 1.

Christian Summersett, South Adams (at Lewis Cass)

Everyone knows Summersett’s value running the ball. He has been doing it at a high level for multiple seasons and it really opens up the air raid passing game that the Starfires have. Don’t expect that to change tonight, even with a change in opponent and venue.

But if you want to put Summersett’s three touchdown, 135 rushing yard Week 1 aside, then go ahead and realize how he can change the game on the other side of the ball too. Summerset boasted three solo tackles and two assists last week against Winchester as a top-three defensive player. He earned himself one of South Adams’ coveted weekly awards Week 1.

Aden Dennis, Huntington North (at Jay County)

Outside of North Side, the Vikings may have shown the most improvement in the area from Week 1 of 2019 to Week 1 of 2020. They moved the ball well and their run game stayed on task last week even though Warsaw had a slightly better night.

Huntington North will seek its first win of the year at Jay County tonight and Aden Dennis could be in for another big night after going for 96 yards on seven attempts last week while scoring a pair of touchdowns.

Last season, Huntington North drubbed the Patriots? Can they do it again?

Alec Reiff, Bluffton (at Manchester)

The questions about Bluffton’s offense coming into the season often hinged on the passing game. Quarterback Hayden Nern is improved, but after Kain Thornton’s graduation, who was going to be a big target with solid hands Nern could aim for? In Week 1, it was Reiff, who hauled in six of Nern’s 13 completions for a team-high 98 yards. Like with South Adams, Bluffton thrived in Week 1 being able to balance out its offensive attack and open things up. If we go off of what we saw against Northfield, Reiff could be the main guy to sling the ball to.

Luke Palmer, Homestead (at Concordia Lutheran)

No excuses, just football.

That said, the Spartans were missing a significant portion of their starting defense last week in the loss to Northrop, including Palmer. We’ve been told he was chomping at the bit to be out there, so don’t be surprised if he wants to make an impact tonight in his season opener.

While Homestead scored well last week, it was the run defense that wasn’t there. Northrop ran for 340 yards and if it wasn’t for the return of the Spartan defense, Amir Drew of Concordia would look to have the same kind of night. Palmer led Homestead with 97 tackles (8.1 per game) last season so his return is monumental for a team looking to avoid an 0-2 start.

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