Just when we feel we can get comfortable on where we think we are this season, a week like we just had can throw things out of whack again.
The SAC continues to be unpredictable, the NE8 has a myriad of contenders and the ACAC and NECC have some intrigue.
Let’s break it all down, shall we?
• Opportunity presented itself to Bishop Luers on Friday night, and the Knights took advantage.
After scoring just 13 points over their last two games, the Knights were able to get going against a North Side defense that has struggled at times this season. When Carson Clark found Brody Glenn in the final seconds to give Bishop Luers the 49-46 victory, it earned Coach Kyle Lindsay’s team a much-needed dub.
The key on that drive? A Clark to Krashaun Menson conversion on 4th-and-2 that put the Knights in the red zone.
The squads combined for 688 yards passing.
• Speaking of North Side, it was a tough week for the program with the tragic shooting death of Theo Redmond, a 2020 graduate that was killed during a drive-by shooting in Youngstown, OH.
Blitz cannot imagine trying to get a football team prepped and ready to go for a game when dealing with a tragedy of that magnitude. Redmond was a carefree, energetic spirit who was always a guy who could make people laugh and keep people loose.
Losing Friday’s game in such heartbreaking fashion further added to the difficulty of the last several days.
North Side has a ton of talent and hopefully it can bounce back, but it is understandable that their minds may have been elsewhere other than focused on preparing for the Knights this week.
• Can we talk about South Side for a second?
The Archers are largely an afterthought week in and week out, the team many consider to be the worst in the SAC.
Yet Friday saw South Side break through with a 29-28 victory over Wayne, and how can you not feel good for ‘em?
The Archers work just as hard as every other program, every Friday going out and giving it their all, and most of the time falling short.
That wasn’t the case against the Generals. On 4th-and-15 in the fourth quarter, QB Javonte Malone rolled out to the right looking for an open receiver. Wayne did a good job in coverage, so Malone took off, rushing 25 yards for the go-ahead score that proved to be the game winner.
Trevor Hapner also came up big with a strip sack for a touchdown for South.
It was nice to watch South get a win, and hopefully one turns into multiple victories.
• Big catches seemed to be a trend across the entire area on Friday night. Some of the biggest ones happened in Concordia Lutheran‘s win over Northrop. Tyler Grossman, Kam Johnson and Scottie Vanlandingham all made timely and big time receptions.
Grossman made the most of his targets, compiling 4 receptions for 99 yards in the win. In the third quarter, he extended Concordia’s lead by essentially tipping a 50/50 ball up to himself in the end zone for a score. Meanwhile Vanlandingham and Johnson were important targets across the middle for Concordia QB Brandon Davis.
• How quickly has Evan Ormsby become a true weapon for Homestead?
You could see the uncertainty through the first two games of the season, but Friday’s five-TD performance against Snider showed that those days are over.
The senior Ormsby threw for 262 yards on the game as Homestead won its fourth straight. It is easy to see what Coach Chad Zolman went with Ormsby in the QB battle in the preseason. He shows poise and confidence in the role and knows the offense as well as anyone.
Ormsby is becoming the vertical threat that helps complete that Spartans offense.
• With all of the above said about the SAC, it is important to point out how big Saturday night’s game between Bishop Dwenger and Carroll was. The Saints’ win does force a tie at the top of the conference but not in a way where there is likely to be three co-champions. Homestead now controls its own destiny and can repeat as champions if they win out. If Carroll were to defeat Homestead in week 7, then Dwenger is in the title driver seat.
Saturday night’s game was full of big performances and battles. None may have been more fun to watch than the fights that Carroll’s Mason Englert and Bishop Dwenger’s Callan Stauffer put on for jump balls on passes from Carroll’s Jeff Becker. Great receptions, great defense and Stauffer’s one interception highlighted this battle.
The SAC is assured after this week of not having either an undefeated team or a winless team in conference play. The last time that happened? 1993.
• Columbia City kept its undefeated season intact, escaping DeKalb with a 13-12 overtime victory.
When asked why his team struggled so much on Friday, Coach Brett Fox pointed to his team’s struggles on the road.
While the Eagles are 2-0 away from home this year, the team lost their final three road games in 2019. Is it a lack of preparedness? Is it a mindset? Tough to say, but Columbia City needs to figure it out with road challenges at East Noble and Norwell looming.
A big takeaway from their overtime win though? Columbia City is now 5-0 for the first time since 1969.
• It wasn’t a stretch to consider Norwell a favorite at home against New Haven, but to dissect the Bulldogs by 35 points? No one saw that coming.
Norwell has held four of five opponents to eight points or less, and even held Leo to 17 points in Week 3.
Friday may have been the best performance yet as the Knights limited New Haven to 154 total yards, seven first downs and just 1-of-9 on third down.
This is no longer just a cute run by Norwell in the depths of the NE8. The Knights are capable of beating anyone in the league.
• South Adams finally got a semi-challenge from a team in Friday’s 31-14 victory over Monroe Central.
Was it a legit challenge? Maybe not, but at least forced the starters to play meaningful snaps after halftime.
The game can only help South Adams prepare for Adams Central coming up in Week 6, as well as the postseason where the Starfires will surely run up against teams where games come down to some big fourth quarter plays.
Coach Grant Moser is a happy guy because his team did NOT pound Monroe Central. Weird, right?
• Once again it was nothing flashy for Adams Central in a 42-6 rout of Heritage.
The Flying Jets amassed 423 yards of total offense, all of which came on the ground. AC went 0-of-6 passing.
Blake Heyerly rushed 20 times for 167 yards and a score, while Alex Currie added 126 yards and two TDs on the ground.
Quarterback Ryan Black scored a trio of TDs rushing on eight carries, finishing with 84 yards.
Can Adams Central move the chains with the run next week against South Adams? Time will tell.
• We are used to seeing Bluffton running back Cody Mittlestedt putting up big numbers in the ground game, but Friday was a bit different.
MIttlestedt was the recipient of seven passes from Hayden Nern and went for 173 total receiving yards in the 48-7 victory over Jay County.
Nern finished with 348 passing yards and six touchdowns, two to Mittlestedt.
• Lakeland may be 1-4 but it has some solid talent on the offensive side of the ball.
Colton Isaacs threw for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 49-27 loss to Angola on Friday. Deion Marshall had four catches for 140 yards and two scores.
• Speaking of Angola, the brothers Hasselman – QB Tucker and running back Finley – combined for 234 rushing yards and five touchdowns in that win over Lakeland. Tucker also threw for another score in the victory.
• While the hype will be around Adams Central and South Adams next week with the ACAC title on the line, another league title will likely be decided in the NECC. Angola and Fairfield – a combined 7-0 – will face off with the NECC Big Division title likely on the line.
Fairfield is 4-0 for the first time since 2012.
• Will Hoover of Central Noble led the Cougars in their close 35-34 win over Fremont. No only did he rush for 183 yards and three TDs, but he threw a 56-yard touchdown and added seven solo tackles and 14 assisted tackles in the win.
North Side’s Duce Taylor has twice this season thrown for six touchdowns in a Legends loss…Huntington North and Bellmont combined for 584 yards of total offense on Friday, just 25 of which were passing yards…Bellmont senior kicker Grace Schuemann became the first female player in the history of Bellmont football to score a point…Prior to Friday’s 24-0 loss, East Noble had not been shut out in a conference game since Sept. 18, 1998, a 24-0 loss at Carroll in the old NHC…Doug Rakes of Fairview (OH) threw for eight touchdowns to six different receivers in the 69-0 win over Woodlan..Laban Davis of Eastside averaged 11.5 points per rush in Friday’s win while scoring four touchdowns.
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