Blitz’s Week 8 Power Poll

Homestead’s Evan Ormsby fires a pass during an October 2 game against Carroll. (Photo by Leverage Photography)

And just like that, only two weeks remain in the regular season.

While minimal changes at the top, it would seem that Blitz has the SAC hierarchy pretty figured out.

Elsewhere, the NE8 still holds plenty of intrigue over the final two weeks, while the elite of the NECC and ACAC remain stout.

Let’s take a look at how Blitz has the best teams in the area ranked this week.

1. HOMESTEAD (6-1)

WHY #1?

Is Evan Ormsby a Player of the Year candidate? The senior quarterback has thrown 16 touchdowns and rushed for three more in the last three weeks, including six scores in a 70-41 defeat of Carroll in which he set program records for yards in a game and total TDs.

With games against Wayne and South Side remaining, the Spartans are in a good spot to win their second-straight SAC title.

2. BISHOP DWENGER (6-1)

WHY #2?

The Saints continue to do their part in staying in the SAC race with three consecutive wins, most recently a 43-6 drubbing of rival Bishop Luers.

Barring a miracle, Bishop Dwenger is going to fall literally a foot short of a league title, with Brenden Lytle having been stopped on a two-point conversion in the third OT against Homestead.

Despite the one loss, the Saints are gearing up for what could be a significant run in the 5A playoffs.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The lone loss to Homestead is the reason, and a very good one if Blitz may say so himself.

3. CARROLL (5-2)

WHY #3?

Despite a drubbing at the hands of their rival in what was the Chargers’ sixth straight loss to Homestead, Blitz still feels comfortable keeping Carroll at No. 3 in this poll.

Why? Well, Blitz is not sure any defense in the area can contain Jeff Becker, and he isn’t sure anyone in the NE8 has the firepower to keep up with the Chargers in a track meet.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Why the offense continues to put up big numbers, there are growing concerns regarding the Carroll defense and its ability (or lack thereof) to slow down dynamic offenses.

North Side put up 48, Bishop Dwenger 31 and Homestead 70. That’s a problem if the Chargers want to have success in the postseason, even with a big-time offense.

4. LEO (6-1)

WHY #4?

The Lions continued to flex their muscles in the NE8 last week, shutting down a potent Huntington North running attack and delivering their fourth shutout of the season.

One more test looms for Leo, this week at Columbia City. Barring something crazy on the turf against the Eagles, Blitz likes the Lions to sweep through the conference with an undefeated record.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Could the Leo defense slow down the offenses of Homestead or Carroll? Could they match Bishop Dwenger’s physicality? Blitz isn’t sure.

5. NORWELL (6-1)

WHY #5?

Are the Knights the second-best team in the Northeast 8? It is starting to look that way as Norwell has won four straight overall.

While the Knights had a solid defense last year as well, this season has seen the emergence of a very good offense that can put up some big numbers.

Depending on what happens over the next two weeks, Norwell could enter Sectional 27 as the team to beat, even over Concordia Lutheran.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Norwell’s lone loss came to Leo in a 17-0 shutout, so you cannot rank the Knights above the Lions.

6. SOUTH ADAMS (7-0)

WHY #6?

The Starfires continue to march up the poll. How high is Blitz willing to put them? This feels like the apex of what they are capable of matched up against higher classes.

But South Adams has nothing to prove to anyone outside of 1A, where they currently are the No. 1 ranked team in the state. This team is priming itself for a potential run to Indianapolis on Thanksgiving weekend.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Tough to put a 1A school in the top 5. Even for Blitz, that is too difficult.

7. EAST NOBLE (4-3)

WHY #7?

The Knights got back in the win column last week with a convincing victory over Columbia City. The return of Rowan Zolman was big, as was the consistent play of Cole Schupbach at quarterback in place of Dalton Stinson.

Looking ahead, East Noble has a good shot at finishing 6-3 before entering a very difficult Sectional 19.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Losses to Norwell and Leo is a good place to start, as is an offense that is averaging just 20 points per game, although competition has been stiff.

8. WARSAW (6-1)

WHY #8?

Could Warsaw be a threat in Sectional 3 with the likes of Snider, Homestead and Carroll? Look past the Tigers at your own risk. Coach Bart Curtis’ team has the potential to be 8-1 entering the playoffs, although the Northern Lakes Conference is down by traditional standards.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

No other area opponents outside of Huntington North, a team the Tigers beat by just seven. However, that was way back in Week 1.

Warsaw will have a chance to prove Blitz that it is underrated in Sectional 3.

9. COLUMBIA CITY (6-1)

WHY #9?

Despite a 17-point loss to East Noble last week, the Eagles were within three to start the fourth quarter.

This team still has a shot to win at least a share of the Northeast 8 if it can be winners in each of the next two weeks. However, the two opponents, Leo and Norwell, are a combined 12-2.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

The Eagles plummeted in Blitz’s poll after last week’s loss. Coach Brett Fox’s team can rebound with an impressive performance at home on Friday against Leo.

10. SNIDER (4-3)

WHY #10?

Winners of four of their last five, the Panthers return to Blitz’s top 10, and it is well deserved.

In hindsight, the combination of a youthful defense and playing North Side and Carroll the first two weeks was a recipe for disaster. Since then, the only other defeat has come by lopsided fashion to Homestead.

Is Snider going to go on a deep postseason run? Probably not. But does it deserve some respect for being where they are after how the season started? No doubt.

WHY NOT HIGHER?

Three conference losses by 30 points.

NEXT FIVE

11. Concordia

12. Eastside

13. Fairfield

14. New Haven

15. Angola

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