BLITZ’S 2020 STOCK WATCH: Which local teams are good buys as the playoffs near?

South Adams’ James Arnold hands off to Christian Summersett during a September 4 game against Bluffton.

With two weeks left in the regular season, it is that time where Blitz takes a look at some of the top candidates in the area that could make deep postseason runs.

While some will no doubt compete for state finals berths, others may not go as far as some would think.

How do we judge that? Are teams ready? Are their paths to Lucas Oil Stadium difficult? Could they trip up early on?

Allow Blitz to tackle some of these questions and whether you should buy, sell or hold your stock in teams.


The Saints have advanced past the sectional round of the postseason in four of the last five years, so runs into November are an expectation, not a hope.

This team has a wealth of experience on both sides of the ball, including a quarterback who led Bishop Dwenger to a state title as a sophomore, as well as three levels of studs on defense.

Class 5A in the north is arguably the easiest path to state among the bigger classes. No one in the regional round can match up to the Saints, while a potential semistate showdown with Valparaiso or Michigan City a potential threat.

In Blitz’s mind, the biggest hurdle before semistate will likely be North Side in Sectional 11, a team that is itching for another shot at the Saints after their Week 2 showdown.



Barring something crazy, the Spartans will keep the Victory Bell for the second straight season as SAC champions.

That in itself is quite the feat, yet Homestead has not won a regional title since 1998.

The good news is, Carmel is now in the south, seemingly opening the door for a Fort Wayne-area team to sweep into semistate.

The bad news? Westfield has filled that Carmel void. The Shamrocks are 6-1 with the lone loss coming to Cathedral, arguably the best team in the state regardless of class. Westfield is averaging nearly 35 points per game, so a potential matchup of Homestead and the ‘Rocks would likely need a lot of Evan Ormsby throwing for TDs.



In a similar position with Homestead, the Chargers will have to face their rival, as well as Warsaw and Snider in a battle for the Sectional 3 title.

We all know how good the offense is, but can the defense rise to the occasion in the postseason? Dating back to last year, Carroll has allowed 30 points or more in four of its last eight games.

Simply put, the defense must be better if Carroll is going to be able to capture its first sectional title since 2014.



Last year, the Cadets were able to find enough offense to take down a pesky Norwell team 17-14 in sectional play.

The question in 2020 is, can Concordia do that again against a Knights squad that has a vastly-improved defense?

That may be the game to watch, whenever it happens, in Sectional 27.

The problem is, the regional will be incredibly tough, with a pair of top-4 teams – No. 1 Chatard and No. 4 West Lafayette – in Sectional 28.

At this point, it is tough to see a local 3A squad advance into semistate.



Defenses win championships…most of the time.

The Lions are hoping that is the case as they sport one of the top 3 defenses in the area.

Leo’s lone loss remains Mooresville, the No. 2 team in Class 4A. The Lions should be able to capture the NE8 championship, but a difficult sectional field awaits.

While Blitz likes Leo, he worries about when a team is able to bottle up the running attack. It will happen at some point – if not in sectional, then beyond.

Will the Lions be able to triumph when taken out of their comfort zone?


Columbia City’s Greg Bolt


You can bet that the last thing Coach Brett Fox is thinking about right now is the playoffs, even with the draw this week.

The Eagles have Leo this week and Norwell next week to wrap up the regular season. Fox’s 6-1 team still has a shot at the NE8 crown if it can win both games.

But is Columbia City for real? It was put in check by East Noble last week in a 17-point loss, and will face a pair of defensive units better than the Knights over the next two Fridays.

In the sectional, both Leo and East Noble loom, as well as a very stingy Northridge team allowing just over seven points per game.

That’s troublesome.



Blitz talked at length about 3A earlier with Concordia Lutheran. The winner of the Knights and Cadets will win the sectional, but has a tough road past that.

But things are shaping up to where the Knights could finish with one loss in the regular season for the first time since 2009 and win a sectional, which would be the first since 2014.

As a short-term buy, go with Norwell.



OK, things are getting real for the Starfires.

Sitting at 7-0 with one scheduled game remaining (with maybe a late add for Week 9), Coach Grant Moser’s team is setting its sights on the postseason as the top-ranked team in Class 1A.

Can this squad avoid the letdown that it suffered last year?

The sectional lacks any team that can matchup with the Starfires if they play to their potential. Regional, where they were clipped last year, could see a rematch with Adams Central or potentially Southwood.

In fact, regional could be a more difficult game than semistate at this point.

Blitz believes in South Adams.



Not only are the Flying Jets once again in the thick of the ACAC race with their eyes towards the postseason, their future is immensely bright. As soon as next season, Coach Michael Mosser’s team will be back at the top of the league looking down on everyone else.

As for now, a tough Sectional 44 awaits with an undefeated Southwood team looking like the real deal. Can AC knock off the Knights in what has become a solid postseason rivalry? If they do, will they shock the area again with a win over South Adams?

Tough to buy in.



Coach Matt Thacker’s team is two wins away from its first undefeated regular season since 2008. Not bad for a squad that went 0-fer just two years ago.

The Falcons are looking good at 6-0, but can they be a threat in the postseason?

Sectional 35 will be tough. Not only is Eastside residing there, but a very good Bluffton team lurks as well.

The triple option is a thing of beauty that frustrates opponents, and it has surprised Blitz in how effective it has been in 2020. But it is tough to see Fairfield taking down Eastside.



Coming off a loss to Concord, there may be no more pleased coach than Todd Mason. Yes, even in defeat his team was able to be checked by a superior 5A team and now will look to refocus after four straight lopsided wins by shutout.

The Blazers won their first-ever sectional title a year ago and have the hunger to do more in 2020. If Eastside can escape a competitive sectional, Eastbrook appears to be the most likely opponent, despite an undefeated Eastern team residing in Sectional 36.

Yes, the very same Eastbrook that beat the Blazers by 30 last year.

Is Eastside up to the challenge of taking down a perennial power in Eastbrook? Time will tell.


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

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