Blitz’s Week 9 Power Poll

Homestead’s Owen Hire prepares to snap the ball during a September 11 game against Bishop Dwenger. (Photo by Leverage Photography)

Just one week remains until the start of the postseason. Seriously, where has the season gone?

We have battled Covid adversity on a weekly basis, but have reached the culmination of the regular season without any major, widespread disruptions.

So how does Blitz’s Power Poll look entering Week 9? Let’s find out.

1. HOMESTEAD (7-1)

WHY #1?

Barring something crazy, Homestead will become the first back-to-back SAC champion since Snider in 2016-17.

The Spartans will also capture the Victory Bell after losing its first league game of the season, something that has not happened in the SAC since Bishop Dwenger in 2015.

A game against South Side followed by a bye will give Homestead plenty of opportunity to get healthy and ready for what will be a competitive Sectional 3.


WHY #2?

The Saints gutted out a win over Snider last week that more so showed how much improved the Panthers are, instead of exposing Bishop Dwenger.

That said, a sneaky-tough matchup looms against Damarius Cowen and Northrop to wrap up the regular season. These two could also meet in sectional play if both are winners in the first round..


A three-overtime loss to Homestead in Week 4 is the sole reason that the two teams are not flipped.

3. CARROLL (6-2)

WHY #3?

The Chargers’ defense took some strikes forward last week in holding Concordia Lutheran to just 14 points in a victory. However, bigger challenges loom in the postseason, starting with Warsaw to open.

Jeff Becker now sits at 2,145 yards passing on the year. He has thrown an average of 28 times per game.

Just how much has Carroll relied on Becker? He leads the Chargers in rushing at 463 yards. The second-leading rusher is Hunter Mertz with just 90 yards on the season.


Coach Doug Dinan’s team has two losses – to Homestead and Bishop Dwenger. So No. 3 makes sense, right?

4. LEO (7-1)

WHY #4?

Since losing to Mooresville, Leo has allowed just 28 points TOTAL over the course of six weeks.

That said, Leo got one of the most difficult draws among area teams as it will head to one-loss Northridge to begin the postseason.

But through eight weeks, Coach Jared Sauder’s team has been the best (in Blitz’s eyes) non-SAC Big 3 team in the area.


The loss to Leo was lopsided, and there are still questions regarding the Lions and how they win the postseason if the run game is contained. Jackson Barbour has made some throws in the pass game recently, many to Rylan Crawford, so that is encouraging.

5. NORWELL (7-1)

WHY #5?

How about we talk about the offense? The Knights have scored 21 or more points in each of their five straight victories. Max Ringger was the latest offensive stud, going off for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground.

Norwell has the opportunity to prove it is the second-best team in the NE8 with a win over Columbia City on Friday. Who woulda predicted that in the preseason?


Norwell is the second-highest ranked team outside of the SAC, behind only the team that beat it 17-0.

6. EAST NOBLE (5-3)

WHY #6?

Since a three-game losing streak, the Knights have beaten back-to-back solid NE8 opponents in Columbia City and New Haven. Considering East Noble drew Columbia City for the sectional opener, Coach Luke Amstutz’s team is flying a bit under the radar in terms of being a 4A threat.

Kainon Carico is the best area defender no one has heard of. The junior has 74 tackles, 12 TFL and six sacks.


Losses to both Norwell and Leo preclude the Knights from being any higher on this list, particularly due to being outscored by the pair a combined 45-17.

7. SOUTH ADAMS (8-0)

WHY #7?

With a bye week, the Starfires are almost assured of entering the playoffs as the No. 1 team in Class A, making them the favorite in the state to win a title.

Can South Adams do it? Coach Grant Moser’s team is getting healthy and hopes to meet the expectations thrust upon it.

And if the Starfires reach state, is James Arnold an OTH Player of the Year candidate?


So far this year, South Adams has beaten just three teams that currently have a winning record. That, coupled with being in 1A, makes it difficult to entertain the Starfires for the top 5.

8. SNIDER (4-4)

WHY #8?

Guess who’s back, back again.

The Panthers may have lost a 17-7 decision to Bishop Dwenger last week, but it was another indicator to Blitz the great strides made by the team since Week 1.

Coach Kurt Tippmann’s squad has found a combination of talent on offense that works, and a defense that is now reacting to the ball instead of thinking first.


Uh, four losses? Come on.

9. WARSAW (6-2)

WHY #9?

A close one-point loss to NorthWood last week put the brakes on the Bart Ball Train heading into the playoffs, but it still has a chance to get back on the tracks against a solid Concord squad in Week 9.

Warsaw is a dangerous team in Sectional 3, with its style of play being a frustration to opponents.


Blitz feels comfortable with Warsaw here, but it could be proven wrong come playoff time.

10. EASTSIDE (7-1)

WHY #10?

Yes, the Blazers return to Blitz’s top 10 party. It was pointed out that perhaps Blitz was a tad too harsh in dropping Eastside out last week, although it was more of a nod to Snider than anything Coach Todd Mason’s squad did wrong.

But here we are, with the Blazers back in with a challenge this Friday against Angola looming.

Can Eastside stay in Blitz’s good graces?


Apart from Adams Central, Eastside has lacked challenges on the schedule week in and week out. That changes come playoff time.

11. Concordia Lutheran

12. Columbia City

13. Fairfield

14. Angola

15. Northrop

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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