BEAR NECESSITIES: What you need to take from Week 11

Bishop Luers’ Da’von Doughty looks into the camera during an October 30 Sectional game against Fairfield. (Photo by John Felts)

We had upsets, blowouts and late-game heroics in Week 11, giving us plenty to talk about out of Friday’s sectional semifinals. 

What did Blitz see around the area? Let’s take a look. 


Bart Curtis is a vocal coach on the Warsaw sideline, but he was never louder on Friday than he was following his team’s 42-35 victory over Carroll. 

As Curtis fielded questions from media, he repeatedly yelled at his team not to mingle off the field with parents and fellow students, imploring that they head straight to the locker room. 

“Contact tracing!” said Curtis repeatedly. 

With a chance to win the program’s second-consecutive sectional championship next Friday, the last thing that Curtis wants is to have to bow out of the postseason due to coronavirus. 

All told, the state saw seven teams have to forfeit in the first week of the playoffs and seven more last Friday. 

Carroll struggled against Warsaw with outside containment, allowing quarterback Aaron Greene and his cadre of running backs to get outside of the hashes and make plays. 

While battling the triple option, funneling plays inside is one of the top priorities for a defense. The Chargers had trouble with that in the first half, made some adjustments at the break that helped early in the third, then allowed it to happen too many times in the fourth. 

The absence of safety Hunter Mertz, who is arguably Carroll’s top defender who was sidelined due to quarantine, put the Chargers’ defense at quite a disadvantage. 

Homestead lost running back Braeden Hardwick to injury in the first half of Friday’s victory over Snider. With the senior’s health uncertain at best for next week, the Spartans will once again look at the “next man up” mentality, something that has been the case for the team most of the year. 

Whether it be linebackers or offensive linemen or even coaches, Homestead has been without key personnel for several different games this season. If the Spartans’ lead back is out, it will turn to senior Nick Suddarth to step up. He was able to do just that against Snider, rushing for 57 yards and a score on 11 carries. 

Warsaw’s Juan Antonio Jaramillo lunges forward during October 30’s Sectional game against Carroll. (Photo by Leverage Photography)


• With Northrop selling out to stop the North Side pass game, the Legends needed the running attack to step up on Friday. 

With a proven rusher in Ja’suan Lambert, that was no problem. 

Lambert’s 347 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 34 carries was just what North was looking for. Taylor still threw for 200-plus yards and two scores, but Lambert took advantage of the secondary dropping deep in coverage by carving up the Bruins. 

The 347 yards are a program record, breaking Alex Holliday-Robinson’s rushing mark from just two seasons ago. 

The big night also presents Blitz with some thoughts for next week’s showdown against Bishop Dwenger. North Side could not run the ball against the Saints the first time the teams met in Week 2. An improved rushing attack next week could give the Legends better offensive balance, take some of the pressure off of Duce Taylor and bring balance to the offense. 

• Every team still alive in the postseason is dealing with some bumps and bruises, and Bishop Dwenger is no exception. 

Senior lineman Vinny Fiacable left Friday’s game with an injury and did not return. Meanwhile, two-way stud Devon Tippmann missed the game entirely with an injury. 

Blitz spoke to Fiacable this weekend, with the Indiana University commit dealing with a high ankle sprain. He expects to be back next Friday. 

So too does Tippmann, who was injured in the regular-season finale against Northrop. 

Homestead’s Jared Kistler tries to move away from the tackle attempt of Snider’s Jackson McCullough during October 30’s Sectional game.


• A week after Rowan Zolman scored on three touchdown receptions, picked off a pair of passes and recovered a fumble against Columbia City, the East Noble junior showcased his skill set again in the 14-7 defeat of DeKalb. 

Zolman had touchdown receptions of 17 and 57 yards from Cole Schupbach and also picked off a pass by the Barons’ Tegan Irk

Zolman did not see the field in the 24-0 loss to Leo in the regular season. Might be play a huge role in the Knights’ attempts at revenge next week? The way the kid is playing, Blitz says definitely. 

• Leo will get some reinforcements next week when it faces off against East Noble. Kaeden Miller did not play on Friday as he has been nursing an injury, but will be back in action for Week 12. 

Another Lion who will return to uniform is Mason Sheron. The junior RB/OLB has not seen the field this season due to injury. But he told Blitz this weekend that he will return for Friday’s game.  As if the Leo defenses needed any more playmakers, Sheron was a First Team All-NE8 defense end in 2019. 

Another Lion now in the picture is Jon Moore, a Carroll transfer, who has had to sit out most of the season. The junior linebacker and running back just adds more depth at the right time.

Kicker Carson McCauley missed Friday’s game due to quarantine. His status for the sectional championship game remains in doubt.  


• Just how good was Concordia Lutheran’s defense on Friday? 

It held Oak Hill to just 97 total yards, seven first downs and forced the Golden Eagles to punt seven times in the 24-0 victory. 

It is just the latest example of a stifling Cadets defensive unit, all while dealing with some injuries, including the loss of linebacker Matt Goeglein late in the regular season. 

Cooper Harris had himself a night, with the senior linebacker making seven tackles and four TFL. 

• A lot of offensive highlights for Norwell this season have centered around Eli Riley and Max Ringger, and for good reason. 

But in Friday’s 49-7 rout of Maconaquah, Isaiah Brege shined. The senior running back/linebacker rushed for touchdowns of seven and 31 yards while also returning an interception 56 yards for a score. 

There may be no 10-win team that has gotten less respect in recent years than Norwell. Can it show it is for real against Concordia next Friday?

Bishop Luers’ RJ Hogue bounces over a Fairfield defender late in October 30’s Sectional game. (Photo by John Felts)


• While Carroll struggled to contain Warsaw’s triple option, Bishop Luers had no such issues in a rout of Fairfield

The Knights were able to get the push they needed up front and prevent the Falcons from grinding them down as they have done to so many other opponents. 

Another positive was the forcing of turnovers. Bishop Luers recovered four fumbles and added an INT, with Da’von Doughty recovering two of the fumbles and Krashaun Menson the pick. 

However, Bishop Luers did lose two-way stud Sir Hale to an injury, with his outlook for next in doubt. Positive historical data for the Knights as they prepare for Eastside in the Sectional final though: the Knights are 35-2 all time against NECC opponents. Negative historical data: both of those losses were to Eastside, in 1994 and 2019 respectively.


• How about we put to bed the chances of South Adams not being prepared on a Friday night to take on an opponent? 

Blitz and others have pointed to last year’s regional loss to Adams Central as proof that the Starfires could fall into complacency and be caught being a tad overconfident. But the lesson learned last year has proven to be what this team needed for a reality check. 

Blitz is confident now that this South Adams team will be locked in every round of the playoffs, especially after making easy work of a one-loss Monroe Central team. If the Starfires are to lose, it will be because they were beaten by an opponent, not beaten by a lack of preparation or respect of a team.

While we are talking South Adams’ win over Monroe Central, do yourself a favor, get on Twitter and look up Braden Bixler‘s one handed interception. Play of the week? If only we gave that out.

Carroll’s Dylan Bennett takes down Warsaw’s Juan Antonio Jaramillo during October 30’s Sectional game. (Photo by Leverage Photography)


Warsaw finished with 495 yards rushing against Carroll, two yards shy of a program record…By finishing 5-5, Snider’s streak of 30 consecutive seasons with a winning record has ended…Damarius Cowen of Northrop finished the season with 1,602 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns without much of a passing threat to take attention away from him. Is he the Player of the Year?…With his four touchdown passes against Anderson, Brenden Lytle of Bishop Dwenger is now the program’s all-time leader in TD throws…Wayne junior Ebon Person finished Friday with 19 tackles, 2.5 TFL and a sack for the Generals…Eastside has allowed seven or less points in nine of its 11 games this season…Adams Central converted more fourth-down conversions in its win over Triton (3-of-5) than the Trojans had third down conversions (2-of-12); Flying Jets coach Michael Mosser got his 100th career win in the game.

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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