The majority of humans have spent the last few days eyeing projections, predictions and polls, hoping their presidential candidate is declared the winner.
Just like in politics, we see a lot of foreshadowing in high school football based on what we know, as well as educated guesses.
In the spirit of the election season, Blitz has looked and identified three local teams he believes have the most difficult road to Lucas Oil Stadium on Thanksgiving weekend.
Class 6A is always brutal, and even without Carmel filtering in to the north, the road is tough.
In fact, since 6A became a thing in 2013, ZERO 6A programs in northeast Indiana have advanced to the state finals.
So, can the Spartans buck the trend?
Well, first off they need to topple a pesky Warsaw team on Friday. Blitz feels that Homestead’s defense is more equipped than Carroll was to deal with the Tigers’ triple option. The linebacker and defensive back units have more speedy talent that can get to the edges and prevent Aaron Greene and his running backs from getting outside and turning the corner.
So let’s say Homestead wins the sectional. Its reward? Likely a one-loss Westfield squad that is ranked No. 2 in the state in a matchup that will be AT Westfield.
If the Spartans advance to semistate, a pair of top 5 teams are in the mix to be the foe – Elkhart and Lafayette Jeff. Those two will likely face off in the regional round, and both are undefeated.
So as you can see, the road to Lucas Oil for Homestead is not easy. That’s the norm for our 6A area powers.
Let’s talk 3A.
Yes, the Cadets won a state championship in 2016, but this year’s squad is not as powerful as that one was. Good? Yes. But great? Not so fast.
Blitz is not counting out Concordia Lutheran in being able to make some noise in the next few weeks, particularly with the dominating defense it is able to field. But can the offense rise to the occasion consistently?
Friday’s showdown with Norwell could be trouble. The Knights are capable of limiting the Cadets offense, making it a tough, grind-it-out affair that could flip one way or another on a few plays.
Let’s say Concordia gets past the Blazers. If all goes according to plan, the regional foe will be top-ranked Bishop Chatard on the road. Now, Chatard has a sneaky tough one with Brebeuf Jesuit this week, but the Trojans has already beaten Brebeuf once this year.
Even if Concordia gets dealt a favor and plays Brebeuf, the Braves at 5-4 are better than their record indicates, similar to what we say about the Cadets.
And let’s go a step further – semistate. Concordia blazes its way through sectional and regional, who awaits? Likely Mishawaka Marian, undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the state.
Kudos to the Knights for reaching this point, with a home matchup at Luersfield with Eastside coming up on Friday with a sectional title on the line.
Can Bishop Luers knock off another good NECC foe? Well, Eastside isn’t Fairfield, meaning this week will be infinitely more difficult.
But Blitz does see a reality in which Bishop Luers does make the plays to capture sectional hardware on Friday.
Two-loss teams Tipton and Lapel would be the foe, both of whom average over 34 points per game. Tipton in particular is dangerous after they dropped 56 on Eastbrook last week, the most points scored on the Panthers in the playoffs since 2014.
And while the No. 2 team in the state in Eastbrook is out, top-ranked Andrean and No. 3 Pioneer are potential semistate foes.
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