OK, it is time to put aside the eternal optimism, the “great summer” clichés and the endless predictions of how the season is going to go.
We have actual games to watch tonight.
BONUS: No crowd restrictions, unlike 2020.
Let’s kick the 2021 season off in style – with Blitz’s prognostications on what is about to go down in northeast Indiana.
Last year: 172-49 (.778)
BISHOP DWENGER AT WAYNE. A veteran QB with a strong arm (Aidan Meek) and arguably the best running back in the SAC (Shawn Collins) have the Generals feeling like they can take a step forward in Year 2 under Coach Sherwood Haydock. Is it enough to end a nine-game losing streak to the Saints? This one will be closer than most anticipate. BLITZ SAYS BISHOP DWENGER BY 14.
BISHOP LUERS AT CARROLL. Apparently, there is a football game going on Friday at the new $20 million athletic complex at Carroll. That’s the message Coach Doug Dinan needs to get through to his players, that while the pomp and circumstance is nice and all, the Chargers need to be zeroed in on the field against an exceptionally-talented team. Is Carroll’s defense ready to make plays it couldn’t last year? Can Bishop Luers stay fresh up front throughout and hang tough with a 6A program? So many questions. Sir Hale with a big play late wins this one for the Knights. BLITZ SAYS BISHOP LUERS BY 2.
SNIDER AT NORTH SIDE. 47-17. The Panthers have heard about it for a calendar year, and North Side has taken every opportunity over those 12 months to remind everyone what went down in Week 1 last season. But this is a new year, and a refocused Snider team that is out to show that 2020 is in the rearview. The Legends have the playmakers, but do they have the toughness to win battles up front? What’s half of 30? Ah yes… BLITZ SAYS SNIDER BY 15.
SOUTH SIDE AT CONCORDIA. Coach “Tiny” Lee has injected some enthusiasm and pride into the South Side program. Numbers are up and kids are optimistic about this season. Week 1 may be the best chance for either of these teams to score a regular-season win. Eli Mattox is going to be a problem as he develops for Concordia Lutheran behind center. While he will make some plays, it will be the defense led by James Rusher that makes the plays to carry the Cadets to a win. BLITZ SAYS CONCORDIA BY 6.
HOMESTEAD AT NORTHROP. Remember when Northrop beat Homestead last year? Yeah, the Spartans were missing some defenders, but the Bruins’ defense held Homestead in check enough to squeak out a win. Here we are again, with the Spartans breaking in a new quarterback and Northrop enthused with its talent. Which way to go here? Blitz has been accused of selling Homestead short. Let’s stick with that theme. BLITZ SAYS NORTHROP BY 4.
ADAMS CENTRAL AT BELLMONT. The Braves are riding a 19-game losing streak that dates back to the sectional title game against Bishop Luers in 2018. Bellmont has not won a regular-season contest since knocking off Huntington North on Sept. 15, 2017. Meanwhile, Adams Central is very good. So, not a good combination here. BLITZ SAYS ADAMS CENTRAL BY 27.
ANGOLA AT DEKALB. This has been a back-and-forth series that has become a Week 1 thing since its inception in 2014. Both teams are bit of unknowns entering this year. The Hornets are very good in the younger classes but may still be a year or two away. The Barons have quarterback Tegan Irk back but little else in terms of proven production after 22 seniors graduation. BLITZ SAYS ANGOLA BY 8.
COLUMBIA CITY AT CHURUBUSCO. Are these two teams rivals yet? The Whitley County duo played for the first-time ever last year as the Eagles rolled. This one will be closer, but does Churubusco have what it takes to take down a 4A foe with a D1-caliber quarterback? BLITZ SAYS COLUMBIA CITY BY 9.
EAST NOBLE AT PLYMOUTH. A few years ago, this was quite the showdown. Plymouth is going through some rebuilding, evidenced by last year’s two-win campaign. The Rockies are improved, but too much Munson, Carico and Zolman in this one. BLITZ SAYS EAST NOBLE BY 21.
GARRETT AT NEW HAVEN. The Bulldogs want some respect from Blitz and Co. They won’t necessarily get it with a win here, but they sure could lose any chance of gaining it with a loss. Jakar Williams is set for a big year if he is allowed to play the way he wants to play. Garrett is going to have trouble with the ‘Dogs on the perimeter. BLITZ SAYS NEW HAVEN BY 16.
HUNTINGTON NORTH AT EASTBROOK. Previewing Huntington North’s season has been more about who is no longer with the team and less about who is actually back. The Vikings like to try to be bruisers, but Eastbrook does that to perfection. This one isn’t pretty. BLITZ SAYS EASTBROOK BY 34.
JENNINGS COUNTY VS. NORWELL. The Knights get to head down to Knightstown for a neutral site game with Jennings County, a program coached by Justun Sharp. Have you ever met someone who spelled it that way? Blitz hasn’t either. Anyway, this bear feels that was the most interesting thing regarding this game. BLITZ SAYS NORWELL BY 21.
LEO AT WOODLAN. Does Mike Smith have things moving in the right direction at Woodlan? Year 2 is when things begin to come into focus. While Leo rolls in this one, Blitz is looking to see some signs of life out of the Warriors. Can they put up a bigger fight than last year’s 50-0 rout? BLITZ SAYS LEO BY 36.
BLACKFORD AT JAY COUNTY. The long march back to respectability for Jay County begins here against a team that was turned around by Coach Randy Sehy. The Patriots have some talent on the roster, it just needs some program momentum. Let’s give it some. BLITZ SAYS JAY COUNTY BY 3.
BLUFFTON AT NORTHFIELD. This is another deceptively interesting game as these two teams have traded blows in Week 1 for quite awhile now. Bluffton wants to show that it can go on the road with some new faces and be a solid team. Could go either way on this one, but Coach Brent Kunkel is a nice guy. Nice guys win, sometimes. BLITZ SAYS BLUFFTON BY 5.
EASTSIDE AT HERITAGE. Last year was all about laying the foundation for Coach Casey Kolkman at Heritage. This year it is all about truly beginning that program turnaround. It is coming, but the Pats are thrown into the deep end against Laban Davis and the Blazers, who want to prove to all who will listen that they are still very, very good. BLITZ SAYS EASTSIDE BY 22.
SOUTH ADAMS AT WINCHESTER. While Aidan Wanner, Trey Schoch and others are expected to give South Adams a pretty solid offense, questions abound for the Starfires on the other side of the ball. Winchester is replacing its leading rusher and three of its top four receivers. BLITZ SAYS SOUTH ADAMS BY 7.
SOUTHERN WELLS AT FREMONT. Trevor Thomas is set to coach his first-ever game at Fremont against a team that played a JV schedule a year ago. Blitz isn’t sure what this game will like, but he is fascinated at what transpires. BLITZ SAYS FREMONT BY 11.
GOSHEN AT FAIRFIELD. Goshen has won a total of five games in the last four seasons. Fairfield went 9-1 last year and, while losing some skill players, are still a problem with their unique offensive scheme. Advantage: Falcons. BLITZ SAYS FAIRFIELD BY 19.
LAKELAND AT SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH. The Indians prevail. BLITZ SAYS SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH BY 8.
WEST NOBLE AT CENTRAL NOBLE. The Chargers will be without Braxton Pruitt for the first few weeks of the season, which is a major blow. In fact, it is such a big setback that Blitz is going to pick the Cougars. BLITZ SAYS CENTRAL NOBLE BY 12.
WHITKO AT PRAIRIE HEIGHTS. Chip Coldiron may be the best name for a coach in this area in the last 40 years. BLITZ SAYS WHITKO BY 13 PURELY BECAUSE OF CHIP COLDIRON.
DUBLIN COFFMAN (OH) AT WARSAW. Apparently when you win the Northern Lakes Conference no one will play you out of conference and you have to ask a neighbor to come play you. All kidding aside, Warsaw is testing itself with a game against one of the best programs in the central part of Ohio. This will pay dividends down the road. BLITZ SAYS COFFMAN BY 14.
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