High school football is back, and we already have plenty to talk about after Week 1.
For those uninitiated, yours truly will be here every weekend to wrap up the Friday that was. We will look back at some of the top plays, stats, fun facts and more from game day as Blitz provides his opinion about it all, conference by conference.
• How about Nick Talamantes?
The Snider kick had two of the most horrendous kicks Blitz has seen out of a Snider player in quite some time prior to his 47-yard game winner in the Panthers’ 34-32 victory at North Side. His 48-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half was well short and returned for a touchdown by the Legends’ Brauntae Johnson. He then flubbed a PAT in the second half that fell SHORT of the uprights.
So for Coach Kurt Tippmann and the Snider coaching staff to have the confidence in Talamantes with the game on the line shows a lot. In fact, Tippmann had confidence in his entire offense, with quarterback Luke Haupert doing a great job making throws to the sideline to move the chains and a ballsy run call with six seconds to go to get a few yards closer for Talamantes.
And credit to Talamantes for having the poise to make the kick. It wasn’t an easy situation, the pressure was high not just for a night but for the Snider season to start off right. After struggling earlier in the kicking game, it was a huge kick and good on Talamantes for knocking it with room to spare.
• It was disappointing that North Side or Snider had to lose, because both played a phenomenal game.
How about some love for Brashawn Bassett? The new Legends quarterback is not as refined of a quarterback as his predecessor Duce Taylor was, but was more than effective on Friday. Snider was able to consistently get in the backfield, yet Bassett frequently escaped pressure and was able to get the ball down the field to North’s playmakers.
There was a question that Bassett is more athlete than quarterback, but he showed out against the Panthers.
• With quite a few teams in the area mixing in new quarterbacks, the importance of a solid run game is paramount.
Bishop Dwenger was able to get that with K.J. Tippmann against Wayne as the senior rushed for 108 yards and a pair of scores, while Teddy Steele also rushed for two touchdowns to help our new QB Evan Springer.
Across the field, the Saints were able to limit Shawn Collins of Wayne to less than 30 total yards, but Lamarion Nelson carried the ball 26 times for 122 yards and a score. If the Generals can have multiple players willing to break big plays in the run game, it really helps their competitiveness.
- • While DeKalb fell 42-28 to Angola, senior Nate Williams had himself a night. The defensive back finished with 10 tackles, four TFL, a fumble recovery, a punt block and a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
With 22 seniors having been lost to graduation, the Barons need others to step up around quarterback Tegan Irk. Williams definitely did that on Friday.
• Columbia City earned a 26-7 victory over Churubusco on the road to open the season, but Coach Brett Fox used the word “ugly” to describe the win.
According to Fox, the offensive line graded out exceptionally low, with missed assignments and overall confusion the theme. At the very least, Fox and his staff will be able to address the issues after a win instead of a loss.
• East Noble finished with 598 yards of total offense in its 56-33 rout of Plymouth, including 473 rushing yards in which the Knights AVERAGED a first down per carry.
Kainon Carico (20 carries, 243 yards, three TDs), Nick Munson (4-99-1) and Ethan Nickles (7-89-1) were prime beneficiaries of an offensive line that instilled its will against the Rockies.
• With Kaeden Miller ailing, Leo relied upon a multitude of running backs in its 43-12 rout of Woodlan. Eleven different players had at least one rushing attempt, but none had more than six carries. Leading rushers Carson Hoeppner and Mason Sheron combined for 117 yards and three scores on just 11 total carries
• Just how good is Norwell junior Luke Graft?
In a rout of Jennings County on Friday, Graft rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries, while also leading the team in tackles with 11 and TFL with two along with a sack.
Between Graft and fellow junior Brody Bolyn, who look spry returning an INT for a touchdown, the Knights have two of the best players in the junior class in the NE8.
• Early favorite for best new name in the area is Bluffton’s Jon San Juan. The senior rushed for 134 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Bluffton’s road win over Northfield.
• Congratulations to Jay County for ending a 10-game losing streak by knocking off Blackford 33-6 in Week 1.
• There was a lot of concern regarding the South Adams defense entering this year with a lot of new faces on that side of the ball. Yet the Starfires went to Winchester and earned a shutdown, something they couldn’t even do last year when they beat the Golden Falcons 41-8.
While Winchester was playing without two of its best players, the performance out of the defense was still impressive, holding the Golden Falcons to 40 total yards on 32 run plays. They did not complete a pass and were held to two first downs.
South Adams will be challenged more in the coming weeks, but a good first showing for the current No. 1 team in Class A.
• After being a standout a year ago, Angola senior Finley Hasselman made his presence known with four touchdowns in the 42-28 win over DeKalb.
The Hornets are an interesting factor in the NECC because with Fairfield losing to Goshen, it may open the door for Angola to be a challenger to the Falcons in the Big Division. Hasselman has that big-play ability that Angola lacked a lot of the time last year.
• In another kicker redemption story, Chase Leech missed his lone PAT attempt of the game for Garrett before nailing a 22-yarder as the Railroaders beat New Haven in double overtime.
Homestead held Northrop to negative-19 yards rushing…Concordia and South Side combined to go 6-of-30 (20 percent) on third down and 6-of-10 (60 percent) on fourth down…Bellmont has now lost 20 straight games, averaging 5.9 points per game during the losing streak…The 33 points allowed by East Noble are the most the Knights have allowed in a win since a 47-42 victory over Warsaw on Aug. 26, 2016…Bellmont held the ball for 30 minutes on Friday, almost double the amount of Adams Central, yet only earned four first downs in the entire game…Steuben County teams – Angola, Prairie Heights and Fremont – each won their Week 1 games for the first time since 2002…Central Noble has beaten rival West Noble in back-to-back meetings for the first time since the Cougars captured three-consecutive victories in 2006-08.
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