As Bishop Luers players and coaches celebrated on the brand-new Carroll athletic complex turf following Friday’s 38-31 victory, there was plenty of excitement over the Knights’ first win over the Chargers since 2018.
It was one game, one win. But it potentially means so much more.
The big question for Bishop Luers (for Blitz at least) heading into this season was if the Knights could hang for four quarters against the SAC’s 5A and 6A programs that have much more in terms of depth. While the playmakers like Sir Hale, Carson Clark, Brody Glenn and Antwian Lake (all of whom showed out on Friday) can match up against anyone in the city, it is the big guys up front along the defensive and offensive lines that truly impressed Blitz.
As the hot, humid weather cost other teams around the city with North Side dealing with a lot of cramping issues and the lack of quality depth costing Northrop in the second half against Homestead, little Class 2A Bishop Luers only appeared to get stronger as Friday’s game progressed.
Hale, who finished with 156 yards and a score on 26 carries, ran with as much ferocity and determination as he did on his first touch of the game. With Bishop Luers trailing by one in the second half, the Knights did what Blitz thought Carroll would be able to do – it grinded out yardage with the run and short-passing game to move the ball down the field.
Effectively, Bishop Luers WORE OUT Carroll, instead of the other way around. Carson Clark was able to sling the ball around to the tune of 346 yards and four touchdowns because of the protection he was given for four quarters, coupled with his ability to escape pressure and extend plays.
A great example of was the clinching touchdown play, a 72-yard touchdown pass from Clark to Lake in the fourth quarter. Carroll struggled bringing down Lake in the open field. It was a mix of exceptional open-field moves by the senior wideout, but also appeared that the Chargers’ secondary was worn down, lacking that same intensity it showed in the first half.
So, what does this mean going forward?
If the Knights can stay relatively healthy (always tough over the course of the season), Blitz witnessed Friday in Huntertown a squad that can compete for an SAC championship. Bishop Luers was able to weather the storm against a team with an extra 50-60 players on the sideline while having barely half on its side.
If we take Week 1 at face value, Snider’s huge offensive front was very good against North Side, but the Legends were still able to get penetration at big times. Bishop Dwenger seems to lack that overpowering physicality that it typically has. Homestead’s offensive front is still finding its way, evidenced by the fact that Northrop’s Matt Miller was a menace all night long.
So to Blitz, there isn’t a team after one week that screams out the fact that they will destroy Bishop Luers up front. By that measure, the Knights are most definitely a team to watch in the battle for the Victory Bell.
And THAT is exciting in itself. But when Blitz looks at the body of work through Week 1, he sees not only an SAC that has a raised floor in terms of the bottom part of the standings, but the top half of the league is as competitive as it has been in years. As we sit right now, you can make a case for five (at least) different teams that have a realistic chance of winning this conference.
Yes, Bishop Luers captured just a single win on Friday. But in the bigger picture, it has initiated a whole series of interesting possibilities over the next eight weeks in the SAC.
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