Week 7: Five area players to watch tonight on the gridiron

Columbia City’s Hunter Herron works to bring the ball up the field during a September 24 game at New Haven. (Photo by Leverage Photograhy)

Week 7 is headed your way tonight and as always, we talk about five players that you should keep an eye on. Maybe they did well last week? Maybe they have a favorable or intriguing matchup?

Here are the players to keep on watch:

HUNTER HERRON, Columbia City vs. East Noble

After a week where the Eagles didn’t really get going through the air, they need a get-right situation in a very tough game for them.

That means testing out the air and probably avoiding Rowan Zolman as much as possible, even if he isn’t 100 percent.

If quarterback Greg Bolt can get going, the Eagles have a much better chance to push by East Noble. Herron could be his No. 1 despite being third on the team in yardage. A Bolt to Herron connection could be significant as the Eagles test East Noble’s defensive backfield. He is also critical against the East Noble passing game with three interceptions this season.

The Knights are at their best when they go to the air, whether it is deep or through screen passes, so CC needs someone to jump-start the passing defense.

JOHN RINGGER, Bluffton at Heritage

Through Bluffton’s struggles this season, many are pegging this game as a possible upset special. To keep Heritage’s offense in check, the Bluffton defense has to be cleaned up quite a bit from previous losses this season.

The Patriots are going to go to the ground a lot and Ringger is a name that has been kind of lost in the successful moments that the Tigers have had. He has been a leader for the defense with 25 tackles and three sacks, numbers that indicate he could be critical against a team that commits to developing things on the ground.

TYLER SHISLER, Central Noble vs. Churubusco

The Cougars have the two biggest weeks of the season on the horizon and while a lot of people want to look at a potential Week 8 meeting of unbeaten teams at Eastside, this is a game that in no way should be looked past.

The perk of how Central Noble’s season has been going is that it is not just one dimensional. It rode the legs of Will Hoover early in the season. Since then, the Cougars have seen other weapons develop and as Shisler has gotten more comfortable under center, they have thrived. The sophomore’s completion percentage isn’t high but he is coming off his best game of the season in that regard with 154 yards on 50 percent passing against Lakeland.

BRETT FUCHS, Homestead at Carroll

Another sophomore that has quietly crept up into the mainstream of local players, Fuchs has all the looks of developing as Homestead’s next great running back. Fuchs has gotten almost half of the rushing touches for the Spartans this season and is going for 78.6 yards per game. His numbers aren’t higher because of Desmond Smith Jr.’s impressiveness early on in the season in the backfield as well as the passing success that Homestead is having through the air. But Fuchsdoes provide a much-needed change up punch as the Spartans head to Carroll for SAC Rivalry Week.

MARCUS WHITE-ALLEN, South Side vs. North Side

How could we not mention the Totem Pole game? Two teams at 1-5 that desperately want a second win and what better bragging rights then taking the Totem Pole home with them? Despite its record, North Side has shown to be the more athletic team capable of making the bigger plays. That means the focus for South has to be the defense where it has capable guys, including White-Allen, who led the Archers defense with six tackles last week. He is consistently involved and doesn’t seem to waver in his effort, something that can be increasingly difficult with a 1-5 record.

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