Following another week of exciting action on the gridiron, Blitz is back to wrap it all up in one, tidy package.
We call it Bear Necessities.
• Yes, Carroll jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter over its rival Homestead to capture the momentum, but it was the Chargers’ defense that kept the Spartans from putting together any serious comeback attempt as their lone touchdown came with less than four minutes left in regulation.
It is the latest example of a resurgent Carroll defensive unit that was the Achilles Heel of the team in 2020. Defensive coordinator Joe Rudolph has assembled a group that flies to the football, knows its individual roles and is having fun.
While Homestead was able to move the ball through the air with 256 passing yards, Peyton Slaven was picked off once and the Chargers forced a turnover by fumble.
While the team stats in themselves weren’t dominant, the end result was again impressive, holding Homestead 20 points below their scoring average. For the year, Carroll is second in the SAC in points allowed with 120 points, only 14 points shy of Snider.
• As Bishop Dwenger was driving late in the game against Bishop Luers, Blitz and some cohorts on the sideline began to talk about the potential of the Saints scoring, then Knights quarterback Carson Clark leading his team back down the field to score the game-winning points while breaking the SAC’s all-time passing record in the process.
What high drama that would have been.
Instead, the Saints took almost six minutes off the clock and the game ended with a game-tying field goal falling short.
Exiting Friday’s game, Clark is now 46 yards shy of James Knapke’s record of 5,983 career passing yards. Expect that torch to be passed in the first quarter of Luers’ game against South Side next week.
• Credit to both North Side and South Side for bringing it with the Totem Pole on the line in the 95th meeting between the two teams.
In the end, it was the Legends with the come-from-behind victory as Jontae Lambert’s three-yard touchdown run late in the fourth proved to be the difference.
Consider the fact that North Side’s five losses have all come to teams with winning records sitting in the top five spots of the league standings. With Northrop and Concordia Lutheran remaining on the schedule, the Legends have a shot to make the case that they are the “best of the rest” in the SAC.
• With both Rowan Zolman and Kainon Carico ailing, East Noble had to look to others to make some plays late in Friday’s road game at Columbia City if the Knights were going to end a two-game losing streak.
That guy was Ethan Nickles, who rushed for 192 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 19-16 victory. While it was Zolman who scored the winning points on a seven-yard run with less than five minutes left in regulation, Nickles carried the team when it counted, rushing the ball 29 times on a night that quarterback Zander Brazel was held to only four completions.
It was a close call for East Noble, which needs to find itself playing some better football over the next few weeks in anticipation of a potential rematch with Leo sometime in sectional play.
Getting Zolman and Carico at 100 percent health wise would go a long way towards achieving that.
• Norwell’s second-straight league shutout and third of the year overall is the latest exclamation point out of a defensive unit that leads the NE8 in points allowed per game.
Consider that the Knights surrendered 41 points to Leo in a Week 3 loss. In the other six games combined, they have allowed just 31 points. That is insane.
Norwell is just one of three teams in Sectional 27 that currently have a winning record (Peru and Oak Hill). Lost in the talk about the likes of state-contending teams like Adams Central and Bishop Luers is Norwell, which continues to make the case that it is the best 3A team in the area.
• Blitz mentioned in his Week 7 picks that there was a chance that Adams Central would break the program record for points scored in a game against Southern Wells. The record is 73 set in 1982 and the Flying Jets had 61 points at the break.
Unfortunately (or fortunately for the Raiders), just six points were added in the second half of the rout.
How complete was the domination?
Southern Wells averaging 0.9 yards per play, while Adams Central averaged 14.7.
• Could Churubusco challenge Adams Central in Sectional 44?
Many will scoff, and maybe even Blitz, but the more you look into it, the less far-fetched it is.
The Eagles held Eastside to its lowest point output of the season thus far in a 20-13 decision. It also has a physical, veteran defense that is familiar with Adams Central’s scheme, considering ‘Busco runs something similar.
Churubusco has 20 sacks on the season and an astounding 72 tackles for loss.
Not saying an upset is brewing. Just saying…keep an eye on the Eagles.
The duo of Shawn Collins and Lamarion Nelson have combined to score 15 of Wayne’s 20 touchdowns this season…Bluffton QB Lukas Hunt led the Tigers in both rushing (116 yards) and passing (136) yards in the win over Heritage…Kyle Smith set a Garrett program record dating back to 2013 with 30 tackles (15 solo, 15 assists) in the loss to Fairfield.
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How about a little credit to what was probably one of the most impressive defensive games by an individual all season in Northeast Indiana?? (I may be a little bias because he is my kid, but..) East Noble’s Nolan Rhoades had an incredible 19 total tackles, 1 sack, 3 for a loss of yardage! That’s 170# kid shredding an Oline that averaged 270# !! THATS BIG!