It was another fruitful Friday of football in and around northeast Indiana. Despite a fair share of blowouts and lightning delays, Week 8 gave us plenty to talk about.
Let’s close out Week 8 with some Bear Necessities:
• With Snider’s 33-22 victory over Bishop Dwenger, the Panthers have now set up a huge showdown next Friday at Bishop Luers.
Blitz has learned that Snider’s canceled game against South Side will remain a no-contest and not declared a forfeit. Hence the SAC will be determined by losses.
Here are the scenarios as Bishop Luers enters Week 8 at 8-0, Carroll at 7-1 and Snider at 6-1.
Bishop Luers wins the SAC title outright with a win over Snider.
Snider wins the title outside with a win over Luers and a Carroll loss to Wayne.
If Snider and Carroll both win, those two teams, as well as Carroll, all share the SAC championship.
• Congratulations to Bishop Luers’ Carson Clark, who became the SAC’s all-time passer on Friday against South Side as he surpassed former Bishop Luers standout and current assistant coach James Knapke in career yardage.
The former record was 5,983 and Clark now sits at 6,215 yards.
Consider this. Clark is averaging 255 yards passing per game in 2021. With at least two games left for Bishop Luers and a maximum of seven more games if the Knights can advance to state, the senior signalcaller has the opportunity to obliterate the old record and set the new mark north of 7,000 yards passing.
• Early in this season, there were some worries about Snider‘s defense including their secondary. Watching them against Bishop Dwenger continues to erase some of that worry.
Quincy Myatt‘s interception in the second half was big in holding the saints at bay and clinching Snider’s spot in the SAC deciding showdown next week. He continues to be one of the area’s most underrated secondary players and it shows the major improvement for him and that area on Snider’s defense.
That big defense though is also thriving with the lack of time that opposing quarterbacks get to find and make quality passes. Domanick Moon (10 tackles) and Lukas Rohrbacher (8 tackles) led Snider on Friday and Markell Keal‘s pass rush was scary to watch from the sideline so I couldn’t imagine being Dwenger’s Bohde Dickerson with that man running my way. The 22 points given up to Dwenger on Friday is the most that Snider has surrendered since giving up 29 to Carroll in a week two loss.
On the flip side of the ball, the comfort of the offense is also carrying a big load for this group. Kamari Juarez looked unguardable with his speed on Friday night, torching the Saints for 25 and 43 yard scores and 167 total receiving yards. That also lets Luke Haupert breathe a bit more as he completed 16 of 22 passes and it takes some of the defense’s attention away from Tyrese Brown, who ran for 155 yards against Bishop Dwenger.
• We have talked a lot about Carson Clark‘s race to become the SAC’s all-time leading passer, but the fact is that previous mark of 5,983 could be surpassed twice this season.
Carroll‘s Jeff Becker passed for 129 yards in Friday’s dominant win over Concordia Lutheran. It puts the Charger senior at 5,670 yards passing for his career and just 313 away from passing James Knapke himself for now second place on the all-time list. That would require Becker to average just 156.5 yards in each of the last two guaranteed games this season.
While Becker likely isn’t going to be able to catch Carson Clark, there is some fun in knowing that two of the SAC’s most prolific passers ever are playing at the same time. The next couple of weeks are going to be filled with thinking about players to cherish before the 2021 season is up and we really should look back fondly at getting to see these two guys go to work at the same time.
• After offering North Side sophomore Brauntae Johnson earlier in the week, Indiana University staff was on hand at Chambers Field on Friday.
But another player on the opposite side of the field caught the Hoosiers’ eye. On Saturday morning, IU reached out to Northrop to discuss Julante Hinton, another sophomore that may end up being one of the top players in his class in the state, similar to Johnson.
Last year, Hinton was primarily an edge rusher, a position he filled this season again admirably. But entering the North Side game, Northrop changed it up and put Hinton at linebacker. That decision paid off with Hinton being a big part of the Bruins’ 31-14 rout of the Legends in which Northrop scored the first 31 points of the game.
It also opened the door to interest from the Hoosiers.
• Big-time players step make big-time plays, and there may be no more underappreciated guys in that regard in the SAC than Dylan Bennett.
The junior defender for Carroll picked up a fumble on a kickoff in the second quarter of a 69-7 rout of Concordia Lutheran, returning it 11 yards for a score. It was Bennett’s fourth TD of the season on defense or special teams, with all three of his interceptions being returned for scores.
Through eight weeks, the linebacker Bennett is tied for second on the team in touchdowns.
• Let’s hear it for the Bellmont Braves, who picked up their first regular-season victory in 1,484 days with a 42-34 win over DeKalb.
Incredibly, Bellmont won without attempting a single pass while rushing for 310 yards, led by Isaac Bodkins, who carried the ball 30 times for 104 yards and three scores.
DeKalb actually AVERAGED over eight yards per play and accumulated 435 yards of total offense, but three costly fumbles proved to be the difference.
Coach Nick Hall got his first win since taking over his alma mater in 2020. Hopefully, it is the first of many.
• Leo has claimed a share of the NE8 title, at the very least, and can win the title outright next Friday against DeKalb. The Lions were quick to race away from Columbia City on Friday night, leading 45-0 at halftime with Mason Sheron again being the big legs with his effort.
Leo was good in 2020, but we really are now seeing what they were missing with Sheron’s injury keeping him out significantly. He has been a big energy, tough and aggressive talent for the 8-0 Lions and Friday was probably his most impressive body of work to date.
As Blitz was checking scores and stats from Eastside’s sideline on Friday night, imagine the shock when I saw that Sheron ran for 249 yards on six carries and caught a 54 yard pass all in the first half. That yardage and his four touchdowns is what he finished the night with, meaning that he got seven touches on the ball, averaging 43.3 yards per touch.
Sheron also added one of three Leo sacks on the night with Division I commits Landen Livingston and DJ Allen each adding one.
• Adams Central is one step closer to an outright ACAC title if they can beat Woodlan on Friday night. Considering that the closest team to them is second place South Adams, who the Flying Jets dominated, it shows just how much they have been the class of the ACAC this season.
The Flying Jets’ depth continued to shine with four different players recording 50 or more rushing yards led by Blake Heyerly with 92 yards against Bluffton.
20 different Adams Central players recorded at least half a tackle on defense led by 5.5 from Zac Wurm, who had 2.5 sacks. Corbin Hirschy added 1.5 sacks while Braysen Yergler had the sole Adams Central interception.
• Speaking of South Adams, the Starfires are now 6-2 in what is a “down” rebuilding season. While Blitz may give Coach Grant Moser a hard time about cliche catch phrases, it doesn’t indicated that the winning culture at South Adams didn’t at all graduate with their state runner up 2020 team.
Things have not gone easily at all for South Adams this season, they suffered some tough losses to injuries and on the scoreboard but none the less, their record leans very positive and it sets them up for an exciting future.
Owen Wanner and Maverick Summersett are a solid duo and the experience that pair are getting this season is huge. Wanner completed 2/3 of his passes for 241 yards in Friday’s win over Woodlan. He hit Trey Schoch for a 98 yard touchdown pass in the third quarter that broke the program record for longest pass play. The previous mark was from 1999 when Alex Subler hit Luke Thornton for a 90 yard touchdown.
• We have NECC champions. You may have read about Eastside‘s total destruction of Central Noble that won them the Small Division title but Fairfield also claimed a repeat title with a pretty solid win over Lakeland themselves.
The Falcons ran the ball for 327 yards in the win and the Lakers had no answer for it. Again, a down year for Fairfield isn’t keeping them from a title or from dominant rushing games, Johnathan Estep had 19 carries for 161 yards.
If Eastside beats Angola next Friday, they will finish as the only team in the conference with a perfect record against NECC opponents as they were the only team to finish perfect in their division. Churubusco has one loss in the NECC while Fairfield sits at one loss in their division, but two against NECC opponents.
That brings an end to the NECC conversation for the year, other than some bragging rights games in week nine as teams prepare for the postseason.
Wayne has ruszhed for nearly four times as many yards as it has passed for – amassing 1,833 yards on the ground through eight games to just 465 through the air…Mason Sheron had more rushing yards against Columbia City (249) than the Eagles had total yards (248)…Four different winning passers were perfect throwing the ball on Friday night, including Bishop Luers’ Carson Clark (16 of 16), Churubusco’s Riley Buroff (3-3), Heritage’s Caleb Abbott (6-6) and his backup Eli Tigulis (2-2)…Not including there area’s three 8-0 teams (Bishop Luers, Leo and Eastside), Carroll has the longest winning streak of the season at seven games. The last time the Chargers won seven straight was 2014 when they won 11 straight before falling to Carmel in the regional round.
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