Outside the Huddle is breaking down every area regional matchup scheduled for this Friday.
We begin with the final showdown of the season between area teams, Adams Central and South Adams in Class 1A.
- 1. RIVALRY RENEWED
Not only did these two teams square off in the regular season as part of Allen County Athletic Conference play, they are familiar with each other in the playoffs as well.
Remember 2019? That South Adams team seemed destined for a deep run in the playoffs that may have included a state title, but the Flying Jets limited the Starfires’ offense to seven points after allowing 42 in the regular season showdown.
Two years later, AC is the favorite to make a state run and South Adams is trying to play spoiler.
2. FIELD CONDITIONS AT BERNE
Adams Central would like nothing more than South Adams to move this game to a locale with artificial turf. While the field in Berne isn’t completely unusable, it sure isn’t in early-season condition. There was more brown than grass to be seen on the playing surface a few weeks ago when the Starfires took down Monroe Central in the slop.
The Flying Jets moved their sectional game against Southwood to Bluffton due to field conditions on the Landing Strip at Minnich Field. Do not expect South Adams to try and do the same in an effort to use home field advantage to slow down AC personnel.
3. SA DEFENSE
Two years ago, Adams Central went from allowing 42 points to allowing seven to South Adams while knocking the Starfires out of the playoffs.
To repay the favor, SA must find a way to limit the Flying Jets offensively in much the same way.
Part of 2019 was luck, as South Adams struggled to hit the deep ball, but the game plan was sound and it flummoxed the Starfires for the better part of 48 minutes.
Coach Grant Moser and his staff must take lessons learned in the first matchup this year and apply it to this game. It worked against Monroe Central, which beat South Adams by a 23-point shutout in Week 5. Can the Starfires do it again?
FOUR PLAYERS TO WATCH
BLAKE HEYERLY, ADAMS CENTRAL
The two-way stud for the Flying Jets leads the team in touchdowns scored (19) and is second on the team in tackles,
The senior is one of a series of guys who can hurt you on the offensive end, but his hard and tough approach puts a fright into many a player opposite of the 6-foot-1, 205-pound bruiser.
AIDAN WANNER, SOUTH ADAMS
Wanner missed the first game with Adams Central and his veteran presence in the offensive backfield will be invaluable. Can he be the missing piece for an offense that must find ways to score than just a single touchdown like the first meeting?
Waner’s favorite target is Trey Schoch, who was had a stellar postseason thus far. Look for the Wanner-Schoch combination to try and keep it going on Friday.
RYAN BLACK, ADAMS CENTRAL
Expect to see all sorts of stuff thrown at the Adams Central offense on Friday, with the junior Black needing to shoulder the load of making sense of it all.
The quarterback has done well of it thus far, throwing for close to 800 yards and rushing for over 500 more. He has been directly responsible for 25 touchdowns, including 15 rushing, and his passing prowess is good enough to keep defenses honest.
JORDAN HINSHAW, SOUTH ADAMS
The Starfires’ leader in sacks, Hinshaw has six of them going into this rivalry matchup on Friday.
If the senior can get penetration and disrupt Adams Central in the backfield, it will help tremendously as SA looks to prevent a repeat of Week 6. If Hinshaw and his compatriots can bottle up the run and stymie Black, it helps even the odds.
KEY TO VICTORY – ADAMS CENTRAL
DO WHAT YOU DO
Adams Central does not need to deviate from its game plan. It needs to come in, get a push off the ball and dominate the line of scrimmage. The Flying Jets are only in trouble in this one if they cannot move the ball effectively and not putting numbers up on the scoreboard. If they avoid turnovers and penalties and push around the South Adams defense, Coach Michael Mosser’s squad is in good shape.
KEY TO VICTORY – SOUTH ADAMS
FIND A WAY
Blitz witnessed last week a game that saw a team take every chance, every opportunity and every risk to knock off a state title contender when Eastside downed Bishop Luers.
For the Starfires to do the same, it must go all out as the Blazers did. No trickery is too crazy, no decision is too outlandish. Make Adams Central uncomfortable. Keep it guessing. Be completely locked in to making the favorite’s night miserable.
Coming Thursday when Blitz makes his regional picks
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