Before we get to the Outside the Huddle All-Area Team and our end-of-year awards, Blitz wanted to take some time and take a last glance at area conferences and hand out some league-only hardware.
First up is the Summit Athletic Conference.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: TYRESE BROWN, SNIDER
No matter who Snider faced, Brown was nearly unstoppable all season long.
The senior finished with over 1,500 yards rushing for the season and over 20 touchdowns. He AVERAGED seven yards a carry, carrying the ball over 200 times on the year for the Panthers.
Brown was a huge part of Snider’s late-season run that saw it tie for the SAC championship. His grind-it-out style was on display perfectly at Luersfield in the muck when he toted the rock time and again, moving the chains and playing keepaway from the Knights.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brody Glenn, Bishop Luers; Jeff Becker, Carroll.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: CARSON CLARK, BISHOP LUERS
Make no mistake, player of the year and MVP are completely different awards for Blitz.
The Knights captured a share of their first SAC title since 2014 largely on the back of the offense, which was led by Clark.
While Bishop Luers had a wealth of weaponry, it was Clark’s leadership and pocket smarts to facilitate and get the ball in the hands of his playmakers in positions to succeed. He struggled with footwork in adverse field conditions, but in the dry, Clark picked apart defenses.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jeff Becker, Carroll; Brauntae Johnson, North Side; Jack Tippmann, Bishop Dwenger; Nick Talamantes, Snider.
BREAKOUT PLAYER: DYLAN BENNETT, CARROLL
Bennett surely looks the part of a standout football player with his impressive physique, but he backed it up on the field with a phenomenal debut in consistent varsity action for the Chargers.
Bennett’s first three interceptions went for pick sixes on the year and he finished with four picks overall. He also scored twice offensively out of the backfield.
But defense is where Bennett terrorized opponents, finishing with 84 tackles and 12 tackles for loss from his middle linebacker spot.
It is scary just how good Bennett could be next year as a senior.
HONORABLE MENTION: Lamarion Nelson, Wayne; Evan Linker, Bishop Luers; Gage Sparrow, Homestead; Michael Dye, North Side.
COACH OF THE YEAR: DOUG DINAN, CARROLL
The opening of a new football facility excited Huntertown, but a share of the SAC championship was a bigger deal over the course of the 2021 season.
For the first time since joining the league, the Chargers finished the campaign atop the standings with Bishop Luers and Snider.
Carroll bookended the season with losses to Bishop Luers and Westfield, but between those two the Chargers looked like the most complete squad in the league with an effective offense and a defensive unit that was as good as Dinan has had as a member of the SAC.
HONORABLE MENTION: Kyle Lindsay, Bishop Luers.
GAME OF THE YEAR: CARROLL 29, SNIDER 28, AUG. 27
With Jeff Becker out, backup QB Owen Scheele stepped in for Carroll and delivered as he threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns in the win, including the final score to Jameson Coverstone late that proved to be the difference.
The victory was the Chargers’ first of the year and may have very well changed the team’s trajectory. An 0-2 start would have effectively taken Carroll out of the SAC championship race before it truly began.
EARLY PICK FOR 2022 SAC CHAMPION: SNIDER
Wile the Panthers lose their top offensive playmakers, some linemen and some studs on defense, they will return Luke Haupert behind center, which gives Snider the continuity it needs to start where it left off on that side of the ball. Langston Leavell is primed for a huge senior season after showing promise behind Tyrese Brown.
Defensively will be tougher to reload, but Nick Talamantes at linebacker is stout and there is size returning up front.
Next season will be a dogfight again at the top of the league, but at this point, Blitz favors the Panthers.
These opinions represent those of Blitz and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Blitz on Twitter at Blitz_OTH