BLITZ: Where do Snider and North Side go from here? It’s up to them

Snider’s Langston Leavell takes off up field during August 19’s game against North Side. (Photo by Gary Hale)

There is a lot that goes into Week 1 of the high school football season.

For months, it is the game that is brought up time and again during every lift, every summer workout, every long practice.

For those like Blitz, they are the games that occupy the mind and the focal point of previews as we near the start of the season.

For Snider and North Side, it is up to them to decide how they handle what went down at Spuller Stadium in Week 1, because the stakes are raised for both next Friday.

The Panthers picked up a hard-earned 20-18 win. Despite not scoring in the second half and picking up way too many penalties, Snider’s defense stepped up in limiting North Side while the rushing attack with Langston Leavell and De’Alcapon Veazy was able to move the chains enough to play keepaway from the Legends down the stretch.

“You never know what is going to happen in Week 1 until you get here on a Friday night,” Snider coach Kurt Tippmann said. “I thought our guys rose to the challenge against a very good football team.”

There was a lot to like out of the Panthers. The running game looked stout, as did the defense. But there were composure issues and some sketchy moments on special teams (including a blocked extra point).

Senior linebacker Zyon Greene showed that he is going to be a big problem for opposing offenses all season long, and the Snider defensive front is not hulking but it is quick and athletic.

But Snider cannot celebrate for long. And you can bet Coach Tippmann won’t let his team do so. Week 2 and a date with Carroll in Huntertown looms. The two squads many believe are at the top of the SAC will do battle.

North Side’s Bohde Dickerson rolls out of the pocket during August 19’s game against Snider. (Photo by Gary Hale)

On the other side, for the second-straight season North Side dropped a heartbreaker to the Panthers. After Leavell’s two-yard touchdown, his second of the first half, put Snider up 14 a few minutes before halftime, the Legends were up against the wall. But Bohde Dickerson led North down for a score, but the two-point conversion was dropped.

Another score for North came early in the fourth, a Dickerson to Jaylen Ellis connection, but again the conversion failed on a dropped pass. Those missed two points ended up being the margin of defeat.

The message on the sideline and on the field following Friday’s loss was consistent from all of North Side’s coaches – do not let this loss linger for long. Much like Snider, the Legends do not have long to process what went down on Friday – because another big showdown awaits in Week 2.

For North, that foe is Bishop Dwenger, a team that silenced the doubters by beating up on Wayne in a game that many circled as a potential upset special. Instead, the Saints showed are still a force to be reckoned with.

And so are the Legends. Make no mistake, if a few bounces go their way and some miscues don’t happen, North is the one walking out of Spuller on Friday with a dub.

Thus, that is the lesson for both teams. Blitz really believes that the last-second loss to Snider last year really affected North Side for the entire season. It was never able to shake that disappointment and it set the tone for the year.

Coach Ben Johnson and his staff cannot let that same thing happen. The Legends need to be able to learn from defeat, turn the page and refocus.

Meanwhile, Snider must do the same. A win over the Legends is nice, but perhaps the biggest challenge of the regular season comes in Week 2.

1-0 or 0-1, neither team must let Week 1 define them.

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

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