Week 3 is when teams outside the SAC get conference play rolling. That can only mean more interesting matchups and more players to watch.
Here are five players to watch this week:
Christian Trimble, Wayne vs. Northrop
This is a good week for the Generals to get into the win column. Trimble has been solid under center in the first two weeks of the season and will be going up against a Bruin defense that’s not overpower but is opportunistic with turnovers. Northrop has picked off opposing quarterbacks four times already this season. Trimble only has one interception through two weeks and will have to make some timely throws to lead the Generals to victory.
Tre Bates, New Haven vs. DeKalb
The chance for the Bulldogs to make some noise in the Northeast 8 starts tonight in Waterloo. Bates has been consistent in his production the first two weeks of the season at running back. He rushed for 81 and 85 yards, respectively, against Marion and Eastbrook with a total of three touchdowns. New Haven wants to get the ball to Mylan Graham as much as possible, but Bates provides service that can be overlooked at times. He keeps defenses honest by picking up over seven yards a carry, which puts the eyes of the secondary in the backfield while Graham runs over the top.
Joey Eck, Eastside vs. West Noble
The Blazers played really well in a losing effort at Adams Central, but still, it’s a loss that will stick with Eastside all season. As a two-way lineman, Eck can affect the game in more ways than one. West Noble is quietly off to a solid 2-0 start and has a running game that is led by two young guns at running back. Eck’s experience in the trenches should shine in a game where the Blazers will be coming in hot.
Aiden Shepherd, Homestead vs. Bishop Luers
The Spartans were thought to have a senior-led linebacking corps this season, but it’s been the junior who leads the team in tackles so far this season with 15. He also has a sack, a tackle for loss and an interception. He’s been the leader of this defense that has been stout, allowing just over 10 points per game. Shepherd has the speed to make tackles sideline to sideline and drop back into coverage. He’ll be all over the place at Luersfield this evening.
Drew Fleek, Woodlan vs. Heritage
Fleek carried the Warriors to a win over Central Noble last week with 182 rushing yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns. Woodlan is in the big middle-class of the ACAC, along with the Patriots, so a win tonight could go a long way. Heritage gave up over 200 yards on the ground to Norwell last week. Fleek and the Warrior offense have shown the ability to score early on, no matter the opponent. The sophomore has the chance to put the rest of the conference on notice with another big week.