Week 6: Five players to watch on the gridiron tonight

Bishop Luers’ Jordan and Jaden Sykes during September 16’s game against North Side. (Photo by John Felts)

Week 6 begins the second half of the season and every game, drive and snap start to matter a little more. This week offers some intriguing matchups that feature a handful of players that are expected to shine.

Here are those five players:

Aydan Rusu, Norwell vs. East Noble

Rusu was all over the field in Norwell’s 52-point win over New Haven. He led the team with 6.5 tackles, including three for loss. Norwell’s defense has been lights out so far and Rusu is an integral piece. You can focus on Drew Ringger or Luke Graft, but can’t forget about Rusu, because he’ll make you pay. Norwell has just two more big hurdles to bring home its first conference title since 2009 and first outright since 2006. The first hurdle is tonight in Kendallville.

Jordan and Jaden Sykes, Bishop Luers vs. Northrop

The Knights have gone loss, win, loss, win, loss to start the 2022 season. The Sykes brothers have been key in protecting quarterback Charlie Stanski and allowing him plenty of time to find Nick Thompson and Brayden McInturf. It has helped Stanski sit today as the top passer in yardage in the SAC. They are also important for the running game to find some traction here late in the season. The Knights average less than 100 yards per game on the ground, but the Bruins allow 146 rushing yards per contest. Tonight might be the night the Sykes brothers open up plenty of holes to run through.

Owen Wanner, South Adams vs. Adams Central

The Starfires were limited to just seven points and 109 yards of total offense in this rivalry matchup last season. This year’s team is averaging over 378 yards per game and Wanner is the leader of this high-powered offense. Wanner 71-of-123 for 1,046 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also has 20 carries for 240 yards and two scores. Wanner has three different targets that are all capable of making big plays, and he’ll need to spread the ball to all of them for the Starfires to keep pace with their rivals to the north.

Ethan Skinner, Central Noble vs. Lakeland

It’s hard not to notice the impact on a game Skinner has. He’s disruptive on the defensive side of the ball. He has 33 tackles, seven for loss, and 4.5 sacks. On the offensive side, he’s a willing blocker that loves to put someone on their backside. Oh, and he can also streak down field and make a catch and run the ball. Skinner has 15 carries for 111 yards and three touchdowns to go along with his 11 catches for 134 yards. He’ll need to be productive on both sides to give the Cougars their third straight victory.

Jake Snyder, Woodlan vs. Jay County

Snyder is coming off his best game with the season. He rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown and found the end zone four times through the air with 190 passing yards. He’ll more than likely have to run the ball more than four times and throw it for more than five times against the Patriots tonight. If he’s able to have similar efficiency, the Warriors could have another big night in Portland.

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