BLITZ: The Week 7 Power Poll

Carroll’s Cooper Rudolph works to break down a South Side defender during a September 23 game. (Photo by Leverage Photography)

This is the time of the year where there isn’t much in the way of surprises, at least if you are an intelligent mammal like yours truly.

So when it comes to the Power Poll, big jumps are hard to materialize, as teams have shown enough to know what they are and what they aren’t.

Let’s take a look at who slots in where on the eve of Week 7.

1. CARROLL (6-0)

WHY #1?

Carroll began to bench its starters before halftime of last week’s rout of South Side. The only thing we learned out of the Chargers in Week 6 was the fact they are still very, very good.

The rivalry game with Homestead looms on Friday, a contest in which the Spartans will be pumped up for for various reasons.

But one thing is for sure, Carroll should handle its business in convincing fashion.



2. SNIDER (5-1)

WHY #2?

Things continue to roll for the Panthers, who are feeling like an afterthought at this point.

Maybe it is because Coach Kurt Tippmann’s team has gone about its business without the eye-popping statistics. Snider’s leading rusher is Uriah Buchanan at 466 yards. Kamari Juarez leads the receiving corps with three TDs. Luke Haupert has thrown for “only” 763 yards.

The Panthers are not taking to social media demanding attention or respect. It is letting its play (and the win column) do the talking.


The 28-21 loss to Carroll in Week 2 is still a thing. But the more we are removed from that decision, the more Blitz would like to see a rematch between the top two squads in the conference.

3. NORWELL (6-0)

WHY #3?

It is silly when you start to think about dominant Norwell has been this season.

Just two of its six opponents have even SCORED against the Knights.

Leo put up 41 on Norwell last year. It was shut out this year.

New Haven put up 18 in 2021. Seven just two weeks ago.

Norwell shut out East Noble last week. A year ago…well, Norwell shut out the boys from Kendallville last year as well.

You get the point though. This is a legitimate 3A state contender.


Should they be? The Knights have dominated their opponents. Could they compete with Snider or Carroll?

4. NORTH SIDE (4-2)

WHY #4?

Lot of love to Lamarion Nelson of Wayne, and for good reason. But Jontae Lambert is at least Nelson’s equal.

Why? Consistency.

While Carroll was able to “hold” Lambert to 80 yards in a game that North had to go to the pass as it trailed most of the game, Lambert has rushed for 130 or more yards in every other game this season. And the competition in which he is putting up those numbers has been eye-popping – 133 against Snider, 210 against Dwenger, 283 against Luers, 305 against Homestead.

Lambert is second in the state in rushing per MaxPreps, at least in regards to teams that use the site, with 1,242 yards on the ground this season.


The two losses to Carroll and Snider make North a simple pick for No. 4. Might it be better than Norwell? Impossible to tell, but something you could argue.


WHY #5?

The final three weeks of the season are going to be very telling for the Saints – who take on Bishop Luers, Snider and Northrop in successive weeks.

Bishop Dwenger has not beaten a team that enters Week 7 with a winning record. Is this team really good or just really, really mediocre?

A victory this week at Bishop Luers would be a good dub to prep for Snider coming in Week 8. What also would help would be continuing explosive plays from the likes of CJ Davis and Carter Minix.


Now hear this, if Bishop Dwenger can beat Bishop Luers and Snider in back-to-back weeks, expect to see the Saints move up.

6. HOMESTEAD (3-3)

WHY #6?

Just a few short weeks ago, Homestead was undefeated, feeling good and selling people on the idea that it could compete for an SAC title.

Now, the Spartans are 3-3, having lost to Bishop Dwenger, Snider and North Side.

Homestead can compete, we have seen that. But it is too inconsistent over the course of a game to beat really good opponents. The defense in particular has had difficulty in getting stops, particularly the last two weeks while surrendering a total of 99 points to Snider and North Side.


Beat Carroll then we will talk.

7. LEO (4-2)

WHY #7?

That is three straight wins for those of you scoring at home, with the offense looking sharp in each victory.

We knew it was going to take a bit for the offense to find its way considering the turnover on the depth chart and the schematic changes made. The competition didn’t help, as Kokomo, Angola and Norwell – the first three opponents this year – are a combined 16-2.

But Leo found a way to beat Angola in Week 2 and is looking stronger each week.


Maybe Coach Jason Doerffler’s team should be? Lot of teams on this top 10 have or would lose to Norwell and Kokomo.

8. WARSAW (4-2)

WHY #8?

Heading into Week 5, Warsaw was undefeated and looking to prove just how good it was against Mishawaka and NorthWood.

Two weeks and two lopsided defeats later, the Tigers are reeling.

As good as the run game has been, this team’s success or failure in the playoffs is going to be predicated on its defensive play and how many stops it can or can’t get. Potential sectional foes Carroll, Penn and Elkhart all average more than 26 points per game. Warsaw hasn’t yet beaten a team averaging that this season.


Back-to-back blowout defeats.


WHY #9?

One of the feel-good stories of the season thus far, Columbia City destroyed New Haven last week in a game that Blitz saw as being a lot closer.

That has been the approach the last few weeks, with Blitz thinking a team had a shot at hanging around with CC (looking at you Huntington North and DeKalb) only for Coach Brett Fox’s crew to end those thoughts pretty quick.

The Eagles have won four straight by a combined score of 181-14. East Noble on the road is the next test. Can CC keep rolling?


The toughest portion of Columbia City’s schedules is over the next three weeks. Stay tuned.


WHY #10?

AC dropped a spot after beating up on its rival South Adams, but that’s more to give Columbia City credit than anything the Flying Jets did wrong.

Look, you may be No. 10 in this poll, but you are No. 1 in terms of area teams with the best shot to advance to the state championship game. So that’s a fair trade, right AC?

The Flying Jets won’t lose a game in the regular season and have the potential to advance deep into the playoffs before being challenged.


Because Blitz hates Monroe. At least, that’s what some people think.


11. Bishop Luers

12. Angola

13. East Noble

14. South Adams

15. West Noble

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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