With just a single week left in the regular season and the sectional draw this weekend, a lot of focus is going to turn on the playoffs.
But we need to wrap up Week 8 before we move forward.
What better way to do that than some Bear Necessities.
• Is Carroll really, really good or is the SAC this season really, really average?
The answer is…we don’t know yet.
It has been a relatively easy march to the Chargers’ first outright league championship, capped by a 51-0 drubbing of Concordia on Friday. No matter what happens at Wayne coming up next Friday, Coach Doug Dinan‘s squad will be awarded the Victory Bell for an outright SAC title.
Outside of close Week 2 games against Snider and North Side, Carroll has rolled through the league, winning by an average of 34 points per game.
Are the Chargers a true Class 6A threat? Or a product of a down year in their conference? We will find out in a few weeks.
• There was a bit of a dust up on the field between South Side and Bishop Luers on Friday. An initial physical altercation between two players grew into something bigger as additional players joined in. Luckily, there were no real punches thrown, at least from what Blitz could see.
It is good to see that cooler heads prevailed, although on-field issues continue to be a problem with some teams in the SAC.
• With his 276-yard effort against Northrop on Friday, North Side running back Jontae Lambert now has 1,557 yards rushing to go with 10 touchdowns on the season. That ranks second in Indiana behind Robert Lamar of Clarksville, who has 1,700 yards on the ground.
Going a bit further, Lambert is 18th in the country in rushing among teams who use MaxPreps with his yardage total. America’s leader in prep rushing yards is Connor Smith of Gibsonburg (OH) with 2,146 yards.
• The offensive numbers put up by Homestead and Wayne was astounding, with the teams combining for 1,186 total yards in the 61-54 thriller won by the Spartans.
Neither team could stop the other, with the two teams combining for 54 first downs and just two punts.
Peyton Slaven had himself a night through the air with 401 yards and three scores. Christian Trimble of Wayne was also superb, finishing 30-of-36 for 425 yards and four scores.
With one week left in the regular season, are coaches Chad Zolman of Homestead and Sherwood Haydock of Wayne more pumped about how their offenses played or disturbed with their lack of defense?
• Tegan Irk continues to tear apart opposing defenses week after week.
On Friday, the DeKalb senior threw for six touchdowns – breaking the former record of five held by Irk himself, Brad Weber and Kyle Dunham.
For the season, Irk has tossed 23 touchdowns, but the Barons just haven’t been able to match good teams score for score over the course of the year – losing to New Haven, East Noble, Columbia City and Norwell each by 20 or more points.
All of that said, Irk shouldn’t be looked over. If the Barons can hold opponents better defensively, Irk is the type who could be a real game changer even in the postseason.
• A lot of attention has gone on Mylan Graham at New Haven, and for good reason, but a pair of juniors continue to show out more and more.
Quarterback Donovan Williams threw for 229 yards and four touchdowns for the Bulldogs in their 37-14 win over East Noble, their first over the Knights in six years.
Meanwhile, junior Tre Bates rushed for 155 yards and a score.
Neither have been perfect. Williams has thrown 10 interceptions on the year and must improve in that department, while Bates put the ball on the ground in Friday’s win. But looking ahead, Graham, Bates and Williams are going to be a huge problem as a collective in 2023.
• There should be plenty of love for the running back battle that took place on Friday night in Whitley County.
Ultimately, James Getts got the better of things with his speed and cutbacks being a real problem for Leo. The Columbia City rusher is just one of a whole host of guys who can take off for big games for the Eagles.
Once Getts hits the edge, he is causing serious problems for anyone and he proved that Friday as he burned the Lions.
On the other side, Max Loeffler was fantastic too. He has really emerged as a great lead back this season when most of us figured Ethan Crawford would be that guy. Early season Crawford injury woes and the reliance of him on defense has helped pave the way for Loeffler offensively and he has earned it. Almost every week he has been fantastic, from scoring the first touchdown of the season against Kokomo to the work he did Friday, also in a loss, at Columbia City.
Getts and Loeffler combined for 269 yards of rushing and 4 total touchdowns Friday night.
• Adams Central became the eighth area team to eclipse 400 all-time victories on Friday with its 56-8 blasting of Bluffton.
The Flying Jets are the first ACAC squad to surpass the mark and are two behind Homestead, who got over 400 earlier this year.
Other area squads over 400 dubs include North Side (426), South Side (443), Bishop Dwenger (486), Bishop Luers (490), Garrett (493) and Snider (510).
In Friday’s win over Bluffton, Ryan Black was on an absolute tear. You name it and he scored that way. He threw for 178 yards and 2 touchdowns, ran for 59 yards and 2 touchdowns and returned an interception for a touchdown in a 56-8 win over Bluffton.
The Flying Jets’ shortest win streak against an ACAC opponent now sits at 742 days, which is the last time South Adams beat the Jets (all according to AC Barstool…I don’t have the energy to do that deep of research, I’ll admit it.). Its very long and its much longer since anyone else in the conference has toppled the Flying Jets.
• How was Garrett able to lead early and keep it close throughout against Angola?
The Railroaders finished an incredible 10-of-16 on third down, with another conversion on fourth down.
After starting 0-6, Coach Chris DePew‘s team has shown life the last two weeks with a win over Fairfield followed by a battle with Angola. A winnable Week 9 game at home against Central Noble caps the regular-season schedule.
• Blackhawk Christian played in their first every Friday Night experience this week, picking up a win on Senior Night to improve to 5-2 in their first season of 8-on-8 play. The Braves picked up the 55-22 win over Parkway Christian Academy.
Gage Bennett ran for 173 yards and two scores while Jon Overholt threw for 202 yards and four touchdowns while Brennan Miller backed him up for a fifth passing touchdown with scoring passes made to Aiden Muldoon (3), Victor Hoya and Sam Schwartz.
It has been a pretty successful first year for Blackhawk after starting 0-1. And with Bennett just a sophomore, there is plenty to grow on.
That said, kudos to those seniors who were honored on Friday as the base for the program to grow on. Dylan Whitman, Isaac Alexander, Reece Tracy, Aidan Gansert, Hoya and Overholt were honored before Friday’s fifth win.
The 54 points scored by Wayne on Friday are the most ever scored by the program in a losing effort…Heritage‘s 68 points in its 68-20 win over Southern Wells is the most scored by the program since a riveting 81-7 victory at Manchester on Aug. 25, 2006…Bishop Dwenger has now been shut out twice in a season for the first time since 1977…Norwell allowed just four first downs in its 56-0 win over Huntington North.
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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