Oh, how Blitz would be hearing it right about now.
Owen Scheele loved to tell you when you were wrong. He would tell you before things went down, of course, that whatever you predicted or thought would happen was way off the mark.
So it is fitting that a game that Blitz had the Chargers losing by two touchdowns instead went Carroll’s way, a 21-15 victory over No. 1 Hamilton Southeastern, a team considered one of the top 25 best in the entire county. It felt perfect that Scheele’s protegé – sophomore Jimmy Sullivan – played largely an error-free game as D-coordinator Joe Rudolph’s unit made the night miserable for a team that had ran its way through Class 6A in Indianapolis.
Sullivan was 7-of-12 for 120 yards passing while Braden Steely ran for 64 yards and two scores to lead Carroll’s offense on Friday night. The defense too was bolstered by Steely and his 10 tackles, while Ashton Pesetski and Cameron Lentz each added seven tackles. Michael Dierckman picked off a pass too.
No Fort Wayne school in the state’s biggest class was going to be able to match up once it went up against the 317. That’s what people said. That’s what BLITZ said. For the better part of a decade it was true.
So what is different now?
Owen. Owen is the difference.
Carroll continues to honor Scheele in every way possible. His jersey No. 13 heads to midfield every game with the captains for the coin toss. It still hits Blitz every time. The most likeable, goofy, smart-ass kid this bear has ever known is gone. Or is he?
It is hard not to believe that this isn’t Owen’s doing. How else do you explain it? Sure, Coach Doug Dinan deserves a tremendous amount of credit, as well as his staff. But this is all so SUDDEN. What changed between this season’s run through the likes of Penn and HSE and last year’s rout at the hands of Westfield in the regional round?
The march for Fort Wayne in 6A was supposed to begin next year – when Carroll and Homestead were finally going to be able to venture out of the SAC in the regular season and challenge themselves against some of the elite of the state. That was when the learning was going to begin, setting the benchmark for what needed to happen in the future to finally break through the 6A barrier.
Turns out we didn’t need to wait that long – Carroll has done it.
And let’s be clear, this wasn’t a Chargers team that everyone was super-hyped about entering the season. Yeah, it had pieces here or there. Sure, it could compete with Snider for the league championship. But to win the 6A north? To go undefeated through 13 games? Get out of here.
Losing Owen in June was a tremendous gut punch. His heroics in last year’s game to beat Snider when he was in for the ill Jeff Becker was one of the stories of the year. The senior’s moxie, energy and talent was going to shine in a senior campaign where he was the bona-fide QB1.
When Owen passed away after a short battle with cancer, it deflated not just Carroll, but the entire area.
So it is only fitting that the Chargers have defied expectations this year – they ARE the story of Indiana high school football in 2022. A program that had never won a regional before, let alone a semistate. They have done both and are headed to Lucas Oil Stadium over Thanksgiving weekend, proving Blitz and tons of other mammals wrong.
It has all been ‘For O’ all season long. A way to honor Owen and remember him.
But what we are seeing happen on the field with these Chargers? This season of all seasons?
This is O remembering Carroll, and looking out for his team every step of the way.
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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