It is time we move past all the “we had a great summer,” the wishful thinking and the ‘best-case scenarios.’
Time to prove it on the field.
Indiana high school football is back and so is your favorite animated bear to educate you on what to expect each and every Friday night.
With the SAC now having a pair of non-conference weeks, Blitz has a ton of games to pick.
Let’s get down to it, shall we?
Last year: 191-45 (.809 winning percentage)
BROWNSBURG AT BISHOP DWENGER. The Saints have a murderous schedule to start the season. At least it begins at Shields Field with Brownsburg, a team some are looking at to be a 6A title contender. The biggest concern with Bishop Dwenger is its lack of size, especially since the Bulldogs, whose losses came to HSE and Cathedral (by seven) last year, have plenty of. BLITZ SAYS BROWNSBURG BY 16.
CARMEL AT HOMESTEAD. Sparty has taken on Carmel four times since 2006. They are 0-4 with the Greyhounds’ average margin of victory at 28.5 points. Can Homestead take a step forward in competing with the top squads in 6A like Carroll has? A respectable performance on Friday would go a long way. BLITZ SAYS CARMEL BY 19.
CARROLL AT HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN. Feels like yesterday these two were battling in the snow for the right to advance to the 6A title game. The Chargers got the best of HSE that night in Fort Wayne last November. Can the host Royals return the favor? Carroll has looked sensational all summer and fall in scrimmages and 7v7 shootouts. Is that because the Chargers are THAT good or that the competition around the area is THAT mediocre? This is a revenge game for HSE. BLITZ SAYS HSE BY 4.
CONCORDIA LUTHERAN AT SCECINA. Scecina’s longtime coach is Ott Hurrle. That has nothing to do with the breakdown of this game, Blitz just wanted to type out the amazing name. This matchup has the earmarks of what the Cadets have gotten out of the SAC for so long – a battle that’s going to make them better come playoff time. Yes, Scecina is 2A, but it is considered one of the top teams in the entire class. The Cadets have a lot of questions. The hope is they get some of those answered this week. BLITZ SAYS SCECINA BY 22.
BISHOP LUERS AT EAST NOBLE. This is the beauty of the SAC’s new format. Bishop Luers is a storied program, while East Noble has developed into one of the most consistent programs in the area. Here we are with the two’s first-ever meeting. There will be a lot of youth on both sides in this one, but this showdown comes down to the senior QBs, Kohen Mckenzie of Luers and Zander Brazel of East Noble. Which one makes more plays and avoids mistakes? Blitz will go with the three-year starter. BLITZ SAYS EAST NOBLE BY 2.
NORTHROP AT NEW HAVEN. Sophomore David Callison will start the year as QB1 for the Bruins. The kid has a ton of upside but will be thrown into the deep end with a Northrop team that has questions along the offensive front. Callison has weaponry on the perimeter that he can look to if he has time. With the aggressive Bulldog defense give him that time? All eyes are on Mylan Graham, but the difference in this one will be the play of the New Haven D. BLITZ SAYS NEW HAVEN BY 12.
SNIDER AT WARREN CENTRAL. The last several seasons haven’t been kind to Warren Central, at least by Warren Central standards (nine state titles). But it is still considered one of the most complete programs in the state, perhaps the Midwest. Snider is used to intimidating opponents purely by taking the field. Now, the Panthers need to make sure that doesn’t happen to them taking on the Warriors. How well Snider hangs in this game will be a good indicator on where it is at with a wealth of new starters. BLITZ SAYS WARREN CENTRAL BY 14.
SOUTH SIDE AT MARION. There is a lot of positivity around the Archers to begin 2023. Coach Andre Goodwell has brought in a sense of pride and camaraderie that has been missing in recent seasons. In a showdown of teams that finished with winless campaigns a year ago, there is opportunity here for the Archers to hit the ground running with their first Week 1 victory in 18 years (seriously). Blitz wants to believe. He just can’t. It’s coming for sure. But not yet. BLITZ SAYS MARION BY 6.
CRISPUS ATTUCKS AT WAYNE. If anything, Attucks on the schedule has shown Blitz how many people around here don’t know the history of Attucks. An all-Black school until 1971, Oscar Robertson and Attucks blazed a trail forward with a trio of hoops state titles in the 1950s. Great story. Learn your history. As for this matchup, Wayne has a lot of playmakers that, if put in position to succeed, can make defenses pay. But can the Generals stop anyone on defense? BLITZ SAYS WAYNE BY 7.
NORTHRIDGE AT NORTH SIDE. Can the Legends back up an eight-win campaign last season with a similar year in 2023? A lot hype around Brauntae Johnson (for good reason), but North will be without the Notre Dame commit in this one, as well as the punishing OL Jordan King. Is that enough to open the door for the Raiders? No. BLITZ SAYS NORTH SIDE BY 12.
ANGOLA AT DEKALB. Are we undervaluing how good the Barons are going to be? Coach Seth Wilcox returns a lot of production from last year. The Hornets are likely going young at QB with sophomore Hawk Hasselman. A phenomenal athlete, but is he ready to lead an offense and beat a solid team on the road? BLITZ SAYS DEKALB BY 7.
COLUMBIA CITY AT CHURUBUSCO. Another game not getting enough attention. Columbia City wants to prove last season was no fluke, while ‘Busco would like nothing more than to start the year with a win over their fellow Whitley County school for the first time ever (0-3). Does ‘Busco have an answer for Stratton Fuller and the CC running game? BLITZ SAYS COLUMBIA CITY BY 12.
HERITAGE AT BELLMONT. Is this the year the Braves start moving in the right direction? You’d like to think so, but 2022 felt like rock bottom with the third winless season in four years and only scoring in double digits once all year. Heritage may be the second-best team in the ACAC. BLITZ SAYS HERITAGE BY 29.
HUNTINGTON NORTH AT EASTBROOK. This was an exciting Week 1 game a year ago in Huntington, and with the Vikings’ new spread offense perhaps they can put Eastbrook off balance. But to beat the Panthers you have to be physically tough and stifle the run. ‘Tough’ isn’t a word we have used much with HN in recent years. Perhaps Coach Mike Eshbach can change that. BLITZ SAYS EASTBROOK BY 14.
LEO AT KOKOMO. The Wildkats aren’t hard to figure out. They are going to run, run, run and throw when you get too comfortable. This is a great test for Leo, which has to be able to win the line of scrimmage on both sides, something it couldn’t do last year in this game. Yes, the Lions offense looks poised to be very good, but is that defense better than 2022 when it allowed six opponents to score 20 or more points? BLITZ SAYS KOKOMO BY 6.
MISSISSINEWA AT NORWELL. Wanna talk about a team seemingly invisible entering 2023? Try the Knights, who have won double-digit games in each of the last three seasons but are an afterthought in NE8 title discussion. Yes, a lot was lost to graduation. But do we expect Norwell to disappear completely? Blitz doesn’t. BLITZ SAYS NORWELL BY 7.
BLACKFORD AT JAY COUNTY. Perhaps this will be the year where we see a significant jump from the Patriots and veteran coach Grant Zgunda. BLITZ SAYS JAY COUNTY BY 21.
BLUFFTON AT NORTHFIELD. This was one of the more surprising results of Week 1 last year, with the Tigers being shut out 21-0 by Northfield. With the amount of veterans Bluffton has back fresh off a sectional title campaign, this is one Coach Kunks’ squad should win. BLITZ SAYS BLUFFTON BY 6.
EASTSIDE AT WOODLAN. May be the best game in the area that no one is talking about. Is Woodlan prepped to make a jump in the ACAC? Does Eastside still have staying power with a new coach? The Warriors have to play better defense than it did in this game last year when it allowed a 50 spot to the Blazers. BLITZ SAYS EASTSIDE BY 10.
GARRETT AT ADAMS CENTRAL. Back when Coach Michael Mosser took over for Rick Minnich in the late 2000s, Garrett won four of five in this series. What a time to be alive. BLITZ SAYS ADAMS CENTRAL BY 36.
SOUTH ADAMS VS. TIPTON AT IWU. A fun opportunity to kick the season off on the turf at Indiana Wesleyan for both teams. This is a good test for South Adams to see if it can keep up the positive vibes of Week 1 dubs every year since 2017. Blitz is bear that digs streaks. BLITZ SAYS SOUTH ADAMS BY 5.
SOUTHERN WELLS AT ELWOOD. These two programs have lost a combined 44 straight games. A streak will end! BLITZ SAYS ELWOOD BY 1.
FREMONT AT SHENANDOAH. If there is a program to watch in the NECC it is Fremont. Not talking division title or anything, but Coach Trevor Thomas and his staff have brought a lot of energy to the Eagles in the last few years. They are largely competitive. This one could stay close for awhile. BLITZ SAYS SHENANDOAH BY 17.
GOSHEN AT FAIRFIELD. This one went to OT in Week 1 last season. Won’t be as close this time around. BLITZ SAYS FAIRFIELD BY 22.
LAKELAND AT ST. JOSEPH. Tough road trip for the Lakers, who have lost four straight season openers. BLITZ SAYS ST. JOSEPH BY 13.
WEST NOBLE AT CENTRAL NOBLE. Rivalry! Central Noble coach Zach Baber’s first game on the sideline is against the Cougars’ arch nemesis. West Noble could eclipse its eight victories from a season ago. BLITZ SAYS WEST NOBLE BY 21.
WHITKO AT PRAIRIE HEIGHTS. Fear the Heights. BLITZ SAYS PRAIRIE HEIGHTS BY 31.
WARSAW AT MICHIGAN CITY. The Tigers torched Michigan City last season in all three facets in a 35-7 rout. This one is closer. BLITZ SAYS WARSAW BY 9.
CALUMET CHRISTIAN VS. BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN AT SNIDER. The Braves’ first-ever 11-on-11 game. it is definitely going to be a learning campaign for BC, especially with under 30 players. Nothing is sweeter than a Week 1 W. BLITZ SAYS BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN BY 12.
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