Another week of football is in the books, and with it perhaps more questions than answers?
The area conference races begin in earnest next week as league play begins.
Blitz is here to break it all down.
• Can’t start anywhere else but the clip that has gone viral over.
During the first half of the Northrop–Wayne game, sophomore Jerquaden Guilford came up a bit lame after a play. As he began to try and make his way to the sideline with a considerable limp, Wayne junior Victur Doughty jumped in and, without hesitation, put one of Guilford’s arms over his shoulder to help him to the Northrop sideline. With assistance from another Bruins player, Doughty was able to get Guilford close to the bench before trotting back to the defensive huddle.
It was an incredibly gracious gesture displaying true sportsmanship from Doughty. What was so great about the clip was that Doughty did not delay. He immediately thought of helping his injured opponent.
It doesn’t get any better than that.
• Speaking of Northrop, it has been a struggle through the first two weeks of the season. But there are some signs of positivity. Blitz mentioned Guilford, one of the top athletes in the state in the Class of 2026. Fellow sophomore David Callison looked a bit more comfortable in his second-career start at quarterback. His completion percentage (7-of-21) wasn’t great, but he did average 20.2 yards per completion on Friday and showed some ability to escape the pocket and pick up some yards on the run.
It’s setting up to be a long season for the Bruins, but if they can develop their young athletes, it bodes well for the future.
• There may be no team looking forward to SAC play more than North Side.
After an eight-win campaign in 2022 and high expectations heading into 2023, the Legends are 0-2 with lopsided losses to Northridge and Lawrence North.
Brauntae Johnson has yet to play due to injury, but the issues run deeper than one of the best players in the state out of the lineup.
North Side has struggled on both sides of the football. It is allowing 30 points per game, nearly 10 more points than it did a year ago. Offensively, while Dylan Schible has been unable to settle in at quarterback, part of the reason for that is a lack of a powerful running attack that was in place last year, coupled with an offensive line that hasn’t been able to get much of a push.
In terms of two teams desperately needing a dub, a showdown with Bishop Dwenger in Week 3 will be telling, followed by division play games against Concordia Lutheran and Northrop in consecutive weeks.
How important are turnovers? Ask Concordia.
The Cadets traded blows with Eastbrook on Friday, with Concordia finding success through the air (406 yards) and the Panthers running roughshod for 385 yards on the ground.
So the difference in the game? The Cadets (0-2) turned the ball over five times – three INTs tossed by Carter Ripke (who also threw three TDs and over 400 yards) and a pair of fumbles lost.
Meanwhile, Eastbrook did not commit a single turnover.
What could have been for Concordia if it had been able to better protect the football.
Uriah Buchanan showed flashes of being a difference-making back a season ago for Snider, but with Langston Leavell carrying the workload, he didn’t need to be the alpha.
This year is different, with Buchanan a senior leader evidenced by his No. 1 jersey. After the East Noble defense impressed by shutting down Bishop Luers in Week 1, Buchanan torched the Knights’ defense for 281 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries. He AVERAGED 14.7 yards per carry. Ridiculous.
Of course, a lot of credit goes to the Snider offensive front, which didn’t give East Noble much in the way of openings to disrupt the run game all night. The Panthers finished with 350 rushing yards overall.
• The Columbia City offense has put up some impressive numbers through the first two weeks, with history being made as well.
With another three receiving touchdowns against Plymouth, Stratton Fuller now has six scores through the air in two weeks.
Even bigger, Fuller now has 25 career receiving touchdowns, surpassing the program record of 24 set by Kyle Rucks.
The overall Columbia City mark for touchdowns in a career is 29. Safe to say that Fuller will be blowing by that record soon.
Not bad for a junior.
Also of note, Eagles QB Grayson Bradberry has 10 completions through two games. Seven of those have gone for touchdowns.
• It has been a tough first few weeks for the Norwell Knights.
For the past two seasons, Norwell’s defense was exceptional, but attrition via graduation and injuries has exposed the Knights, who are 0-2 and have allowed a combined 57 points through two weeks. For comparison, Norwell from Weeks 1-11 last year gave up a total of 53 points.
It seems in terms of injuries when it rains it pours, and that is where Norwell finds itself now. It doesn’t get easier with Leo coming to town this Friday.
• Leo turned their ship right with a big win over Angola on Friday.
And it started with Kaden Hurst‘s second kickoff return for a touchdown this season. Is he the new area Devin Hester? Hurst has now returned 99 and 86 yard touchdowns this season with his week one 99 yard return tying Kaeden Miller’s school record.
This all came on a big night for the Leo offense, especially early in the game with a 42-yard Kylar Decker to Brock Schott passing score and Hurst’s 60 yard touchdown run.
• Bluffton has picked up where it left off last season after capturing a sectional title. The Tigers have scored on every single offensive possession through two weeks – 14 for 14 – in routs of Northfield and Manchester. Braxton Betancourt completed five passes on Friday, three of which went for touchdowns. Bluffton actually leads all four area conferences in point differential through two weeks with a +83, ahead of second place +69 of ACAC foe Adams Central.
South Adams has also rolled through the first two weeks, outscoring foes 68-3.
What gives in Week 3? Can’t wait to find out.
Another note for Bluffton out of Friday is coach Brent Kunkel tying the program’s all-time win record.
• Braden Smith went nuts for Woodlan in Friday’s win over Central Noble, hauling in nine receptions for 164 yards and four touchdowns.
It was an impressive performance considering Smith made Central Noble pay in a variety of ways – short passes that he turned into touchdowns, accelerating downfield to take the top off the defense – the Cougars had no answer.
If Woodlan is going to make a play for a top spot in the ACAC, it will be wise to continue to take advantage of Smith.
• A barnburner between Warsaw and Chesterton, with the Tigers earning an 8-6 victory.
Highlights included a Tigers safety as the initial points of the game, Chesterton building a “commanding” 6-2 lead and a pair of Mason Smyth field goals over the final 4:45 to lift Warsaw to the dub, including a 38-yarder with 25 seconds left.
We usually talk about how the Tigers are powered by their running attack, but the defense and Smyth came through in the clutch on Friday.
• West Noble has amassed 573 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground in two games. While the question is if that can keep up in NECC play, there is no doubting that the Chargers could be the best team in the entire conference.
Junior Seth Pruitt has run for 379 yards and six scores in victories over Central Noble and Wawasee.
Bishop Dwenger‘s 57-0 loss to Cincinnati Moeller is the most lopsided defeat in school history. It surpasses the 66-10 loss to Snider on Oct. 8, 2004…Homestead is 0-2 to start the season for the first time since 1982. That year saw the Spartans lose in Week 1 to Bishop Luers 21-14 and in Week 2 to Angola 36-13…Homestead‘s 42-0 shutout loss to Noblesville was the first time the Spartans have been blanked in the regular season since a 12-0 defeat to New Haven on Oct. 15, 2004…With a Week 2 win over Garrett, DeKalb earned victory No. 300 in program history. Win No. 1 came on Sept. 8, 1967, a 29-14 decision over Bluffton…New Haven held Bishop Luers to seven pts a week after limiting Northrop to six pts. The last time New Haven began the season holding its first two opponents to single digits was 1989…Jay County is now 2-0 for the first time since 1996.
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