Friday, October 12, 2018 1:00 am
SAC title picture still a little fuzzy
Dan Vance | For The Journal Gazette
(All games at 7 p.m. unless indicated)
Carroll at Wayne
Concordia at North Side
Bishop Luers at Snider
Northrop at Bishop Dwenger
Homestead at South Side
Columbia City at Norwell
DeKalb at Leo
East Noble at Bellmont
New Haven at Huntington North
Adams Central at Woodlan
Jay County at Heritage
Lakeland at Bluffton, 7:30 p.m.
South Adams at Southern Wells
Central Noble at Garrett
Eastside at Angola
Fairfield at Churubusco
Traders Point at Fremont, 7:30 p.m.
West Noble at Prairie Heights
Goshen at Wawasee
Concord at Warsaw
Wabash at Whitko
Chaos in the city: That is the theme for the 2018 season. It made power polls difficult early and often, and last week's win by Snider over Bishop Dwenger only added to the trend.
Is there a clear-cut best team in Northeast Indiana? Is there even a clear-cut best team in the SAC? So many questions, but one conclusion: the SAC's Victory Bell is either heading to one school or split among three schools. And if it's going only to one, nobody should be considered better.
1. Bishop Dwenger
Does one hiccup make the Saints less than the best? The short answer: no. The long answer: It's complicated. Bishop Dwenger isn't going to make many Top-10 play lists, but its offensive style is to the point and it works. Except for last week.
Playing inspired football since the Wayne loss is what has supported the claim that Snider is once again the best team in the area. Beating Bishop Dwenger was monumental for a team once considered too young and maybe a year away. But unless the Panthers are the champs, are they the best?
The Generals were due for a misstep and slippery fields have not been their friend this season. They are still playing quality football and even a relatively bad game in Week 8 was only worth an eight-point loss. Every week, Brandan Young is playing better at quarterback and that is inspiring.
Consistency is a huge part of what makes a regular season, and Angola deserves to be acknowledged for that. The Hornets have had a perfect season so far and done so in dominating fashion, outscoring opponents 36.6 to 6.9.
The Spartans' win last week was a big one for them and a lot of momentum is going their way. But let us not forget their previous two wins were not against upper SAC talent and before that, they were on a three-game skid. Were they better than Wayne last week? Yes. But are they better than Wayne as a whole?
6. East Noble
The way the Knights continue to tear through expected tests, it was time for them to leapfrog a couple of teams heading close to sectional play. Bailey Parker has not gotten enough credit for being as good of a dual threat quarterback as anyone in the SAC. With 1,260 passing yards and 711 rushing yards with 15 total touchdowns, he has East Noble rolling.
7. Bishop Luers
We know the Knights have multiple weapons on offense capable of reeling off big points. If they can exploit Snider's defense, they will enter the postseason as a top team in Class 3A.
8. Adams Central
The Flying Jets have run roughshod over opponents all year long.
The Cadets are capable and their record is misleading. What do they do at the quarterback position going forward? Does Jake Byrd retake the reins or does Brandon Davis continue to get snaps?
The Bruins are learning to make plays on defense and that is all they have needed to do for years. Interceptions for touchdowns for Amarion Green and Jaden Smith last week were absolute difference-makers.
Leo senior A.J. Restivo is officially, by the numbers, the best to ever put on the Lions purple. If Leo can play as feisty going forward as we've seen in flashes, it could make some serious waves before November.
For the first time this season, Churubusco has to play off a loss. What did the Eagles learn from last week's mistakes? Was it a speed bump or a wall they hit? Those questions weigh heavy.
Chargers have become part of a growing list of teams in the SAC that can put up big yardage and big point totals, but fail to stop opponents from doing the same.
14. South Adams
Save for an upset loss to Jay County, the Starfires are sitting exactly where they were expected to at this point. James Arnold is writing his name into the history books for South Adams, this year and beyond.
Kind of quietly, the Barons have dug out a 5-win regular season with wins over everyone but the NE8 elite.