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The Journal Gazette

Friday, August 31, 2018 1:00 am

TOP 15

SAC shake up jumbles everything

Dan Vance | For The Journal Gazette


(All games at 7 p.m.)

Concordia at Snider

North Side at Carroll

Northrop at Wayne

South Side at Bishop Dwenger

Homestead at Bishop Luers

Bellmont at Columbia City

East Noble at Huntington North

New Haven at DeKalb

Norwell at Leo

Adams Central at Lapel

Bluffton at South Adams

Heritage at Woodlan

Southern Wells at Jay County

Angola at Jimtown

Eastside at West Noble

Fairfield at Central Noble

Garrett at Churubusco

Lenawee Christian (Mich.) at Fremont

Northridge at Wawasee

Warsaw at Plymouth

Whitko at Maconaquah

Ranking the top 15 teams in the area may have never been harder than after a Week 2 that spread out the conferences. After all, when was the last time that eight SAC teams all had a win going into Week 3?

Then there is the matter of Week 1. Did the sloppy weather conditions make it matter as much as Week 2's lack of clarity? This is a crapshoot in the SAC for sure and as we learn more week by week, here is the Journal Gazette Top 15 power poll heading into today's games:

1. Homestead

The Spartans are a different animal at this point. Luke Goode's consistent arm made them a threat every drive he was in last Friday. Fellow quarterback Jake Archbold's decision-making made him arguably a bigger threat. At the end of the day, they are both Spartans and that makes Homestead other worldly at times.

2. Bishop Dwenger

Week 4 is when we will learn the most about Dwenger, when the Saints play Homestead. Until then, just march along with their superior defense in what should be a big week numbers-wise. The defense is giving up four points per game and that average is only going to go down after tonight against South Side.

3. Concordia

If you can't buy into the Cadets yet, when will you? Jake Byrd is looking like the conference's best passer more often than not, and Kamari Anderson-Drew is coming off one of his most impressive games ever.

4. Carroll

The combo of Gaven Vogt and Rhett Saylor is a significant quarterback-running back threat. The program's first ever win over Snider could be a big launching pad with winnable games ahead and a shot at starting 3-1 highly likely.

5. Bishop Luers

The Knights are doing a good job of spreading the ball around but need to establish a more consistent run game against more athletic teams. Working the ball to the outside will be a key against Homestead.

6. Angola

When your quarterback rushes for 283 yards, that is more than enough to impress. But Angola's defense is the real star of the show after blanking a Leo team originally expected to win the Northeast 8. Angola hits hard and its defense will continue to change games.

7. Wayne

The Generals finally get that “win they weren't supposed to get,” and the weight that could relieve from their shoulders is monumental. Ronald Elliot's agility in the kick return department to the tune of 40 yards per return in week two is another big weapon.

8. Snider

Snider's worst regular-season conference loss in 34 years showed the Panthers are beatable by experience. Patience is needed in this offense for the first time in a while and they won't get any room to breathe against Concordia and Liam Fletcher.

9. Adams Central

The second ranked team in Class A, the Flying Jets are going to test the conditioning of anyone they play. A showdown with 2-0 Lapel will be a good litmus test before ACAC play.

10. East Noble

The Knights hung with a tough Warsaw team but still were stopped short. Getting over the hump in close games may be the story in the NE8 all year, so East Noble will need to win those games.

11. Leo

Losing faith in Leo? The Lions didn't help their streak of giving the ball away last week including a fumble in the red zone. Don't discount a hungry Norwell team if Leo can't be more tightfisted with the ball.

12. South Adams

Although its offense sputtered in the second half last week, South Adams has found multiple ways to move the ball in what is usually a straight-up smash-mouth conference. James Arnold continues to find success through the air.

13. Northrop

Pure athleticism should be on display against Wayne, which could benefit the Bruins. Just as the Generals got a marquee win last week, a win for Northrop against Wayne could make waves.

14. Bluffton

The Tigers will find out how good they really are opposite South Adams, but Everett Johnson has been on a tear on the ground putting up 198 yards in a Week 2 win over Manchester.

15. New Haven

At this point, it is expectation keeping the Bulldogs afloat. They have to be able to score against DeKalb in the NE8 opener.