Friday, August 31, 2018 1:00 am
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.