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The Journal Gazette

Friday, November 09, 2018 1:00 am

Top 5

Traditional area powers thriving

Dan Vance | For The Journal Gazette


Area regionals


(All games at 7 p.m. unless indicated)


Snider at Carmel


Angola vs. Bishop Dwenger at New Haven


Mishiwaka Marian at Bishop Luers, 7:30 p.m.


Adams Central at Monroe Central

And then there were five; just a handful of programs with sectional trophies looking to inch closer to a Thanksgiving weekend trip to Indianapolis. For them to do that, four of them will face rematches from last season, showing that after all of the predictions, polls and rankings, traditional powers in Northeast Indiana are still thriving.

The five teams remaining have been constants in The Journal Gazette Power Poll all season and will look to keep their spots intact for another week representing the area in four different classes with the possibility of four teams still playing next week.

1. Bishop Dwenger

The talk after another sectional title for Bishop Dwenger lay heavily on the passing game. The Saints have trucked through defensive lines all year, but going without acompleted pass until late in their win against Wayne had doubters mumbling. Is this Bishop Dwenger team diverse enough in the long run? The Saints have done everything they need to week by week. Last year, they flexed their muscles on Angola early in the regional game. There are few signs to show they will do anything less this year, and that says more about Bishop Dwenger than it does Angola.

2. Snider

The Panthers' passing game will be under heavy pressure from Carmel defensive end Beau Robbins. While Snider's aerial game has improved every week, quarterback Jon Barnes Jr. showed his ability to run against Homestead last Friday. Combined with the speed of A'Nyis Lockett, the Panthers are too fast for a lot of foes. Controlling the ground is important for Snider's season to continue.

3. Angola

If anyone still questions Angola, its defense stopping high-powered Bronson Yoder of NorthWood last Friday should have answered them. While Bishop Dwenger represents a big threat, Angola doesn't seem to be fazed. The regional final game being played on turf could be a help to quarterback Jarrett Gibson, who has been a difference maker for Angola from last year's team.

4. Adams Central

The Flying Jets are playing for their seniors and the goal to get to a Class A state title game. Logan Macklin continues to be one of the area's toughest rushers to stop, and Parker Bates' methodical throwing has the team from Monroe a heavy favorite tonight against Monroe Central.

5. Bishop Luers

The Knights continue to showcase depth and diversity on offense. It has been the driving force for them all season, and it is likely they will continue to rely on Norm Knapke and Jordan Presley. Knapke is a force with short or long fields to work with. At 2,643 passing yards, he could eclipse 3,000 yards with another week to work. In last Friday's sectional title win over Bellmont, players such as Brayden Cowherd and Nate Moore played critical roles. Does depth equal a regional title?