Fans of Region football shouldn’t be surprised to see the Wolves put up a 42 spot in the opening week win over John Glenn. After all, this team averaged 43 points per game a season ago, so they’re picking up right where they left off. Brae’ton Vann remains one of the Region’s most explosive players, racking up 347 all purpose yards (211 coming in the return game) last week. This team has a chance to put up some big point totals in the next few weeks, with a favorable schedule ahead.
The loss on the scoreboard might not have been the biggest loss for the Governors last Friday as star quarterback Credell Prather suffered a wrist injury in the first half of the showdown with the Trojans and was unable to return. There’s still plenty of talent on this roster, but there’s not doubt that if Prather misses a significant chunk of time, the long-term outlook isn’t as rosy as it was entering the season.
Despite pre-season injuries to some key players, the Wildcats came out on fire in Week #1, thanks in large part to the arm of quarterback Tyler Fruehling. The senior signal-caller completed 12 of 20 passes for 180 yards, and most importantly, three touchdowns. Combine that with a defense that surrendered just six points and picked up a pair of interceptions (both by Jack Kuiper) and that’s a recipe for success on the gridiron. The degree of difficulty picks up this week with a trip to Andrean, a team they’ve never beaten.
Talk about a debut. Not just for the Trojans, who opened up their 2019 campaign with a 21-13 road win against Hobart, but for sophomore quarterback Chris Mullen. In his first varsity action, Mullen, who alternated possessions with Jacob Coslet, threw for 294 yards and three scores. With a stout defense and a huge offensive line, Chesterton looks like they can make some noise in the DAC now that they may have found their QB of not only the future, but the present.
For the third straight season, the Bulldogs start the season 0-1 and fail to capture the Leather Helmet from rival Lowell. As we stated last week in this space, it seemingly doesn’t matter what the Bulldogs do in the regular season as they always find their groove in the playoffs, but the opener against Lowell was a bit of a disappointment considering the number of offensive starters that are back in 2019. They fall a bit this week, but a home loss to Highland on Friday with lead to an even bigger drop in the rankings.
A Week #1 loss is, obviously, less than ideal and it doesn’t get much easier for the Brickies any time soon with Merrillville, Culver Academy, and Andrean on tap in three of the next four weeks. The Brickies have lost their last three games, going back to last season, so not only would a “W” this week be nice in order to end the skid, but considering it would come against long-time rival Merrillville would make it even sweeter.
So much for early season growing pains. A young, inexperienced Lowell squad was expected by many to take some lumps in the first few weeks, but those expectations went right out the window with a 21-19 win over Crown Point at “The Inferno”. Up next we’ll see if this young group of Red Devils can match that success on the road as they travel to “The Warpath” to face Portage this week followed up a matchup against #9 Morton in Week #3.
It wasn’t shocking to see the Pirates defeat Andrean in the annual “Battle of Broadway” in Week #1. What did open a lot of people’s eyes was the dominating way in which they did it as the Pirates racked up 48 points in the win. Quarterback Peter Rodriguez picked up 121 yards on the ground to go along with three touchdowns while receiver Jeremiah Howard caught five passes for 89 yards and two scores. That kind of balance is going to make this team very difficult to beat all season long.
What more can you say about a Wolves team that was leading Griffith 41-0 at the end of one quarter (and went on to win 60-7) that they didn’t say themselves with their play on Friday night? We knew this team was going to be good, but that performance was on another level. City has a good matchup this week with Warsaw coming to Ames Field on Friday night. The visiting Tigers put up 52 points of their own in Week #1, so this should be a good one.
Michigan City’s performance last week would have vaulted most teams to #1 in the rankings, but as good as the Wolves’ outing against Griffith was…Valpo’s dominance of Penn was even more impressive. That 34-14 victory (game wasn’t as close as the score indicates) was a statement made to the rest of the Region and to 5A teams around the state – the Vikings aren’t taking a step back from last year’s semi-state squad. If anything, they are better.