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Pig column: Garrett could knock Leo from ranks of unbeaten

Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 5:10 am

All of a sudden, the ACAC juggernaut known as Leo is looking mortal.

Who else to knock them off the league perch than Garrett?

That is the storyline heading into Friday's matchup between the two, with the Lions winning their last two conference games over Heritage and Woodlan by a combined eight points.

Could the Railroaders end Leo's 25-game ACAC winning streak?

It is a tough question for The Pig to answer, but the Railroaders definitely have a shot. The offenses are prolific, with both teams averaging close to 35 points per game. Leo's Sam Waters and Garrett's Noah Follett are quarterbacks capable of making big plays with their arms and feet.

But The Pig believes this game will come down to defense, and that is a facet of this showdown that has to be worrisome if you are Garrett coach Chris DePew. Through seven games, the Railroaders are giving up 20 points per game and have held just one team (West Noble) in single digits.

Meanwhile, the Lions are holding opponents to 8.5 points a contest, including a pair of shutouts. Leo is not going to shut out Garrett on Friday night, but The Pig believes if the Railroaders are going to win this game, they are going to have to find a way to slow down Leo.

When Heritage took the Lions to overtime in an eventual 13-10 defeat a few weeks ago, it was the fewest points scored by a Leo team in the regular season since a 16-13 defeat to Whitko in 2008. Sure, it was rainy and muddy that Friday night, but the Patriots played on the same field as Leo. Coach Dean Lehrman showed that there is a way to limit the Leo offense.

Can the Railroaders do it? Ah, what the heck, The Pig wants to see some intrigue pumped back into the ACAC. Garrett by 2.

In other bacon bits:

- The Pig has a soft spot for the Totem Pole game between North Side and South Side. The Redskins are looking for their third consecutive victory in the series, the first time that has happened since the program beat the Archers five consecutive times from 1994 to 1998.

Two straight defeats in big games has to have North Side reeling. Coach Ryan Hall has boasted all year about his senior leadership. Those seniors must step up to right the ship before this rivalry game against an improving South Side squad that has gone 2-2 in its last four games, with the two losses coming by a combined 10 points.

- So many people are already talking about the NHC battle of the unbeatens next week between New Haven and Homestead. The Pig believes East Noble may have something to say about that as it takes on the Bulldogs this week.

The Knights embarrassed Columbia City in a 79-7 victory last Friday night. If East Noble's offense continues to play the way it has the last two weeks, the Bulldogs will enter next week's matchup with the Spartans 7-1.

Looking ahead to Friday:

Let's talk Leo and this conference. The Lions have dominated it in recent years, a close game here or there, but mostly overpowered teams. Now, they are coming off back-to-back close contests. Is this good for the league?

You guys would like nothing more than to be the team that ends their streak.

Leo gets so much credit for scoring points, but you guys are right there with them, scoring more points, albeit Leo with one less game, talk about your offense.

While there are two prolific offenses on the field, is this game going to come down to defense?