THE PIGSKIN PROPHET: Time to give out some first-half awards
It has become a mid-September tradition much like decorating way too early for Halloween…
That’s right. Now back in its third year, The Pigskin Prophet’s mid-season awards show is back.
With five weeks down and teams guaranteed only five more games, it is time to see what has impressed this swine through the first half of the season.
WEEK 4: New Haven 35, Leo 33
This game had a little bit of everything.
A sizable lead lost.
A quarterback change for the victors.
Oh, and a fourth-and-29.
In the end, it was the Bulldogs prevailing in overtime, with back-up quarterback Tim Jordan hooking up with Daryce Jackson late in regulation on fourth and forever that set up the tying score.
New Haven’s ability to fight back from a significant deficit was eye-opening, particularly since in recent years where the Bulldogs struggled when behind.
All Leo did after the defeat was bounce back to beat East Noble on the road a week later.
RUNNERS-UP: Angola 41, Leo 35, Week 2; Carroll 28, Bishop Dwenger 24, Week 5.
JIYA WRIGHT, HOMESTEAD
Anyone who attempts to make a case for anyone else in the area should not be talking high school football.
Through five weeks, Jiya Wright is AVERAGING 350 yards of total offense per game. That’s more than a fair amount of local teams average.
The senior quarterback has thrown for 1,246 yards and rushed for another 504, even making the stout Snider defense look pedestrian last week at Lucas Oil Stadium.
All the more impressive is that Wright is doing this without much of a running game to complement him. The next leading rusher is sophomore Jake Archbold, who has gained 105 yards on 27 carries.
With Wright, Homestead is capable of beating any team in the area if its defense plays well…including Snider (Not saying that happens, calm down Panthers fans).
RUNNERS-UP: Trey Freeman, Concordia; Andrew McCormick, East Noble; Christian Covington, Snider.
GOOD TEAM WITH MORE YET TO ACHIEVE
The excitement was palpable around the Carroll program leading into the season. The speed and athleticism that the Chargers could put onto the field on both sides of the ball would be rivaled only by Snider in the area.
That may be true, but the results haven’t been there. Two painful losses to Luers and Snider to open the season shed much of the enthusiasm from outsiders regarding Carroll.
Three straight wins, including a big one over Dwenger last week, appears to have gotten the Chargers back on track, but it’s tough for The Pig to erase the 69-7 loss to Snider from his memory.
This may end up being the most improved SAC team from Week 1 to the start of the postseason, but The Pig expected more sooner. Maybe that’s on him…
RUNNERS-UP: JAY COUNTY, GARRETT.
UNDERRATED TEAM OF THE YEAR (SO FAR)
The Pig knows he isn’t the only one pleasantly surprised to see the Cadets as competitive as they have been through the first half of the season.
Despite some key pieces returning, this was a program expected to take a step back from 2016. Instead, Concordia is in the exact same position it was last year through five games — 3-2 with losses to Snider and Homestead.
The defense is aggressive and fundamentally sound, while Marcus Morrow carries the load on the ground and Jake Byrd continues to gain confidence behind center.
The schedule the next three weeks — Dwenger, Wayne and Carroll — is difficult, but should pay dividends come 3A playoff time.
RUNNERS-UP: Angola, South Adams.
TOP 2017 TRADITION
PICKING AGAINST ANGOLA…EVERY WEEK
Through his two-plus decades in this job, The Pig has occasionally developed a beef with a fan base or two. Good-natured of course.
This year, that fan base is Angola. The Hornets have won their first five games of the season, with The Pig picking them to lose all five times. It’s become a ritual of sorts. Pig picks against Angola. Angola wins. Angola fans let The Pig have it.
Last week, Angola fans roasted a hog as part of Homecoming festivities, with the poor swine being served by adults adorning Pig t-shirts.
What a punch in the snout.
Here’s hoping the hate keeps up, because The Pig sure isn’t picking Angola to win anytime soon.
This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email The Pigskin Prophet at firstname.lastname@example.org.