Let’s not overreact to Snider’s 28-20 victory over No. 3 Penn on Saturday night. It was not for a semi-state or state championship, and did not clinch anything at all for the Panthers.
But get one thing straight, The Pig wants to make sure people do not under-hype this victory as well.
Snider has had a lot of big-time victories over the years in the regular season, but none have been as big as Saturday night in terms of echoing throughout the state at the Class 5A level. For decades, the SAC was a 10-team conference, meaning teams could not step out of the league to play some of the state’s best. With Elmhurst and Harding now gone, teams now have two out of conference games apiece.
The Panthers went big in their non-conference slate, adding Penn and Cathedral last year, then switching Cathedral with Elkhart Central this season. Snider went 0-2 in 2011 against the two powers in the regular season.
But Snider showed it can beat the big boys on Saturday once again, much like they did in the early 2000s with state title game appearances in 2002 and 2004.
Could this be the team that gets the Panthers back to Indianapolis? Only time will tell. For now, let’s enjoy the Snider win.
The Pig was just waiting for Penn to begin to instill its will up front on Saturday night, but that time never came. The strong, veteran offensive line opened up holes all night for Nic Reese and protected quarterback Brandon Phelps for the majority of the game.
When a play needed to be made on defense, various players stepped up, from Weston Painter to Devontay Reese to the game-ending interception by Wayne Wells that ended Penn’s drive with an attempt to tie.
The Kingsmen (3-1) looked lost when it came to limiting Nic Reese, who went for 117 yards against a Penn team not accustomed to giving up such yardage.
Saturday night was big for Snider, it was big for the SAC who got its first big win against an in-state program since it went to two non-league games a year ago, and it was even big for Penn, who knows it may very well see those same Panthers deep in the postseason again and now know what they need to work on.
All in all, a great Saturday night under the lights.
The Pig has learned that Leo and Bishop Luers will begin a two-game series next season in Week 4. The deal is for a home-and-home two-year series. Following that, Leo will add Snider to the schedule beginning in 2015.
The Pig has been harsh at times on the Lions for the schedule it plays out of conference. This goes a long way towards rectifying that. Good job by Leo and adds some intrigue in the area with games between the power programs.