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All of a sudden, there were two.
Just two weeks remain in the 2013 regular season, with several huge games still on tap, including this Friday. The league championship races will come into even greater focus after this week, and the race for The News-Sentinel Player of the Year honor is still up for grabs. Is it Drue Tranquill? Michael Lovett? Jordan Hogue? We'll see in the coming weeks. But first, on to Week 8.
Five things we will learn Friday:
In terms of big contests this week, it begins and ends with Bishop Dwenger and Snider at Spuller Stadium. If the Saints win, they are in commanding position to take the league title with one week left and tiebreaker wins over both the Panthers and North Side. If Snider wins, North Side takes control of its own destiny in the league race.
This game wasn't much of one last year when Snider laid a 43-0 pounding on the Saints. While Bishop Dwenger does enter Friday with a two-game losing streak, the Saints had enough positives in last week's loss to Cathedral to show The Pig that they are ready to contend with Snider.
As for the Panthers, they were underwhelming over the last several weeks before breaking out for a rout of Elkhart Central.
This game will be a battle of field position and time of possession, with each team wanting to put together long, sustained drives to wear down the other.
For those scoring at home, the Eagles are in line to clinch at least a share of their fifth straight NECC championship.
The Pig knows that from top to bottom the NECC is not as strong as the SAC or NHC, but five straight league crowns is impressive no matter where you play.
And how about Paul Sade? He has taken over a program built by Lee Etzler and not missed a beat as Churubusco remains one of just three Class 2A programs that are still without a loss.
Fairfield presents a significant challenge Friday, but the game is at home. Expect a close game in the 20s, with the Eagles holding the edge.
Technically, this may not be answered until next week if the Bulldogs lose at East Noble this Friday, but The Pig does not expect that to happen.
There is no doubt that East Noble was impressive three weeks ago in beating Carroll, but New Haven has proved to be the best team in the NHC, not Carroll as many thought at the beginning of the season.
The most impressive thing about the Bulldogs is their consistent dominance. Coach Jim Rowland's team is beating opponents by an average of 30.2 points per game. Subtract the six-point victory over Carroll and the margin of victory swells to 34.3 points a contest.
The Knights should be able to keep it closer than most of New Haven's games this season, but victory will be tough to come by.
Seriously folks, this is getting ridiculous.
It isn't a question if the Purdue verbal commit is going to score each week; it is how many times and how many yards. Over the last two weeks in victories over Bellmont and Homestead, the senior has scored 10 touchdowns, five in each game.
Since a two-game losing skid in mid-September, the Chargers have responded with a pair of victories, built mainly around Tranquill and his propensity to find the end zone in various ways.
Friday's game against Columbia City should see more fireworks out of the do-everything playmaker.
It is not going to be easy for the Knights to get a regular-season victory this season, not with Columbus Hartley (Ohio) and Bishop Dwenger left on the schedule. But crazier things have happened.
The obvious problem for Bishop Luers has been the play of the lines, particularly on offense. That is going to have to get vastly better if the Knights are going to have any chance of beating Hartley (4-1).
There is going to come a time, whether it is this Friday or next, or in the postseason, or maybe not until next season, where things are going to click for the Knights' offensive line.
When that happens, watch out. The wealth of talent on the Bishop Luers roster is more than enough to beat anyone left on the schedule or in the playoffs, provided the consistency is there with all the units on the field.
Does it happen this week? We will see.