WEEK 2 POSITION RANKINGS - RUNNING BACK
1. NiShawn 'Buddy' Jones, New Haven – The sophomore burst onto the scene in Week 1 with 182 yards and two scores on the ground.
2. Austin Yarbro, Wayne – Only had five carries against Anderson, but scored twice and notched 120 yards.
3. Keyshawn Watson, North Side – Freshman sensation averaged 13.6 yards per carry against Concordia, role will surely expand as season continues.
4 Shawn Kitzmiller, Woodlan – Rolled to 229 yards rushing and three scores for the Warriors in a victory in week 1. Truly one of the workhorses in the area in the backfield.
5. Peterson Kerlegrand, Concordia Lutheran – One of the top five names in the area with some game to go with it. Went for 167 and a TD against North Side.
Week 2 is really when things begin to come into focus in terms of what teams have once the meat of the conference schedule begins. Some teams come out sluggish in the opening week while others play above their heads, never to return to that level again.
Those storylines and more in-depth topics dominate this week's Five Things to Watch on Friday night.
1. Can North Side avoid 0-2?
Many were surprised when Concordia Lutheran dropped 31 points on the Redskins and downed the defending SAC champs a week ago. While North Side has plenty of talent, it did graduate a hefty amount of veteran experience, guys like Nick Cook, Zach McKinstry, W.R. Sanders, Latavion Guy, D'Marcus Moon, Kavon Anderson and Earreis Lewis. And that doesn't even include Michael Lovett at QB.
The good news for Redskins fans is they have a wealth of young talent, it is just going to take some time for the coaching staff to mold it into what North Side needs. The defensive front struggled against the Cadets while the offense showed flashes but was inconsistent.
Things get tougher this week with a visit from Class 3A No. 8 Delta followed by games with Bishop Dwenger, Wayne, Class 5A No. 7 Mishawaka and Snider.
The young Redskins will have to grow up fast.
2.The Concordia and Dwenger battle in the trenches
One of the more talented offensive lines in recent history for Bishop Dwenger dominated South Side last week to open the season. Now, it will try and push around a Cadets front that represented well against North Side.
The Saints were able to do what it wanted against the Archers in both the run game and the pass game, will it be able to do the same thing against Concordia?
Speaking of matchups, Concordia's offensive front dominated up front in week 1, opening hole after hole for Peterson Kerlegrand. Establishing the run and not putting the onus on junior QB Daniel Sparks to make all the plays vertically will be important.
3. What does Nishawn 'Buddy' Jones do for an encore?
After rushing for 182 yards and two scores in his first start in the backfield for New Haven, the sophomore Jones and the Bulldogs face a Lakeland team that struggled defensively against Churubuso.
In the mold of Te'Vaughn Hurse a few years ago, a guy who not only has a quick first step with speed and an exceptional sense of direction but also someone who can tote the rock 25-30 times a game, the 5-foot-9, 175 pound Jones is primed for a breakout season in the area.
Friday could be the day he really puts NHC teams on notice.
4. The new Snider linebackers
Lost in the victory over Bishop Luers last week was the loss of Alex Reese to a dislocated elbow, with the senior inside backer being lost for a significant amount of time.
It will be up to juniors Drew Breldfoard and Lucas Isley to pick up the slack at a position that Reese has had on lock down over the last two seasons.
A game Friday against South Side will be a good one to work out the kinks with the newbies, but looming in a few weeks is a showdown with Penn, a matchup in which Snider will need to be solid and confident defensively.
5. Norwell's injuries
Wide receiver Reggie Hayes is likely out of the game Friday with concussion symptoms.
All-NHC First Team offensive lineman Andrew Oakes has an injured shoulder and is out indefinitely.
Two-way lineman Curtis Blackwell (finger) and cornerback Brody Myers (concussion) were sidelined last week for Leo and may or may not be back for Heritage this week.
The Knights have some serious talent this season and began the season on the right track with a victory, but Norwell does not have much room for error when it comes to injuries. With another physical matchup expected with the Patriots, keep an eye on the backups moving up into starting roles and if Norwell can avoid more players being sidelined.