There are many exciting plays on a football field. The kick-off return. The pick six. The Hail Mary. The fumblerooski. Even the flea-flicker.
But what play riles up my football juices the most?
The goal-line stand.
Brute force of an offensive and defensive line just plowing straight into each other, while a quarterback and a running back try to lunge just feet forward in a battle the offense probably wins 99% of the time.
But both last Friday and Saturday, both the Ben Davis Giants and the Southport Cardinals found themselves in that one percentile. Southport stopped a late rally from Roncalli on a fumble recovery on the one-yard line to hold on for a 28-21 victory, while the Giants held Cathedral in check on 2 and 1, 3 and 1, and fourth and inches at Lucas Oil Stadium to win 24-21 in overtime. Both defensive stands were glorious, exciting, and plays that a true football fan can love.
The best part however? They took place in the first week of the season. We still have fourteen weeks until Thanksgiving!
For now though the focus is shifted back onto what looks like a great second week of football underneath the lights. So as always, if you're wondering what games to check out, here are my picks for the top six games for week two of the 2011 IHSAA football season.
1. Columbus North (0-1) vs. Columbus East (1-0)
For a full and extended preview of the game, click over here for my first ever visit to Columbus, Indiana yesterday.
The quick highlights to look forward too:
- A game considered big enough to be aired on ESPNU, mostly thanks to the high expectations of Columbus East Senior and future Indiana Hoosier Gunner Kiel.
- A rivalry that many consider to be one of the most intense games in the state of Indiana.
- Columbus North Head Coach Tim Bless, and anytime a Bless brother is involved, so is good football.
- A Columbus East defense that may be surprisingly good.
- And a Columbus North defense that Senior Austin Sizemore claims has some tricks up their sleeves for Kiel.
2. Hamilton Southeastern (1-0) vs. Fishers (1-0)
Speaking of major in-town rivalries, there's not one that us at Fox 59 Sports enjoy more then the coveted battle for the Mudsock. In week one it looked as if the Fishers Tigers hadn't missed a beat in their 27-13 victory over Noblesville, with Eric Davis and Mark Madden leading the Tigers into an eventual 236 yards in the rushing attack. Even new quarterback Connor Christansen found a groove, finding J-Shun Harris for a 43-yard touchdown.
But where the champs looked good, boy, did Hamilton Southeastern look BETTER. Royals Head Coach Scott May had boasted about the running attack that was going to come from Sophomore Jamitreus Crockham during the summer, but in no way could have predicted Crockham busting loose for four touchdowns in a 27-17 victory over a very good Avon Orioles squad. Usually it's Gary Harris putting up the best highlights of the night on Football Friday Night, but Crockham's 92-yard dash for the score maybe one of the best offensive plays we'll see in the month of August.
By the way, I'm a fan of any game that can potentially bring in 10,000 people, and the police write an e-mail warning people to watch out for traffic. Should be Fun with a capital F.
3. Cathedral (0-1) vs. Warren Central (1-0) (Saturday game)
For a team ranked number-three in the nation, a 64-13 victory over the Merrillville Pirates is a sure-way to announce to the IHSAA field that the Class 5A State championship will probably have to run through the Warriors. What an outstanding performance all-around, totaling for over 600 yards of overall offense. The normal faces such as Deionte Buckley (three touchdowns) played a huge role, but a great sign for Warren Central was Senior quarterback Kyle Faunce's 272 yards and three touchdowns in two quarters of football.
Though the Irish suffered a heart-breaking defeat at the hands of Ben Davis this past Saturday, Cathedral very much put themselves in position to win that game as well. Take away a bad turn-over here, or a penalty there, and Corey Babb probably leads the Irish in a victory over one of the best Class 5A teams in the State.
If there was any team in the state that could potentially put Warren Central's national title hopes on hold, wouldn't you think it could be the Irish?
4. Peru (0-1) vs. Logansport (0-1)