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COLUMN

Pig wallows in slop on night of upsets

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For more on prep football, follow The Pig via Twitter at ThePig_ns.

Shocking results abound in sectional play

Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 7:09 am

On a night of shocking upsets and near-misses by other underdogs, it was the Friday we had been waiting for all season.

It seems like each year, there is one week that sees several favorites go down. We did not get a week like that in 2012 until the sectional semifinals.

But of course, The Pig was stuck at one of the stinkers of the night. So, let's get that one out of the way first.

Bishop Dwenger dominated Columbia City for all of 12 minutes and 4 seconds of its 36-14 rout of the Eagles on Friday.

After a 1-yard touchdown run by junior D'Marcus Moon on the first play of the second quarter put the Saints up 29-0, it was all downhill for Bishop Dwenger. Six turnovers over the course of the rest of the game, with the two teams pretty even after the big Saints start.

But a win is a win, especially when it comes playoff time.

Coach Chris Svarczkopf has had to battle a mountain of injuries this season, particularly at quarterback. On the first play of the game, underclassman Peyton Philpot showed his arm when he hit sophomore Marcus Stepp for a 60-yard touchdown.

Later in the first quarter, it was sophomore Cody Miller to junior Gabriel Espinoza for a 23-yard score.

Anyone seeing a pattern here?

Yup, underclassmen galore.

The Saints made plenty of mistakes on Friday, beginning with the six turnovers. But the defensive line shut down any resemblance of a run game out of Columbia City, who was missing Miami (OH) commit Jared Murphy, out again due to injury.

It was not pretty, but all of a sudden, a deep trip into the postseason is not out of the question for Bishop Dwenger (5-6). The Pig is not saying this Bishop Dwenger team compares to the squads of the late 2000s, but it does not have to if certain things go its way.

Just as long as the Saints play more like they did in the first quarter of Friday's game as opposed to quarters two through four.

In other bacon bits:

* How 'bout them CARROLL CHARGERS!? The Pig has been hard on Carroll over the years for not living up to its 5A class under former coach Kirk Duncan, but Doug Dinan has the Chargers on the rise.

There is no bigger way to make that statement than to knock off No. 8 Penn at Freed Field.

To put this victory in perspective, consider that the Kingsmen last lost a playoff game at home in 2006, a 27-7 defeat to LaPorte. And Penn has lost just three times at home in the postseason going back to 1995.

The Pig saw Penn lose to Snider earlier this season, and while the Kingsmen did not look like their dominant self, there is no doubt that they are still an elite program.

There is no other way to put it, Carroll earned its biggest win in program history on Friday night.

* Speaking of big wins for teams in the NHC, could anyone have fathomed two weeks ago that Norwell would be playing for a sectional title next Friday? The Pig would like to say he did, but that would be lying, and The Pig does not need his snout to grow any bigger than it is now.

How have the Knights done it? By scoring points.

Prior to the postseason, Norwell's season high for points in a game was just 14, set in three different games in the regular season. The Knights have scored 22 points in each of their victories in sectional play.

Some folks have been wondering why Norwell has had its down years after being so successful in the mid-2000s. It is not coaching, as Jeff Miller has been doing a superb job with the Knights for 13 years now. Sometimes, it is simply the talent, or lack thereof.

It appears that the young Norwell talent of today is maturing at just the right time.

* Alright Churubusco, The Pig admits he was wrong. Great job in holding Sammy Mireles and the Elwood offense almost 17 points below their season scoring average in a 35-13 victory.

The Pig hopes that you stomped all over his ugly mug in the locker room in postgame.

Prepare to do the same as you continue reading.

The matchup with Bishop Luers looms next week at Luersfield, a team that knocked you around 34-7 a year ago. Sure, the Knights are not as strong as a year ago, particularly in the passing game. But they are still as athletic and quick sideline to sideline as they were last season.

Churubusco, if you are going to beat Bishop Luers next Friday, let alone compete with them, you better bring the same focus and tenacity you beat up Elwood with and times that by three.

That is what it is going to take to beat Bishop Luers.

Early line: Luers by 14. (The Pig enjoys fueling the 'Busco fire)

* The game that everyone will be talking about heading into sectional championship Friday will of course be the rematch between Snider and North Side, but The Pig believes the better game could be Heritage and No. 1-ranked Jimtown in Monroeville.

The Redskins seemed to sleep walk through a narrow victory over upstart South Side on Friday. Perhaps they were looking ahead to the Panthers next week, but if North Side comes out the way it did against the Archers, next week's game will be over by halftime.

In The Pig's opinion, the Heritage-Jimtown game has a better chance of being a close one than North Side-Snider. The Patriots have lost two games by a combined nine points, and over the last month have shown the offensive firepower and the defensive dominance that championship teams bring in the postseason.

Can Heritage win a state title? Probably not. Can they beat Jimtown? Maybe. Will the game be closer than most believe? Definitely.

See you next week.

OINK!

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The News-Sentinel. Email The Pig at nssports@news-sentinel.com.