On Friday, the only undefeated teams heading into NE8 play will face off against each other in Ossian, IN. While Leo hasn’t lost to Norwell since 2014, the last two games have mostly been defensive games between these two teams.
Two games into the season, Norwell has outscored their opponents 97-6, but they were playing two struggling programs in Jennings County and Heritage. Leo’s starters have only given up a field goal so far this season leaving their backups to play in the second half of games. After cruising past Woodlan in week 1, Leo defeated Angola 50-10. This week, we will know a lot more about these two moving forward.
While Norwell has seen some turnover on offense, Jon Colbert and Luke Graft have dominated the running game as their primary running backs. The defense for Norwell is stingy and hard-nosed as they’re never afraid to play physical and play hard. That’s the identity of Norwell football. Also of note Brody Bolyn has been an absolute stud up front as a offensive and defensive lineman.
For Leo, pretty much nothing has changed with the likes of D1 commits Rylan Crawford (Illinois State), Landen Livingston (West Virginia), and DJ Allen (Rutgers). They’re three of the best all-around players in Northern Indiana. But don’t look now Leo also has Jackson Barbour at QB, the speedy Kaeden Miller, and now a healthy Mason Sheron. What you have here is a team capable of going the distance (as in a deep playoff run)…..that is if they can get past East Noble in sectionals. That’s now starting to become a major headline. But that’s for another time.
If you’ve never watched Leo play in recent memory, then you’re about to find out just how good Leo’s power game truly is. Everyone talks about the run game being so effective, but their front 7 is that intimidating. Only the East Noble Knights in this conference have the guys to compete with Leo on paper because their lines are that strong and that talented.
If the Norwell Knights can make this game a ugly defensive showdown, then maybe they have a shot at hanging around here. They can’t get into a shootout with this Leo team. But I’m curious to see what their game plan is for trying to get some offense against this Leo defensive line. The scores tell you, Leo has given up 23 points, but 20 of those points came in the second half when they were playing their reserves. To this point, no one has figured out how to slow them down in 2021. On the other hand, you can argue that Leo has yet to perform well for all 4 quarters because of how one-sided the first two games have been.
It should be a very interesting week of high school football in Wells County.