Glenn Marini - FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Teams from all over northeast Indiana hit the field on Friday night for their final tune-up before the regular season kicks off next week.
At newly turfed Shields Field the reigning 4A state champs, led by the return of head coach Chris Svarczkopf after battling with lymphoma last fall, hosted the Carroll Chargers. Senior quarterback Blake Podschlne hooked up with Tommy Steele for an early score that set the tone for the Dwenger offense. As for Carroll, both Jack Miguel and Ian Miller saw time at the quarterback position as the two compete for the starting job.
Bishop D'Arcy Stadium saw Bishop Luers battle North Side in the debut of Legends head coach Mike Cochran. Both defenses played well early with North Side's Jalen Lockett scoring the game's first touchdown on a QB keeper. J'Lyn Charlton would score a short rushing touchdown for Luers while Arion Nieves would hit DaShon Bussell for a TD on the prettiest play of the night. Bussell and Carter Gillie each returned an interception for a touchdown on defense.
At Bowser Field the reigning 4A state champ Snider Panthers hosted Homestead. New starting quarterback Michael Haupert led the way early for the Panthers and would eventually toss a touchdown pass to Drew Stroud out of the backfield. Homestead back-up quarterback Jaya Wright would scramble for an impressive touchdown while Ohio University-bound senior quarterback Drew Keszei would hit brother Conrad Keszei for another score.
At Spuller Stadium senior quarterback Garrett Schoenle used both his arm and legs early, including throwing a strike to receiver Ben Aruzza for a score. Meanwhile, Huntington North would counter as Lucas Long fired a touchdown pass to Trevor West in the early going.
Fans at Zollner Stadium saw Concordia play well offensively against visiting East Noble. New starting quarterback Peter Morrison would hook up with Mark Mallers for an early score. Later, Marcus Morrow of the Cadets would find the endzone. Concordia opens at South Side next Friday while East Noble hosts Cathedral in Kendallville.
At Etzler Field Woodlan's Jack Rhoades picked up where he left off after rushing for over 1,100 yards as a sophomore, breaking off an early run for a touchdown against Leo. Later, Leo's Trenton Bonner would show off his speed, as the junior reversed fields to escape the defense and find the end zone. Leo hosts South Bend Riley next Friday while Woodlan opens at Eastside.
In Monroeville Nico Tigulus made his head coaching debut at Heritage as the Patriots hosted Churubusco. Early on Joey Emenhiser would break off a touchdown run for the Eagles. Heritage would counter when sophomore quarterback Walter Knapke would find Jonathan McNeal for a touchdown. Churubusco quarterback Tom Richards would warm up later, finding Sam Richards for a score. Busco opens the 2016 season at Lakeland while Heritage will host New Haven.
South Side and Wayne waited until Saturday for their scrimmage at Generals Stadium. On Wayne's first posessoin Devonair Kelsaw was able to score on South Side's defense. Dalyn Hart also scored for the Generals. South Side's Amerion Greene hauled in multiple catches for South Side.