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  • Travis Oberlin

Comets break out broomsticks, prepare the confetti

Junior Braden Black (No. 15), right, eludes Aurora tacklers on Saturday, Sept. 19,  in a Comet 44-14 victory.

I know, I know, Olivet’s been here before.

Three non-conference wins, three foes “outta sight, outta mind.”

We all know that “these wins” are meaningless, insignificant, nothing. That of course holds true, unless a certain tiebreaker were to happen. Damn you, non-conference play and your worth to the league (but thanks to the league for a playoff spot in 2007). I guess take the sweep and sleep comfortably… two weeks in fact, it’s bye week!

All aboard the MIAA champion train. Final stop: Alma, Michigan.

What do you mean I’m overreacting? Don’t be that guy telling me Earlham hasn’t won a game since 2013, and how they couldn’t muster up positive yardage on the ground.

I mean, come on, it was 74-13.

That’s murder in the first degree.

Oh, by the way, that same 74-point dominance was third-most in school history. It would have been the second 100-point performance of the 21st century had Dan Pifer not sent in second, third and fourth string recruits at the start of the third quarter.

Second half play selection: 33 rushes, 5 passes. Seven different running backs with at least one carry. Might as well line up, ride the wing-T formation and say, “it would be morally wrong to pass anymore.”

Meanwhile, Olivet put up four touchdowns during that span. Whoa, wait. What?

Among the midst of stand outs, 6-foot-4-inch, 230-pound back-up quarterback Lane Porter -- 4 for 5, 60 yards and two passing touchdowns -- is “the guy” for the Comets in 2016. Well, actually, should I? Yea, he’d be the guy right now if Braden Black were to go down. So much depth on offense, the talent is never-ending. I mean, I prefer prime rib as my top choice but I’m perfectly fine with sirloin.

Black – the general – and rightfully so, has stormed out the gate accounting for seven touchdown passes and nearly a 70 percent completion rate. His seven touchdowns are on pace to break the school’s single-season touchdown passing record (hmmm, yea he broke it in 2013 with 20 and in 2014 he had 21). In other words, it’s just another season for number 15.

Except it’s not just another season. All eyes on that oh-so-significant title crown that Pifer has already tasted back in 2010 with Trine. Olivet is starting out with straight fire this year (maybe causing a fever), and the only cure is more “W” in the box score.

Damorria Lilly is fine, a minor ankle injury in week two, which two weeks from now he’ll be strapping up the laces. But why rush a situation that needs no hurry? The solution continues to be Chris Jones. Forty-eight carries, 217 yards and five big ones. Besides, there are like three other running backs to grab from – just look at week one – put your hand in the cookie jar and enjoy.

Remember when I said defense wins championships? I love it when a plan comes together (well in this case, analytics). More numbers coming at you, so far. Less than 20 points per game… check. Fewer than 243 yards per game… double check. It seems beneficial to keep the defense rested and the offense on the field for a long, long time. More than 50 points and 500 yards a game sounds like a promising plan to gain possession time. Uhhhhh. Actually, Olivet has controlled the ball for more than 30 minutes in each game… triple check.

It always sounds too good to be true. In that case, I’ll just keep reminding myself: it’s just three games, it’s just Earlham, it’s just non-conference play.

*Photo by Miranda Mors/ECHO

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