Looking At The Explorers
The Explorer offense improves in some aspect every week. Last week just happened to be the run game as senior Jordan Meachum ran for 125 yards and junior Nick Rinella ran for 118 yards. The two combined for four touchdowns in the game. Kyle Shurmur continued his consistency throwing for 185 yards on 14-of-21 passing for a touchdown. TE Charlie Hemcher had his biggest game of the season catching six passes for 102 yards for a touchdown. Shurmur distributed the ball to four different receivers and also targeted at least five. One thing that will be interesting to see is junior Charles Headen making his return after being injured since the beginning of the season. The junior will most likely line up as a wideout throughout the game adding another offensive selection to the Explorers' offense. Senior WR Jimmy Herron has taken a step back in the offense the past two games only catching a combined six catches for 58 yards. Of course, he was lined up against John Reid one game and double coverage in the Roman game. With the focus being put on Herron, it has allowed other receivers like Hemcher and junior Winston Eubanks to get some more attention. Focusing on only Herron just doesn't really work against an offense that has so much depth and potential. It will be interesting to see how Judge approaches this issue.
The Explorers' defense was as flawless as it could get against Roman. Besides a 77 yard breakout run, the Explorers only allowed 90 yard of total offense to the Roman Cahillites. The whole defense was shut down. From the line to the secondary, everything was lock down. Going into a game against another run heavy team, expect seniors Aidan Kerrigan and Ryan Brady to have big impacts during the game. The secondary only allowed 8 total passing yards to Roman. The defense as a whole will look to repeat their performance against the Crusaders and carry that momentum into the PCL playoffs.
Looking At The Crusaders
The Crusader offense is led by a three pronged attack. Whoever is starting at QB, RB Yeedee Thaenrat, and WR Prince Smith. Senior Zack Carroll has started most of the season up until the Roman game where he was replaced by sophomore Robert King because of suffering a concussion. Carroll had thrown for 908 yards on 43-of-83 passing for 9 touchdowns. King has thrown for 258 yards over the past two game for two touchdowns on 17-of-38 passing. Those two aren't really going to be the focus of the offense though. Junior RB Yeedee Thaenrat is explosive and quick. Over the past two season he has rushed for a total of 2,141 yards on 256 carries and 28 touchdowns, including 19 this season. Thaenrat ran for a school record 377 yards on 20 carries in a loss to Sprinside-Chestnut Hill early in the season as well. The junior back currently holds an offer from Rutgers, but has interest from many other schools as well. Junior WR Prince Smith is the main receiver for the Crusaders. The 5'11 junior has caught for 653 yards for 7 touchdowns on only 28 catches this season. He has stepped up big time in place of the departing seniors from last season. Sophomore Raheem Blackshear has also caught for 308 yards on 17 catches for 2 touchdowns. The Explorers will look to shut down a relatively young Judge team up front and in their passing game.
The Crusaders' defense is led by their secondary. In total this season, the group has combined for 14 total interceptions including 3 returned for touchdowns. Junior Tom Penko leads the team with four picks so far. Prince Smith and Yeedee Thaenrat play both sides of the ball and each have three and two interceptions respectively. The Crusaders have plenty of experience up front with seniors Tim Burke, Damien Lynch, and Tim Breslin leading the way there. The Father Judge defense has been mildly inconsistent in letting up points. Though they have 14 interceptions on the season, the Crusaders allow a shade under 24 points per game. The Explorers should have no problem putting up the points they have all season against the aggressive Crusader defense.
Follow Carter on Twitter @JohnCarter_____
Follow Whiz Wit on Twitter @WhizWitSports