Looking At The Explorers
The Explorers' offense had no trouble settling into their normal groove of putting up points. By the end of the game, senior QB Kyle Shurmur continued to impress going 21-of-32 for 188 yards and two touchdowns. With the Hawks focusing primarily on containing senior WR Jimmy Herron, senior RB Jordan Meachum was able to put up another very impressive game running for 104 yards on 15 carries, receiving for 48 yards on six catches, and adding two touchdowns. Shurmur was able to distribute the ball to seven different receivers by the end of the night. The offensive consistency is what allows the Explorers to be such a scary team. They have put up an average of 32.6 points per game, with a low of 27 points on the season. For the Explorers to continue their success, their offense will need to continue their dominance. Coming off a relatively quiet week, look for senior Jimmy Herron to have a huge week against Roman especially without Prep DB John Reid covering him now.
Throughout the season the Explorers' defense hasn't really been a thing of beauty, but they have been able to get the job done when it was called for. Against Prep, it could be considered a few unlucky and athletic plays were what ultimately won the Hawks the game. A normal athlete isn't going to be making the plays Prep sophomore star D'Andre Swift made in the final moments of that game. Giving credit where credit is due, the Explorers largely shut down the Prep offense for more than half of the game. The looming problem is they seem to be extremely vulnerable to big plays. The defense certainly has the power to shut down good offenses, but seem to always give up that one big play that they didn't want. Even through their struggles, the defense is only giving up 25.3 points per game. While it isn't a great number, their offense is more than capable of putting up more points than that. After the Prep game, the Explorers' defense should be motivated for the rest of the season. They have shown what they are able to do, but now it is a matter of consistently doing it.
Looking At The Cahillites
The Cahillites offense features a very good balance of run and pass. They will feature the all-time school leader in rushing yards, senior Dimetri Kelly, who has accumulated 3,444 yards and 31 TDs on 646 carries over his career. Kelly has gathered interest from many Divison One schools, but has not committed yet. So far this season, the senior has ran for 828 yards on 190 carries for nine touchdowns. The next option down the line for Roman is junior QB Phil DiWilliams. After being benched early in the season last year, the junior has been pretty impressive despite being largely inconsistent. DiWilliams big game came against Downingtown East where he threw for 415 yards on 25-of-37 passing for three touchdowns in an overtime lose 38-40. The next game against Coatesville he only threw for 93 yards on 8-of-18 passing and then 34 yards on 5-of-14 passing against Archbishop Ryan. The young QB has two consistent options at wideout he goes to in seniors AJ Frazier and John Chaney. Both receivers have received Divison One interest as well, but neither has committed. Frazier is the leading receiver with 36 catches for 597 yards and 4 touchdowns. Chaney comes in close behind with 23 catches for 334 yards and 4 touchdowns. Chaney also proves to be a viable running option with 33 rushes for 305 yards and 3 touchdowns. The line will be led by senior Youngstown State bound Gavin Wiggins and Rutgers bound senior Manny Taylor. The Explorers will look to shut down another highly explosive offense in the Cahillites.
The Roman defense, like the Explorers, has been pretty inconsistent. They gave up 7 points against Episcopal one week, but went on to give up 41 points against Haverford School the next. The defense will be led by senior LB Sam Payne. Payne is another Roman player who has picked up considerable Divison One offers from schools like BYU, UConn, and Illinois, but has not yet committed either. The secondary was led by senior Kenny Avalon, but he went down with a broken arm and is now out for the season. Prior to his injury, Avalon added in four interceptions and also was an offensive wideout threat. The Roman defense contains a lot of players that can step in to fill any role on the field. The Explorers should look to take advantage of what will be an injury depleted secondary.
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