Looking At The Explorers
The Explorers' offense will continue to be the motor behind a well oiled and pumping locomotive. Senior QB Kyle Shurmur continued his successful season with another stellar game against Malvern. He threw for 239 yards on 23-30 passing and also threw for 4 more touchdowns. Shurmur was able to connect on a 62 yard bomb to senior WR Jimmy Herron during that game as well. With that TD catch, Herron has now tied the all time city record for TD receptions. As the season progresses, more and more offensive tools become available to the Explorers. Junior wideout Winston Eubanks was added into the mix against Malvern catching 5 passes for 62 yards. With junior threat Nick Rinella making his return from an injury, the Explorers are up to five different players that are at the grasps of the Explorers' offense: WR Jimmy Herron, TE Charlie Hemcher, RB Jordan Meachum, RB/WR Nick Rinella, and now WR Winston Eubanks. Is it crazy to say that the Explorers probably still have some power sitting on the bench? You never know, but one thing is for sure, McDonogh will have its hands full against the explosive Explorers offense.
The Explorers' defense was able to completely stonewall any attempts Malvern would try to put together on offense. The defense was able to limit Pittsburgh bound QB Alex Hornibrook to 139 yards passing and even picked him off late in the game. Senior DB Ryan Brady had a standout game finishing with 15 tackles including 9 solos. The defensive line showed major improvement putting constant pressure against Hornibrook and forcing him to get out of the pocket and move. The Explorers' pass defense continues to shine as senior Jimmy Herron was able to pick off Hornibrook late in the fourth quarter, sealing away the game for La Salle. The Explorers defense will look to shutdown the McDonogh offense with continued pressure and pass defense.
Looking At The Eagles
The McDonogh offense features three high quality running backs and a very tough offensive line. The trifecta of running backs at the disposal of include senior Justin Hawkin, junior Nigel Scott, and sophomore Mylique McGriff. All three running backs are quick and able to make big plays happen. Justin Hawkins has an offer from Buffalo, but the other two have not received significant interest yet. The men that will be guarding these quick backs are inexperienced, but led by a very experienced veteran. Lineman Ellis McKennie will be the head of the line. He is the only returning starter from last year's line, but he was a huge piece in their success. The 6'3 285lb player has committed to Maryland for next season. Also returning is QB Jansen Durham. Durham has shown major improvement over his career as he has continued to develop his throw. The McDonogh offense will look to run the ball down the Explorers' throats throughout the game. To stop this, the Explorers will have to shut down the running backs, and put pressure on the inexperienced o-line.
While the McDonogh offense doesn't seem to flash too much at you, the defense sure does. Eight total starters return to the field for the Eagles. The star of the defense will be junior safety Eric Burrell who has started every game in his career. Burrell is ranked the number one safety in his class in Maryland and has offers from Maryland and Virginia Tech. Senior Linebacker Wyatt Cook, a Purdue commit, will be putting constant pressure on Shurmur and the Explorer offense all night. Also returning are DB Connor Cook, CB Kareem Montgomery, and three returning DL in Josh Richardson, Alton Locks, and Bart Kreiner. The Explorers will have a tough time putting up points against a team that only allowed 84 total points all of last season. The advantage the Explorers might have is a wide arrange of weapons meaning a wide arrange of plays and offensive sets as well. The Explorers quickly paced offense could wear down the McDonogh defense as well.
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