Looking At The Explorers
The Explorer offense excelled against arguably one of the nation's top defensive teams, putting up 31 points and 329 total yards. Believe it or not, this was the least amount of total offensive yardage the Explorers gained all season. Senior QB Kyle Shurmur threw for 168 yards and two touchdowns on 15-31 passing, all season lows for him against a very good passing defense. Senior RB Jordan Meachum was able to pull out a break out game running for 123 yards on 13 carries, catching 2 passes for 55 yards, and adding a touchdown as well. The Explorers used all of their offensive weapons in full force as Shurmur was able to make completions to five different receivers. Junior RB Nick Rinella is slowly making his way back into game shape after coming off an injury, he was able to run for 39 yards on six carries and caught a pass for a touchdown. For the Explorers to excel once again on the offensive side of the ball, they will need to continue to take advantage of their many offensive weapons. With Meachum finally having his breakout game, having Rinella as a backup, and senior Ryan Brady and junior Jared Walls behind them, the run game of the Explorers is just as deep as their pass game. Look for the Explorers to make full use of everyone against another touch defensive team like Wood.
Another week, another week of the Explorer defense continuing to get better. Against a dynamic McDonogh offense, the Explorers only let up 20 points as they continued to stop the Eagles down the field. Senior DB Ryan Brady had another stand out performance adding in two sacks and multiple tackles. The Explorer pass defense continued to shine only allowing 200 passing yards on 12-22 passing to McDonogh QB Jansen Durham. Senior safety Mike Crone also added an interception in the endzone making that the seventh interception on the season for the Explorers. The Explorers run defense continued to make advancements as well. They only allowed 133 yards on 29 carries, only 4.5 yards/carry. With the development of the defensive line and hopefully a couple healed injuries, the Explorers will look to shut down another run heavy team.
Looking at the Vikings
The Viking offense features two absolute stud players. The main man of the core is Under Armour All American and Penn State commit, senior offensive tackle Ryan Bates. Bates, a 6'5 280 kid, will be the anchor of the offense. He is a very high intensity, knowledgeable player who will stonewall anyone he is guarding. The good thing about having a guy like Bates on the offensive line is that it allows your second star to run wild, literally. The Vikings will feature senior RB Jarrett McClenton, a Villanova commit. Last season he ran for 1,705 yards on 177 carries and 28 touchdowns. Through five games he already has 739 yards and ten touchdowns on 70 carries even while splitting time with fellow senior Alex Arcangeli who had ran for 348 yards on 47 carries for 4 touchdowns. If you haven't already guessed it, Wood is a very run heavy team. But that doesn't mean the Explorers can count out junior QB Anthony Russo. Though he has only thrown for 544 yards on 38-77 passing, he does add seven passing touchdowns, he has solid accuracy with his receivers in the redzone and can be a threat to throw a deep ball. The Explorers' defense will need to keep an eye on McClenton and Russo if they hope to have a chance to beat this team.
The Vikings defense is probably just as good as, or better than McDonogh's. Overall anyways. The defense will feature another Penn State commit in senior DB Jake Cooper. Cooper is a very quick and tough defensive player who has the mindset to shut down anyone and is the leader of the defense. Adding to the secondary will be returning starter DB Justin Rubin. Rubin is a returning first team All-Catholic DB and can be moved around on defense well. Jarrett McClenton will also play in the secondary. If one area of the defense could be considered weak, it would probably be the line. The line returns one starter in senior tackle Devon Cobb, but looks to add others into the mix at other spots. If the Explorers look to succeed against this defense, they will need to really use every aspect of their offense in an attempt to trip up the Wood defense.
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