Looking at the Explorers
The Explorers are coming into this game well rested and well staffed. They have put up over 80+ points in their last two outings and are looking to continue it this week. Senior wide receiver Winston Eubanks is back in the lineup after missing most of the season with a dislocated elbow. He will sure play a key part in the passing game. On the other hand, Jr. wide out Troy Holland is out for this week's game with a minor leg injury. Chris Ferguson will get the start and will be using Eubanks, Rinella, and Jones through the air. Speaking of Isaiah Jones, he has been a crucial part of the team the last couple of weeks. He has hopped in at QB, WR, and SS and has made a significant impact all around the ball. Look for Ferguson and Jones to switch in an out a good bit throughout the game. On the ground, Jr. Syaire Madden is healthy as ever and will be looing to lead the charge once again. Last outing versus Judge, Madden only put up 51 yards and a touchdown. Saturday night, look for La Salle to use Madden a lot on the ground and Ferguson in the air a good bit. They have weapons all over the place and need to utilize them as much as possible.
On the defensive side of the ball, La Salle looked great against Judge two weeks ago . They only allowed 14 points and less than 175 yards. Jr. Austin Lemke and Sr. Kohler Setley shined once again leading the defense. Setley came up with a clutch sack during the game and Nick Rinella played stellar grabbing an interception. This week the defense will need to be solid. The need to be careful letting up big plays to Judge QB Rob King. He likes to look for short plays and sometimes will take off. Furthermore, this week expect the defensive line to rush King a lot. Sr. Matt McDermott and Anthony Piscopo will be hungry and ready to rush.
Looking at the Cru
The Father Judge offense is solid side. They are led by Sr. tailback Yeedee Thaernat and Jr. QB Rob King. Neither of the two played against La Salle two weeks ago. Yeedee is one of the league's best rushers and is very athletic. He will power it up the gut when he needs to and will be looking for a bunch of break through runs. At the quarterback position, King likes to play with little check down completions a lot of the time to the tight end or a slot receiver. Healso loves the screen pass and he will throw a lot on the run and the play-action. Furthermore, watch out for King's read-option. Him and Yeedee will use this ever so often for big gains. They are tricky in what they like to do and can do it all; on the ground and in the air. At wide receiver, Judge carry's Jr. Jim Newbert, So. Nick Conway, Jr. Justin Gies, and Sr. Zach Gindraw. King likes to use all of his targets both down the field and on short plays. In order for Judge to get passed the La Salle defense, they will need to utilize blockers down field on screens and will need to run the read-option a lot. King and Yeedee will both need to have big performances.
On defense, the Crusaders are well kept. They are led by Sr. OLB and SS Nick Douglass. The 6-0 195lb senior is a big body clogging up the middle of the field. With him at linebacker is Sean Coyle (MLB, OLB). They both will be looking to sop the Sy Madden runs up the middle. In the secondary, Justin Gies is a big threat to shut down Ferguson's deep field action. Judge likes to shut down the middle of the field a lot and sometimes will over haul inside the hash marks. To end, the Explorers will need to swing the ball to the outside a lot and give Ferguson sometime to make a move.
After looking at the matchup two weeks ago versus this weeks matchup, they are very different. Judge has a lot of key players returning this week ready to play. However, La Salle is well rested and hungry to make it back to the PCL championship game. The Explorers are just going to over power the Judge defense and will finally be able to utilize all of their weapons. The La Salle defense will shut down Yeedee and hold King to a minimal night. I'm calling it 31- 10 La Salle.
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- Christopher Sanders
Follow Chris on twitter @sandman285
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