Well Lion fans, the day we have longed for and dreamed about after a 45 year wait, has arrived. One game for the National Championship. All the off season work, August practices in the Texas heat, all the work has come down to 60 minutes of football. Earning the right to be called Champion. Let’s take a closer look at the Argonaut Offense vs. Lion Defense…….
Tale of the Tape
Argonaut Offensive Line avg.- 6’4″ 289 lbs.
Lion Defensive Line avg.- 6’1″ 270 lbs.
Argonaut Offensive Stats-
Turnovers-4 fumbles, 12 interceptions
Lion Defensive Stats-
Turnovers Forced-6 fumbles, 18 interceptions
The Skinny-The Lion defense, after three straight weeks of run heavy offenses, now face a new challenge, a West Florida Argonauts team that is very similar to their own. The Argonauts do have a slight advantage in line size, but no more than they have faced before, especially Minnesota State-Mankato. They slightly favor the pass over a running attack, but still manage a respectable run game, led by 5-10, 205 lb. Chris Schwartz, with 828 yards on 199 attempts, with 6 touchdowns.
The passing game is led by Mike Beaudry(6’5″ 240 lbs.), who is 244-435, 2,963 yards, with 28 TD’s and 12 interceptions. The receivers are headed up by Antoine Griffin(6’1″ 205 lbs.) with 55 receptions for 786 yards with 3 TD’s, He is followed by Ka’ron Ashley(6’3″ 165 lbs.) with 34 receptions for 461 yards and 6 TD’s. Tate Leihto(5’10” 194 lbs), the tight end, has contributed 42 receptions for 407 yards with 3 TD’s. Caleb Robinson(6’0″ 190 lbs.) has 33-406 yards, with 1 TD. This group of receivers is big, fast, and posses big play ablility.
The Lion defense are led in tackles by linebacker Brucks Saathoff with 95, linebacker Garrett Blumbaugh with 80, linebacker Neemi Behbahani with 65, and defensive back Alex Shillow with 60. They have allowed a touchdown on the opening drive in every playoff game so far, but have progressively tightened up and made play after play when the game is on the line. They face a size disadvantage this week in the secondary, The defensive line has done great job of pressuring the passer, and limiting the big play. Harding scored on a 3 play opening drive, but were kept out of the end zone until the fourth. The Lion defense have made adjustments, and used the phrase “bend, but don’t break” to perfection so far.
The Lions win this matchup if- While no particular statistics stand out, the West Florida team is far more balanced with big, talented receivers, and tough runner in Schwartz, who is coming off a 175 yard, 20 carry performance against Indiana(Pa.) in the semifinal.
Being able to pressure Beaudry with their front seven, while controlling the run game, and limiting the big play will mean the Lions will be well on their way to winning a long overdue national title.
Overview-While seeing more of a balanced offense this week, the Lions have proven to be very capable in adjusting to whatever situation they have face. Don’t allow the big play, pressure the quarterback, and continue that swarming, attacking style that has served them well this season, it should be a very good night.