Good evening, Lions fans….with less than 48 hours to go before what truly is the biggest game in Lion football history, let’s take a look at the matchup between the Lion offense and Argonaut defense, along with special teams. This looks to be very intriguing. With that said, let’s get to it….
Tale of the Tape
Lion Offensive Line Avg.- 6′ 4 1/2″ 290
Argonaut Defensive Line Avg.- 6’1″ 275
Argonaut Defensive stats
Lion Offensive stats
The Skinny-The Argonauts are 9th in the country with 47 sacks. Their leader in sacks is defensive lineman John Williamson with 13, and linebacker Jonathon Coleman with 8 1/2. The tackle leaders are defensive back Marvin Conley with 100, linebacker Reggie Barnes with 98, and linebacker Archie Trent with 88. This unit has forced 26 turnovers(11 fumbles, 15 interceptions), and in last week’s semifinal match against Indiana University(Pa.)forced two early turnovers en route to a 17-0 halftime lead. They will get after the passer in an attempt to force bad decisions.
The Lion offense is led by 2017 Harlon Hill Trophy winner Luis Perez, first in the country in passing. Of the 4,678 yards the Perez has thrown for, he has spread the wealth around to six different targets, making the Lions one of the most productive and difficult units to defend in the country. The receiving corps is led by Buck Wilson, 65-950, 11 TD’s, followed by D’Arthur Cowan, who had the game clinching 90 yard touchdown reception last week vs. Harding, with 60-765, with 9 TD’s. Marquis Wimberly has contributed 59 catches for 730 yards with 5 TD’s, tight end Vincent Hobbs with 59 for 714 yards, 7 TD’s, including one vs. Harding last week that made the “C’MON MAN!” highlight segment on Monday Night Football. Carandale Hale has 57 catches for 356 yards. Hale also has quietly amassed 1,192 combined yards.
Carandale Hale leads the rushing attack with 783 yards and 5 TD’s, followed by E.J. Thompson, who has served as a great change of pace power back with 386 yards and 5 TD’s. Hale had a huge touchdown run to put the Lions ahead last week vs. Harding.
The Lions Win This Matchup if-The band marches on. The three main goals for the Lion offense remain the same. #1.-Keep Perez upright and with a clean pocket. #2.-The run game, while not earth shattering, must remain effective. For the past four weeks, it has been very effective, providing Perez and the second ranked passing offense in the nation time to work their magic. #3.-DO NOT TURN THE BALL OVER. The Argonauts like to force turnovers, and use the short field with the bruising Chris Schwarz to their advantage. It appears that the Argonaut defense likes to blitz, and use man coverage. If that holds true, then Lions will be in for a very successful night.
The accolades continue to roll in-In addition to the aforementioned Harlon Hill Trophy, Luis Perez and Jared Marcharro were named First Team All Americans today. Yusef Sterling-Lowe was named a Second Team defensive back. Linebacker Brucks Saathoff and Sterling-Lowe are finalists for the Cliff Harris Defensive Player of the Year as well. And not to be outdone, linebacker Garrett Blubaugh has received the NCAA Elite 90 Award for highest grade point average among players in the finals. This is equivalent to the Academic Heisman Trophy. Well done, gentlemen.