Greetings, Lion fans…..now that we’ve all dried out from the disappointment of the previous week, lets take a look at how the Lion offense matches up with the defense of the Bald Eagles of Lock Haven.
OVERVIEW-Let’s state the obvious-the Lion offense, to this point in the season, has been offensive. Last week against Colorado State-Pueblo, the Lions were held without an offensive touchdown for the first time in recent memory. It was known coming into the season that replacing the best quarterback in school history, as well as three positions on the offensive line would a chore.
Surprisingly, though, the offensive line has been a source of strength, providing both Preston Wheeler and Kane Wilson with time to throw, and opening up the running lanes. Where the Lions have had their issues have been at quarterback. Preston Wheeler, other than one half against A&M-Kingsville, has struggled with decision making and timing with his receivers. Last week, Kane Wilson saw some action, but both had their problems with the weather conditions. EJ Thompson suffered a major injury in which he left the field on a stretcher, and in an air cast. Vincent Hobbs has seen constant double teams from every opponent. Chance Cooper and Matt Childers have provided some depth and bright spots, but the Lions have yet to return to the explosive, excitement a minute offense that has been their hallmark in the past. They have yet to have an play of over 50 yards.
This week provides that opportunity. Lock Haven comes in with a 1-3 record, allowing almost 430 yards per game defensively, and 43 points per game. The Bald Eagles have yet to hold an opponent under 30 points.
TALE OF THE TAPE-
Bald Eagle Defense
Fumbles Forced-8(4 lost)
CAST OF CHARACTERS-The Lions are led in passing by Wheeler, 63-117, 617 yards, 4 TD’s, 4 Int’s. The rushing attack is led by Carandale Hale, 46-241, 2 TD’s and EJ Thompson, 32-135, 1TD. Marquis Wimberly leads the Lions in receiving, with 19 catches for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns. Chance Cooper follows with 14 for 155, Matt Childers with 12-142 and a touchdown, and Vincent Hobbs, with 11 for 70 and a touchdown.
The Bald Eagles are led by linebacker Obadaiah Asare with 33 tackles, followed by safety Javon Whitfield with 32, and linebacker Fernando Flores with 28. Both Whitfield and free safety Dontae Mason have three interceptions each.
The Lions have a decided size advantage, averaging 6’1″ 200 lbs. at the skills positions, and 6’3″ 278 lbs. on the offensive line. Lock Haven averages 6’0″ 187 lbs. in the secondary, and 6’1″ 241 lbs. in the front seven.
THE BOTTOM LINE-The Lions have problems on offense that they must solve, and this is the time to get it done. After this week, conference play begins in earnest with a road trip to Wichita Falls, and the rival Midwestern State Mustangs. Frankly, it is not going to get any easier for Matt Storm and his charges. The bright spot is, the problems they have faced so far are very fixable. If the Lions just play like they are very capable of playing, they will soon return to their high-flying, high scoring ways.
See You At The Hawk. . Hopefully, this week, a dry one.