Greetings, Lion Fans…..my apologies for the delay in getting this week’s installment of Getting Defensive on The Wire, but here we go:
OVERVIEW-As much as has been written on the struggles of the Lion offense, the defense has been a true bright spot. After an opener with a high-powered A&M-Kingsville offense, the Lions have clamped down, averaging a paltry 17 points per game. They have taken to Scott Power’s new style extremely well, adding a dash of aggressiveness in the pass rush to complement their outstanding speed and quickness.
“They are playing at a championship level right now, defensively.”
TALE OF THE TAPE-
Lock Haven Offense-
CAST OF CHARACTERS-The Bald Eagles are led in rushing by Chantz Swartz, 54-256, 2 TD’s and a long rush of 22 yards. Ralph Hyland follows with 35-204, 1 TD, and a long of 60. Redshirt Senior Cameron Tobias is the leading passer, 30-45, 362 yards, with 3 TD’s and 3 INT’s. Nysar Minney-Gratz(Charlie and Blake are going to have fun saying that one!)is the leading receiver, 11-180, 2 TD’s, and a long of 34, followed by Chantz Swartz, 9-170, 1 TD, and a long of 71. Tavian Dorsey had 4-156, with a long of 74.
The Blue Gang is led in tackles by Senior Brucks Saathoff, with 48, including 6 for loss. Mark Westbrook and Neema Behbahani both have 27 tackles each. Michael Onoha continues his reign of terror over opposing quarterbacks with 5 and a half sacks.
THE BOTTOM LINE-Again, the Blue Gang has been outstanding. So far they have faced every type of offense, from the traditional spread to the Flexbone triple option of Eastern New Mexico, and have proven themselves superior. The only letdown has occurred when they were on the field for far too long in what is becoming known in Commerce as the Hurricane Bowl.
Lock Haven presents a balanced offense, but have had issues with the turnover bug, and have had their own struggles at quarterback ,using three different starters. They have shown some explosiveness, and are an experienced group. It would be unwise of the Lions to look past them.
THE VERDICT-This is a game the Lions should win, and win handily. The Lock Haven defense has yet to hold an opponent under 30 points, including giving up 59 in a loss to Indiana University(Pennsylvania). The Lions hold the advantage in size, speed and talent.
The danger here is this-looking past this game to the anticipated matchup next week in Wichita Falls with the rival Midwestern State Mustangs. THE LIONS CANNOT AFFORD TO GET CAUGHT LOOKING DOWN THE ROAD. Therein lies the biggest challenge for Coach Carthel this week. Keep the Lions focused on the task in front of them As Herb Brooks, the late US Olympic hockey coach once said in order to keep his team focused and hungry:
“Gentlemen, you don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone.”
It’s time to unleash the beast. It’s time for this team to play the way they are capable of.
See You at The Hawk.