(Note: After all this time, I was finally able to get my name corrected for writing here on The Wire. Lionmojo I thought was a screen name, and I just was able to get it figured out. Thanks for you patience.)
Greetings, Lion fans, and today in the Blue Gang Notebook, we’ll take a look at how the Lion defense stacks up against the Autenticos Tigres offense.
THE SKINNY- The Lions have a longstanding tradition of great defense. From the inception of the original Blue Gang in the Championship season of 1972, the run to the Division 2 title in 2017, and for many years in between, many players and fans in Commerce see a swarming, attacking, relentless style of defense as a sort of birthright.
In the 2018 season, the Lion defense literally carried the team to five wins while the offense was sorting things out. This season looks to be another outstanding one. Returning nine starters, David Bailiff and his staff have added some outstanding talent through the high school recruiting ranks, as well as the transfer route. How well will they blend? We’ll get a good look this Saturday.
UP FRONT-The defensive line is bolstered by the return of defensive tackle Peyton Searcy, a stalwart on the 2017 team that was sidelined for the 2018 season due to an injury suffered during training camp. Pierre Leonard returns for his senior season to hold down the interior. Neema Behbahani returns at linebacker, and will be joined by Mark Westbrook. A pleasant surprise at linebacker has been Terrell Collins, a 6’0″ 245 pound transfer from Arkansas whose size and speed and play-making ability reminds one of another all time Lion great, Danny Kirk.
BACK LINE-The strength of the Lion defense, where all four starters from 2018 return. Alex Shillow leads this crew, which also includes corner Kader Kohou, safety Jaylon Edwards-Cooper, and fellow safety Dominque Ramsey. If they continue their stellar performance, 2019 could be a special year.
VERY SPECIAL, INDEED-The Lions hold a very distinct advantage here. In what film that we have been able to see, the Tigres have had multiple punts blocked, as well as a field goal. That’s not good news when they’re facing the most electrifying returner in Division 2 in Dominique Ramsey.
WHAT’S GOING DOWN-In looking at all the information that we have been able to obtain, the Lions should win this match up, and win it easily. The Tigres do not have a sophisticated passing attack, and the quarterback, while having a strong arm, is not very mobile or accurate. They are a proud team, however, and are sure to give the Lions their best effort.
The biggest key for the Lions is not to lose focus and overlook the Tigres. As Coach Shoat Cooper, a character in the great Dan Jenkins novel, Semi Tough, once said….
“That dang ball ain’t round. It’ll bounce funny on you.”
And that it will. 3 more days. See You at The Hawk.