Greetings, Lion fans, and while it may be week 2 on the schedule, for your Lions, it really is week 1A. This time out, we take a closer look at the Western Oregon Wolves offense, and how they size up against the Blue Gang. It should be an interesting match up, so let’s dive right in and take a closer look.
THE SKINNY-The Wolves, coming off of a 45-20 loss to Angelo State University, are a balanced offense, totaling 238 yards rushing in 53 attempts, and 202 yards passing. They also had three touchdowns in four attempts inside the redzone, while also suffering three turnovers, which allows for the loss.
The Lions held UNL to negative total offense and did not allow a first down the entire game. Business is sure to pick up in the Pacific Northwest this weekend, for sure.
UP FRONT/TALE OF THE TAPE-
Wolves Offensive Line-6’4″ 298 lbs.
Lion Defensive Line- 6’0″ 259 lbs.
In what is becoming a familiar situation, the Lions are out sized in the trenches, yet again. They have been very successful in overcoming the size disadvantage, using their speed, quickness, and the ability to always seem to be in the right place at the right time.
The Wolves offensive line is anchored by a pair of huge tackles, Senior Aaron Turner, 6’7″ 300 lbs. and sophomore Joesph Gonzales, at 6’6″ 315 lbs. They appear to be a run first type of offense that likes to blow their opponents off of the ball.
THE BACK LINE/MOVERS AND SHAKERS-The Wolves offense is paced by red shirt sophomore O’Mari Land, who had 82 yards in 21 attempts, with a pair of touchdowns.
Senior Ty Currie, 6’2″ 205 lb. and a senior directs the passing attack, going 15-26 202 yards, and 1 touchdown. He also contributed 60 yards rushing on 14 attempts.
Senior Tyler Reid, 5’9″ 170 lbs. (2-61) , redshirt sophomore Marquis Sampson, 5’7″ 155 lbs. (4-60), and redshirt sophomore Thomas Wright, 6’6″ 195 lbs. (2-44) pace the Western Oregon receiving corps. Wright appears to a real threat with his size and playmaking ablilty.
The Lions are led on defense by linebacker Dayne Douglass, with 5 total tackles (1 solo), and defensive lineman Tali Amosa with 5 unassisted tackles. Senior linebacker Terrell Collins came as advertised, a big hitter that is always around the ball.
The secondary was ably led by red shirt junior Alex Shillow, and Dominique Ramsey. The secondary did not allow a completion last week, but are sure to be tested this Saturday.
VERY SPECIAL, INDEED- Andrew Gross handles the kicking chores, and is a real throwback, in the fact that he does both kicking and punting. He missed his only field goal attempt last week, and had three punts for a 44.0 yard average with a long of 56 yards, which is very good.
The Lions have another outstanding group of returners. Dominique Ramsey, the most electrifying returner in all of Division 2, had two punt returns for 29 yards, as well as two kick returns, also for 29 yards.
The most outstanding plays were turned in by Kader Kohou, who returned a kickoff for 66 yards and a touchdown, and junior transfer J.T. Smith who returned another kick 70 yards for a score.
WHAT’S GOING DOWN- As has been said earlier, this is in effect, the season opener for the Lions. We should get a much better feel on where they stand going forward.
Everything points toward a Lions victory. They have an advantage in speed, quickness, and athleticism. The question still remains, though: Just how good is this team? Can they put the little mistakes that kill scoring drives and momentum behind? Is this defense as dominating as it appears?
This Saturday afternoon, we’re going to find out.