GoW: Through The Air
When the top two teams in the state square off on Friday night in Brandon, expect to see fireworks. Each team is stacked with talented runners, but they also each possess quarterbacks that can nickel and dime you to death or beat you deep. Expect to see both teams find success through the air.
For Clinton, it will be Cam Akers.
Akers is talked about as the great college level running back he will one day be. However, on
Friday night, in Brandon, No. 3 will be lining up behind center just as he has throughout his high school career. Can he run the ball? Of course, maybe better than anyone this state has seen in a very, very long time, but let us not forget about the nearly 6,000 career passing yards he has under his belt.
If Brandon’s defensive game plan is to try and take away the run from Akers and Maberry, then their secondary better buckle up. The thing that makes Akers such as affective passer is not just that he is accurate and has a nice group of receivers, it is that he makes linebackers and defensive backs have to choose. Do they abandon their coverage to help tackle the scrambling Akers, and in doing so leave Arrow receivers wide open down field? Or do they stay back only to try and tackle Akers once he is already 15 yards down field. True case of pick your poison.
For Brandon it will be Brady Anderson.
Anderson is the guy that no one outside of Brandon knew existed last summer. He was referred to one of the Brandon quarterbacks that would try and replace Gardner Minshew. He made sure that people would remember his name after the 2015 season. He finished with 2,334 yards passing with 20 touchdowns to just five interceptions.
Anderson never had an adjustment period, he came out firing and hasn’t looked back. He now runs the offense like a wily veteran distributing the ball to his playmakers. He has not wowed statistically this season but he has led his team to two wins and has yet to throw an interception in 38 attempts.
On Friday night Anderson may find that it will take going down field to some of his stud athletes to keep pace with the big play Clinton offense.
At the end of the day, both teams can throw the ball right up there with the best of them. It will make for a fun night.
**Photos by Keith Warren of the MHSAA.