Coverage Breakdown: Calhoun City @ Baldwyn
Players to Watch:
Calhoun City Wildcats
Jojo gray - Saving his best for last week, it is easy to presume that Gray could factor in big for a second straight. The Wildcats will need all the playmakers they can get to defeat a tough Baldwyn defense. Gray found his first 100-yard rushing game of the season in a win over West Bolivar last Friday night, though he averages 6.3 yards per carry on the season and has nine scoring runs. He rushed for 124 on 14 carries last week.
Keshun Parker - Parker was double trouble for Calhoun City last week. He, too, rushed for more than 100 yards,while adding 10 tackles on defense. On the ground he totaled 126 yards and two touchdowns. For the season he is averaging 9.8 yards per carry, with just under 900 yards and 16 touchdowns, and defensively he has tallied 111 tackles. He can tote the rock and get to the guy who does. That will help the Cats tonight.
Jessie Nabors - One of the Wildcats’ best utility players is Nabors, who can help on the ground or through the air on offense, while also being able to defend both areas on the other side of the ball, as well. Just last week he rushed for two scores and intercepted a pass. On the season he has rushed for more than 1,100 yards and tallied nearly 60 tackles.
Atarius Moore - Expect Moore to find his way to the Bearcat carrying the football very often tonight. On the season the senior ball hawk has been in on 126 stops, while also picking off four passes. Baldwyn will keep it on the ground plenty tonight, but will look to make big plays through the air. So Moore will be vital in helping slow the Bearcat offensive attack.
Anfernee Campbell - While Moore is a bigger, more physical linebacker, Campbell is a guy that uses speed to get to the ball carrier and make plays. He, like Moore, was in on nine tackles last week versus West Bolivar. He will also be relied on to make plays as Baldwyn will look to use a balanced attack.
John Swinney - Though the Bearcats are 0-4 when Swinney attempts 20 or more passes, he is still the guy that can blow the top off of defenses. On the season he has thrown for over 2,100 yards with 21 touchdowns. Perhaps most impressive is his 17.8 yards per completion. He is especially dangerous when going deep to his top targets, Calvin Harris and Felix Hayes.
Jalon Clark - The ground game for Baldwyn centers around Clark. He has rushed for over 100 yards once this season, and he has totaled 865 yards and 20 scores on the ground this season. He runs with a bruising style and likes to punish the defenders he takes on. While the Bearcat defense doles out plenty of pain, Clark is the guy who does so on the offensive side.
Felix Hayes - Hayes is Mr. Do-it-All for Baldwyn on Friday nights. On offense he totes it and catches it. When he’s on defense he leads the charge in defending the pass and the run. In addition to his offensive and defensive roles, he is also a talented punter. His impact will be felt in so many ways, it is safe bet to peg Hayes as an x-factor for the Bearcats each time he goes out.
Ovuton Gates - Gates is yet another player who has his hands on many areas of the game for the Bearcats. And just as many of Baldwyn’s playmakers also are, he is a physical, game-changing playmaker. He combines speed and quickness with strength and power. He has totaled over 1,107 yards of total offense, with 10 rushing scores, while recording over 20 tackles and an interception.
Tice Bowdry - The most impressive unit on the Baldwyn team could be said to be the defensive line. Bowdry has been the guy who sets the tone for a position group that includes Jimmy Tyes and Zack Richardson. On the season Bowdry has tallied 102 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 16 quarterback hurries and 11 sacks.
Keys to the Game
Rushing yardage could be the most impressive stat of this game. So the team that wins the battle on the ground is likely to be the team that walks away victorious. Which team will win that battle?
Turnovers. When both defenses can force turnovers, the only question is, which team will force more? Look for the area to be a deciding factor, whether the turnovers are interceptions or fumble recoveries.
The team that is more physical will win this game. Now that is a double-edge sword, as it pertains to this matchup. Both teams are physical on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The team that is going to be more physical will likely set the tone early, so look for that.
Can Baldwyn change the game through the air? John Swinney can sling it to change things up for the Bearcats. Whether or not Calhoun City can stop that could go a long ways towards deciding the outcome of the game.
John Swinney, QB, Baldwyn
It would have been easy to say Felix Hayes here. While I expect him to make plays all over the field, I do expect him to be on the receiving end of some long passes from Swinney. Though, I also expect Calvin Harris to catch a few, as well. Both teams can run the ball, but Swinney has the ability to change this game by slinging it through the air, and I believe he will. He could also change the game by throwing it to the Wildcats. Every time Baldwyn goes to the pass, watch carefully to see what happens.