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View Poll Results: Who wins?
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Nov 17, 16, 09:54 AM #31
I'd like to see Russell try to get Ryan Stump more involved in the offense. He's only got five catches on the year. I think he gives Russell a genuine match-up advantage down field. He's 6'3", 220 lbs and is a great athlete. Ryan also plays basketball and runs track. Even at his size, he was one of the top hurdlers in class 2A last spring as a sophomore. He'd be a difficult cover for a LBer or one of Belfry's safeties. Catron and Adkins are both around 5'9" or 5'10".Advertisement
Nov 17, 16, 12:25 PM #32
Russell has the athletes to expose Belfry on the back end of that defense. Only question is can the QB get enough time to make those throws. If they go 3 and out early and fall behind the chains, going to be a long night for the Devils.
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Nov 17, 16, 12:30 PM #33
That being said... If Russell can put a few drives together, I honestly think this could be a lot closer than people are thinking. That D for Russell is very under appreciated
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Nov 17, 16, 12:40 PM #34
Nov 17, 16, 12:40 PM #35What it comes down to is 3 Things, and all 3 will remain true until Belfry is eliminated or hoisting a trophy:
1. Can Belfry Stay Ahead of the Sticks?
Belfry will have an advantage against every 3A team when comparing OLine vs Dline and vice versa looking at a straight up man vs. man situation. If you take Belfry's 6 linemen against a 3A Front 7, and simply run the FB dive and Veer, Belfry will get 10 yards on 3 plays the vats majority of the time. And additionally the vast majority of the time will string those together to move it down the field.
Where this changes is when teams commit an extra man to the box, throw stunts, chop the linemen, etc... this can negate that advantage, but it is also why Belfry runs outside stuff and the option.
Bottom line though, is all things considered equal, if Belfry runs their base offense and any 3A team runs their base defense it is advantage Belfry. Subsequently, when it is Belfry's base Defense against 3A's base Offense it also is advantage Belfry as the Pirates will get teams off the field a whole lot more often than they will allow TD's
So how does one reverse this?
Option 1: Hope Belfry puts in on the turf... a fumble is a two possession swing. A deep fumble after a long Belfry drive is equal to taking a TD off the board. A Belfry fumble early in a drive may be a two TD swing if the team turns it into points. The problem with this is you have limited control over this one.
Option 2: Disrupt Belfry's offense with heavy pressure and calculated risks. Try to force 3rd and Predictable. Create negative plays... keep pressure on belfry so they may self-inflict wounds with penalties.
Belfry is designed for 1st and 10, 2nd a Medium, 3rd and Short, and any variation in between. They are not designed for 1st and 15, 2nd and 12, or 3rd and 8.
As long as Belfry keeps ahead of the sticks it will be tough for anyone to stop them. With that said, there is an inherent risk with playing aggressive. Belfry has big play threats at each skill spot and one missed assignment, accidental stumble, or slip on the edge suddenly becomes tail lights and train horns.
Russell,and for that matter any 3A team, has to take calculated risks and when they do they have to pay off. Let Belfry grind for a few First Downs and run the clock... but find your point in the drive to make your move at ending their march before it turns to points.
2. Can You Win Where Belfry Is Not Dominant?
Not to be overly confident, but Belfry simply is better than everyone at certain positions and skill units. It's simply a fact. The key is to find ways to minimize that advantage as much as possible, and then pick your battles where to catch them off guard as we just discussed.
The other very important side is in the positions that Belfry is not dominant and much more human, you have got to consistently win all night.
The first place this has to happen is in Special Teams, specifically the punting game. If there is one place I think Belfry has been the most vulnerable it is all things "Punt" related. The Pirates have not had to kick it maybe 10 times all season, but when they have it has not exactly been fireworks. Any 3A team needs to find a way to use whatever punt Belfry does and make sure it results in favorable field position.
Belfry has scary abilities returning punts. They have taken several to the house if not inside the redzone. They have also muffed kicks being too aggressive. When punting to Belfry every kick has to average over 35 yards of net. Belfry needs to start inside their own 35 all night and if they do make a miscue and muff a punt it has to be recovered and capitalized.
You cannot leave points off the board in the kicking game, and in the Kickoff Return aspect you have to at least materialize one return that sets up a scoring threat. Belfry doesn't have a laundry list of 4 year starters on kickoff coverage, if you want to find a chance for a sudden change play this may be your best shot. Soeaking of which..
3. Big Plays Are a Must
It is not going to be easy to sustain drives against Belfry and their veteran Defense. That's not to say it can't be done a couple times, but I am not sure many 3A teams could manufacture more than 3 scoring drives over 65 yards and multiple First Downs.
You have to find at least three plays of explosion on Offense.. plays greater than 35 yards. Belfry wants you to try and drive the field on them because they are confident their multi-year starters and All-State talents will win more drives than they will lose. To beat Belfry you need a couple big plays that change the scoreboard to supplement with the talking points above.
Nov 17, 16, 02:56 PM #36I'm intrigued to see how Russell's D-line holds up vs Belfry's hogs up front. Last year, we had some size on the interior with up to as many as three 300 pounders down low when Russell would load the box. That didn't really do us much good.
This year, the Devils will be giving up quite a bit of weight to Belfry's O-line. But, what they lack in bulk, they make up for with quickness. Austin Braden and Seth Deboard have been disruptive all season. Braden's got a low center of gravity and gets good leverage. Deboard is a versatile player who can play inside and outside with equal effectiveness. Those two will have to be disruptive down low.
Jacob Pierce is a returning starter at DE. He's a long, rangy player, who added some strength in the off-season. Plays with a lot of effort and is great at keeping his eyes up and locating the ball.
As I've already said, Ryan Stump is an athletic stud. He's explosive off the edge and covers a lot of ground very quickly. I don't have the official stats, but I'd guess he's got double digit sacks and well over 20+ TFL so far this year. I doubt he'll get many opportunities to rush the passer on Friday, but he'll be crucial to Russell's success on defense. He's got the ability to chase down plays from the backside that a lot of other kids can't get to. He'll need to wreak havoc in Belfry's backfield. Ryan might be #1 on my list of players that must show up big on defense against the Pirates.
Nov 17, 16, 03:15 PM #37@ATLCat, regarding #2 on your list of 3 things...
Kick returns are an area where I could see Russell making some big plays. Boehm and Blackburn handle kick return duties for Russell. They've both had success returning kicks this year. Boehm has multiple kick return TDs in his career and Blackburn is just as dangerous. Officially, he's never returned a punt for a score. But, he did take one to the house against Raceland that was called back for sideline interference that happened about 30 yards behind the play.
First things first, though. Gotta make Belfry punt. Something we haven't been able to do much of lately.
Nov 17, 16, 04:29 PM #38Running clock probably before halftime
Nov 17, 16, 05:22 PM #39
Good Luck Devils,Give it all you have and leave it all on the field that's all us Red Devil fans can ask of you.
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Nov 17, 16, 06:47 PM #40Good luck from Ram Land!!!! Here is hoping that Russell can pull the upset!!