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Elder (OH) 42 Covington Catholic 21


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A couple of thoughts from the game:

1. I did not think the game was as close as 42-21 indicates. Elder looked like they were subbing a good amount in the 2nd half. 

2. thought we would be much better on the O and D Line. CCH has 3 starters back plus another guy that played on the OL and it was not competitive up front. I liked a lot of the unbalanced 6 OL looks on their end; makes it tough to adjust to. However, the good news is that will probably be the best team we’ll play up front all year. 

3. Definitely the positive to me coming out of the game were the flashes from the skill guys. Willie Rodriguez at TE, Oliver Link at WR and Owen Leen at RB. Some good stuff from those guys. IMO Link (soph) has been the best receiver in the program since Benke left and Preston Agee was moved to receiver last year. 

4. It would not have mattered tonight, but having Zion Mason on the team would be really nice. We have some good complementary pieces, but are missing vertical speed threat that he would have brought on offense. Also not having him at corner, we go from very very good to below average at that position. 

5. I thought Evan Pitzer looked pretty solid at QB tonight after Roberts got hurt. Eviston does a nice job dialing up “winners,” but overall when given some time, he was accurate and threw with anticipation. 

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26 minutes ago, CCHFC said:

5. I thought Evan Pitzer looked pretty solid at QB tonight after Roberts got hurt. Eviston does a nice job dialing up “winners,” but overall when given some time, he was accurate and threw with anticipation. 

I will say, while Roberts was in, I was awfully bored with all of the same "screen right, QB draw, screen left, QB draw, screen right, RB run left, screen left" offense that we saw ohhhhhh so much of last season. It was nice seeing Pitzer actually throwing the ball down the field - and doing it well. Haven't seen much of that since sometime in the middle of fall 2020.

I was also pleasantly surprised with the way Leen ran the ball once Pitzer came in. Pitzer seems to be less of a rusher and more of a passer...although Pitzer's few draw plays went really well too.

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1 minute ago, theguru said:

Credit to Dale Dawn.

 

dd.jpg


That was the play below. Ball was on the Elder 28 yard line, Evan Pitzer dropped back to about the 35 and threw it to Oliver Link in the right front corner of the endzone. Link had a step on the outside of his defender and the receiver adjusted at the last second to jump in and bat it down.
 

 

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A few thoughts about tonight's game, after the fact.

1.) This was the toughest team we're likely to see in the regular season, and more than likely the toughest team we'll see until at least the 3rd round of the playoffs. Take a deep breath, all is not lost.

2.) Roberts is a definite athlete. I realize he's a solid QB, but he's apparently a solid outside linebacker, and he was no slacker runner. Evan Pitzer's running at QB turned out pretty solid in the second half. Just thinking out loud, I wouldn't mind seeing Pitzer and Roberts both in the backfield so we could see some pseudo-wildcat plays with Roberts running some halfback-option plays or passing from RB...and then also showing up on D. Blake Folke was a nice add in the backfield as a FB during the second half. Cov Cath hasn't utilized the two-back set in a good while. I'd like to see some of that, personally.

3.) Willie Rodriguez is deceivingly fast, and has great hands. Oliver Link is promising as a WR. Braylon Miller didn't look bad at all either when he got open. Looking forward to see them develop this year.

4.) The O-line needs to gel. They were a little disappointing tonight, especially when the defense brought everyone, but I expect to see them develop a lot more. Aiden Jones, it's time for you to really shine as a captain, buddy.

5.) Owen Leen is solid as a RB when he gets just a little room. His size makes it hard for him to pack much of a punch once he's running into defenders, though. He was a backup RB most of the season last year...I expect, as a junior, were gonna see him coming into his own as the season progresses.

6.) If Pitzer gets just a little more air under his ball, he's gonna be money.

7.) Casey Bir didn't show up much on the offense, but I think he's underutilized. His run on the second-half sweep play showed his talent. He threw out a solid and effective stiff-arm, and cut it upfield fast. Eddie's bread and butter used to be the jetsweep. Last year our receivers seemed hesitant to cut it upfield and ran east/west too much. Seeing Casey cut it up north made me smile tonight. We don't have the speed right now to utilize the sweep regularly, but Casey was a really solid RB as a freshman. I think they briefly tried using him as more of a slot back last year, but regardless, I'd like to see what we can do with Casey more this year.

8.) The D-line and linebackers need more discipline. They were visibly lost oftentimes when Elder went into motion. I expect to see improvement here.

9.) Defensive backfield and outside linebackers were probably the most concerning thing I saw tonight. There were some plays where the LB's honestly looked lost. The DB's aren't fast, and that is what it is; same with height, to a large extent. Gotta expect to see lots of teams trying to exploit that. The linebackers are gonna have to step up, and we're gonna have to learn to adjust as well as we can with the DB's.

10.) Ben Reeves and Travis Stewart are ballers. And that's all I have to say about that.

11.) I was pleasantly surprised with the Colonels' play in the second half. Down 28-0 at halftime sucks. Coming out in the second half after that and scoring 3 touchdowns (while Elder is still piling on) is hard to do. I was proud of that. #WASTWND

 

Takeaway....first game of the season. More than likely the toughest opponent of the regular season. Probably a bad match-up for this point in the process, but it is what it is. Move on. Build on successes, and correct mistakes. Let's make this happen, Colonels. 

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