|Wildcats seek to remain atop NWC|
|Friday, October 04, 2013 12:09 AM|
By JIM METCALFE
DELPHOS — Jefferson gridders are coming off an emotional victory over former Northwest Conference colleague Lima Central Catholic last Friday.
The Wildcats (5-0, 3-0 NWC) have to bounce back right away and face invading league foe Crestview tonight at Stadium Park.
The Wildcats, solidly ranked No, 2 in Region 22, have to change game plans, according to head coach Bub Lindeman.
“Last week, we had to prepare for 20-plus formations out of LCC; this week, Crestview has about five or six. They have simplified the game plan offensively,” Lindeman said. “They are basically a pro- or multiple-I formation that is built around the option game. Zach Zaleski runs it very well; between him and the tailback, Malcolm Oliver, they are the two main guys that carry the ball. Oliver is a solid, hard runner that they like to get off-tackle on sweeps. They set up the play-action pass.
“Defensively, they are in what we call an odd front 3-3 stack. We have seen this a few times this year — Marion Local in a scrimmage and Waynesfield-Goshen and Paulding but we haven’t seen it for a couple of weeks. We’ve just gone back over the rules for our offensive linemen as to who to block. What they will do is blitz a lot and from a lot of angles, so we have to be aware of that. They run there basic coverages in the secondary: 0, 1 and 3.”
With senior tailback Zavier Buzard and his nearly 1,000 yards rushing, as well as senior quarterback Austin Jettinghoff and a bevy of receivers providing plenty of support, the Wildcat offense seems to be perking along.
Plus, they are operating behind a fast-improving line of Justin Stewart, Noah and Isaac Illig, Adam Crabtree and Aaron Culp.
As well, they are coming off that 35-19 triumph in which the defense did its job against the speedy and athletic Thunderbirds.
Still, Lindeman knows that there can be no letdowns this week.
“We put that in the kids’ minds on Monday: no complacency. It’s easy to get into that mode coming off a big, emotional win,” the coach added. “We are 5-0, which is where we want to be, but we have this game this week. We want to be 1-0 after this game.
“I am a firm believer in the leadership we have; the seniors won’t allow a letdown.”
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.