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Jays to face top-seeded, unbeaten Panthers in regional finals PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:31 PM

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St. John’s has already beaten two higher-seeded teams — Leipsic and Fremont St. Joseph’s Central Catholic — in the first two rounds of the Region 22 playoffs.
Friday night at Findlay’s Donnell Stadium, the Blue Jays will have to beat the top-seeded team in Region 22, unbeaten McComb, to stay alive in the playoffs.
The good thing for head coach Todd Schulte and his staff is that it will be the third straight week to prepare for a primarily spread offense.

“It’s a typical spread offense with their formations — though they use some unbalanced line and other formations that you generally don’t see with spread teams — and it revolves around Jerry Brown. He is a multi-purpose player that they play at quarterback, running back and wide receiver,” Schulte noted. “He is 5-11 and 190 pounds and is just a gifted runner; he is shifty but also runs with good power. He’s just an athlete. The thing is, they run the ball a lot — they ran for about 400 yards last week; that’s a little bit different than what you’re used to seeing. The other main weapon they have is the quarterback when Brown is elsewhere, Cody Wilson, who is very efficient both running and throwing. They have good size up front.

“We know we have to contain ‘Touchdown Jerry Brown’ but we cannot forget the other players, so we just have to be on our toes. It requires playing very sound, fundamental defense.”

The defense that cedes 15.8 points and 265.5 yards (137.9 rushing) per game will look to linebackers Brent Schwinnen (68 solos, 41 assists) and Cody Looser (58 and 40), end Kody White (51 and 32, 7 for loss; 7 sacks, 8 QB harrassments), linebacker/punter Troy Warnecke (45 and 30; 38 punts, 33.1-yard average), back Ben Youngpeter (46 and 26), tackle Brock Bonifas (41 and 26, 9 for loss; 10 QB harrassments), safeties Evan Hays (43 and 20) and Metzger (42 and 18; 3 picks) and linebacker Jettinghoff (3 picks) to handle the Panther attack.

“Defensively, they operate out of a base 4-3 cover-2 look but they do bring a linebacker up on the line at times and drop a safety into the box. Their two tackles have pretty good size but other than that, they go about 190 or less,” Schulte continued. “They just run to the ball very well; they don’t stay blocked. Defense is the unsung hero for them because the offense gets all the publicity.

“They have shut out their last two opponents (including Friday night’s 42-0 whitewash of Tiffin Calvert, their sixth shutout of 2012), so they are playing very good defense right now. We want to run the football — that’s no secret — so it comes down to our guys up front establishing the line of scrimmage. They’ve been doing a good job with that.”

The offense, with averages of 25.4 points and 320 yards (242.9 rushing) per, has as its bellwethers tailback Tyler Jettinghoff (233 rushes, 1,768 yards, 19 scores; 20 grabs, 208 yards, 1), fullback Luke MacLennan (78 totes, 603 yards, 9), quarterback Mark Boggs (64-of-143 passing, 915 yards, 6 scores, 13 picks), tight end Jake Hays (11 grabs, 232 yards, 2), receivers Andrew Metzger (9 for 149, 1; 29-of-33 extra points, 32 total points), Will Buettner (8 for 126, 1) and Jared Knebel (7 for 132) and linemen Seth Bockey (9 pancake blocks) and Luke Wrasman and Ryan Shumaker (4 each).

The Jays, who are relatively healthy for this time of year, come off a 54-21 pasting of Fremont St. Joe during another weather-interrupted contest.

“It’s happened a couple of times this year but our kids seemed to handle it well. We tell them to go into the locker room and relax and they did that,” Schulte added. “We do use it as another halftime to make adjustments. When we came back out, I felt we were more mentally ready than they were.

“Before that, we were down 21-7 early in the second quarter — we were up 21-0 the week before — and 21-13 at the half. Coach (defensive coordinator Steve) Recker and his staff made some great adjustments to their passing attack. Our offense had bogged down only once in the first half but once we got rolling, I felt we wore them down.”
Kickoff Friday is 7:30 p.m.

 

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