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Jays seek to stop Crimson Streaks PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, November 07, 2012 1:53 PM

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St. John’s, seeded sixth in Region 22, rallied to oust third-seeded Leipsic 36-29 a week ago in the opening round of the playoffs.
Next up for the Blue Jays (7-4) is a matchup with second-seeded Fremont St. Joseph Central Catholic (10-1) — a 27-3 conqueror of Ottawa Hills — 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bowling Green State University.

Jays coach Todd Schulte is concerned about two things from the Crimson Streaks.

“They run the spread offense and this version is a quick-passing attack. It revolves around Zack Yeckley at quarterback and he has thrown for (2,230 yards and 29 touchdowns),” Schulte explained. “He gets the ball out quickly and it’s about getting the ball to a lot of quick receivers, especially Jordan Sessler; he’s got 45 catches. They are more quick than fast but they have the ability to make plays in space; making tacklers miss for big gains is an area of concern. You really have to tackle these guys well.

“We are also concerned about their size up front on both sides of the ball. Their offensive line averages around 240; at times, they protect the quarterback really well and other times, they have struggled with pressure.

“On the defensive side, they use a 4-4 base and their front four is big overall. They start two tackles that are around 220 pounds each but they rotate two in that go 320 and 310. They don’t blitz a lot from what we’ve seen but they will vary the looks by walking linebackers up on the line of scrimmage and covering the offensive linemen up.”

The Blue Jay offense will need to deal with that group led by senior guard linemen Seth Bockey (9 pancake blocks), junior center Ryan Shumaker (4) and senior guard Luke Wrasman (4). They pave the way for an attack that averages 22.8 Points and 300.8 yards (223.5 rushing), especially junior tailback Tyler Jettinghoff (212 rushes, 1,528 yards, 17 scores; 18 grabs, 192 yards, 1), junior fullback Luke MacLennan (64 carries, 456 yards, 6), senior quarterback Mark Boggs (93 rushes, 289 yards, 4; 59-of-134 passing, 841 yards, 5 scores, 12 picks), senior tight end Jake Hays (10 catches, 205 yards, 2) and senior wideouts Andrew Metzger (8 for 127, 1; 25-of-28 extra points, 28 points) and Will Buettner (8 for 126, 1).

For a defensive unit that cedes 15.3 markers and 259.8 yards (113.6 passing), linebackers Brent Schwinnen (senior; 71 solos, 39 assists) and junior Cody Looser (52 and 40) lead the way, along with senior end Kody White (45 and 31, 6 for loss; 7 sacks, 5 QB harrassments), senior back Ben Youngpeter (43 and 26), senior linebacker Troy Warnecke (38 and 27; 37 punts, 33-yard average), sophomore safety Evan Hays (39 and 20; 2 picks), senior tackle Brock Bonifas (34 and 24; 8 harrassments) and safety Metzger (40 and 17; 3 picks).

“Offensively, we need to establish the running game — that’s no secret — so we are concerned with our line’s ability to move their front four off the football. Their size, especially with the two bigger guys inside, is a major concern,” Schulte continued. “Defensively, we have some good athletes up front and we need to use that against their size. We have to pressure Yeckley to throw the ball a little bit quicker than he might want to, even in this offense, or make him hold it a little bit longer with good coverage. In the end, we have to tackle well when they do complete passes, which you know they will.”

The Jays went through the gamut of emotions in last Friday’s road triumph over the Vikings.

“We get off so quickly — 21-0 — which is exactly what we wanted to do. I don’t believe they had given up a point in the first quarter all year, so that was key for us,” he added. “We went on a good drive to start the game. Even up 21-0, you’re still not feeling good because all it took for them to make it a game was two touchdowns in 1:17.

“In the end, we needed to make plays on both sides of the ball. They were up one and running the ball down our throats; it wasn’t looking good. Then the defense made a couple of stops to get us the ball back and the offense came up with some big plays to get us the touchdown. We showed so much heart and grit in those final minutes.”


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