FEARLESS DUERRISMS QUARTERFINAL PREDICTIONS
Last Week: 11 of 13 (84.6%)
Season to Date: 152 of 183 (83%)
CONCORD TRIOPIA 18
This prediction may be a good omen for Trojan fans, since I thought Triop was toast last week against a Central A&M team that was better, on paper, than LeRoy. This much I guarantee, LeRoy won't come close to to the 69 points per game they have been averaging in the postseason against this defense. This is a tough road trip. No one has remotely laid a glove on LeRoy all year. Triopia, however, is the best team LeRoy will have seen to date. You wonder if the Trojans can summon the magic again today after such an emotional, thrilling ride a week ago, especially after jumping off the bus. At Don Kemp Field, I think the Trojans win this game. Here? Tall order. Key to victory today is playing keep away from that high powered LeRoy offense and tackling well. I think the Trojans do the later. Shane Bruning (2064 yds, 3 TD) is a load and I think Dean Arendt and Blake Richardson will hit him without mercy. But for Triopia to win, they are going to have to grind out more than just 12 points when a quality defense packs the box. This may require the Trojans to stretch their offense in a way they haven't to date and that is my concern. We will see. If Tanner Huddleston goes nuts, all bets are off and I will happily wear egg on my face for the second week in a row.
Again, super long road trip is a concern, especially for a football team that relies so much on its legs (speed in the back, power up front) to win football games. And if the Panthers get off the bus flat, they may well get flattened. But if they play the way they have the last two weeks, DuQuoin is in trouble from the opening snap. Speed kills and CSE has a decided advantage there this week, particularly in the uniqueness of their defensive system. Douglas Weese might well be the single best Defensive Player still drawing breath among our four area teams and his disruptive abilities are going to really give DuQuoin's offense fits, talented as it is. I like CSE's confidence here and I like this opponent in this spot. I see the Panthers headed for the Semifinals
CLARK COUNTY 14
BLAIR OAKS 7
It will be an absolute War in Wardsville and this is really a coin flip game. Losing Jacob Trump is a big blow for the Indians, particularly on Defense where his quickness to the ball has been a really nice boon for Q. Hamner's defense. I don't think we see much in the way of scoring from either team. Both are supremely well coached and both teams are talented. Clark has the size advantage up front. Blair Oaks reminds me of, quite honestly, a bigger, more athletically gifted Triopia Defense. I think this comes down to one play, either way, and in that instance the uniqueness of Austin Egley and his ability to turn nothing plays into touchdowns is the biggest reason I lean towards an Indian upset here. I don't know that the Falcons can make two splash plays against Clark's super-physical defense to get to the 14 points I think you need to win this game. Clark County, I feel reasonably assured, has the greater big play ability here with Egley and Prewitt and that may be the decider. This will not be a pretty game by any stretch and not for the faint of heart .This is a flat out heavyweight battle and both teams will have a toll exacted from them. We haven't seen Clark County put everything together all at once this season. If they don't do it today, they may not have another chance. The threat level is that high
SOUTH SHELBY 28
This is more an inkling pick than rooted in football logic. While it's playing better, I have some concerns about the Cardinal Defense in this spot as Salisbury is very diverse and very gifted for a Class 1 team. To my mind, however, this ends up being the statement game I think David Heathman has had in him his whole career. He's an elite area QB who has never had the stage to really show the ceiling of his talents. Today, with Salisbury selling out against the Trace Windsor/Alex Blackford on-slaught, I think Heathman gets his chance and I think he and Wes Mefford and Adam Ellyson absolutely kill it on play action. Just a total hunch but I think Rob Wilt has had this ace in his pocket for two years and today is the day he flips the script on everyone. He doesn't get nearly the credit he deserves but I'd put Wilt with any playcaller in our area. And I think he has been setting teams up for this moment. I could be completely off kilter here but I saw this foreshadowed in the jamboree this summer. At the end of the day, I have a funny feeling this day will be about Quarterbacks. And the passing conditions are perfect. And in a perfect world, I think we are all talking about David Heathman and Tanner Huddleston in a new light next week...hopefully as field generals who have led their teams to the Final Four. Again, playing my gut here but I love this kid in this spot against this opponent.