ELKS

Cecil Whig - - & -

Sneade iden­ti­fied the mind­set of his de­fense as it pre­pares for an Elk­ton of­fense that av­er­ages 31.8 points per game.

“We’ve got to go through and fo­cus on what they’re good at. Ob­vi­ously, that’s run­ning the ball and throw­ing the ball. We have to go in and just try to do things that make them as un­com­fort­able as pos­si­ble and re­spect the fact that they’re a good foot­ball team and they’re go­ing to hit their big plays,” said Sneade, whose de­fense has al­lowed just 11.6 points per game. “We may present dif­fer­ent prob­lems for them than North Caro­line could. We’’ll just have to see how it goes.”

Like­wise, the Elks de­fense, which has kept op­po­nents off the score­board in seven of the eight quar­ters played this post­sea­son, will aim for con­tin­ued suc­cess against a Calvert of­fense that presents mul­ti­ple for­ma­tions and three ball car­ri­ers ca­pa­ble of mov­ing the sticks.

Se­nior run­ning back Shamar Gray (131 car­ries for 1,045 yards and nine touch­downs), se­nior run­ning back Levi Brick­ner (111 car­ries for 790 yards and 11 touch­downs) and se­nior quar­ter­back Jack Lan­ham (155 car­ries for 774 yards and 15 touch­downs) give the Cava­liers a three-headed mon­ster out of the of­fen­sive back­field.

“They’ve got a big of­fen­sive line and you can tell their strong and very dis­ci­plined. Of­fen­sively, they can move peo­ple and they’ve got

backs who can hit the hole hard. There’s no danc­ing, there’s no wasted en­ergy. Every­thing seems very ef­fi­cient with them and they just try to wear you down. That’s their mark,” Feeney said of Calvert. “That will give us a hard time if we can’t get them into some third-and-longs.” Sneade agreed. “It’s im­por­tant for us to stay on sched­ule. We can’t com­mit un­forced er­ror and penal­ties that put us be­hind. Our run­ning game has been able to sus­tain a pretty good run­ning of­fense, but when you get to the play­offs, you’re play­ing a lot of good foot­ball with a lot of good teams that have done a nice job of do­ing what they do. Cer­tainly, when you get a game like this, peo­ple are go­ing to be look­ing to stop our run­ning game,” the Calvert coach said.

“Jack does a great job throw­ing the ball, it’s just not some­thing that we’ve had to uti­lize. We play a con­ser­va­tive de­fense ap­proach and of­fen­sively, I think we feel the same way. Our deal is try to clock man­age and try to con­trol things. We’ve had some ex­plo­sive plays, it’s just not in our makeup.

“Bend, bend, bend but don’t break on de­fense and grind the clock out on of­fense is our mantra. I think we can throw the foot­ball, it’s just not some­thing we’re will­ing to do a whole lot of.”

In ad­di­tion to a tra­di­toinal run­ning back for­ma­tion, the Elk­ton of­fense will of­ten switch to a spread of­fense, cre­at­ing the abil­ity for down­field pass­ing, made pos­si­ble by its se­nior quar­ter­back.

The Elks’ Jack­son Ar­goe will com­mand the hud­dle tonight hav-

ing thrown for 1,539 yards and 17 touch­downs through a dozen games. Un­like the Cava­liers, who have five pass­ing touch­downs all sea­son, Ar­goe’s arm has de­vel­oped into a weapon that com­pli­ments Estep.

The se­nior de­liv­ered Elk­ton a 7-0 lead against North Caro­line with a 23-yard touch­down pass to J’Qwan Ben­son in the first quar­ter.

“I think Xs and Os, we’re go­ing to have a game plan that we be­lieve in and they’re def­i­nitely go­ing to have a game plan in place that they be­lieve in,” Feeney said. “This is Week 13. What it’s re­ally go­ing to come down to is one-onone bat­tles and in­di­vid­u­als try­ing to dom­i­nate each par­tic­u­lar play.”

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

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