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