With Carr out, Ravens pre­pare for Raiders backup Manuel

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com By SEAN GRO­GAN sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

ELK­TON — Se­nior Raiquon Estep shared last Fri­day’s pregame meal with his team­mates, ac­com­pa­nied them to the Elk­ton locker room as they suited up, and em­braced them as they boarded the bus for the 40-minute ride to Edge­wood.

For­bid­den to play in or at­tend any foot­ball con­tests in Har­ford County stem­ming from the school’s in­volve­ment in a post-game brawl last bas­ket­ball sea­son, Estep, a 2016 con­sen­sus All-State run­ning back, could only watch, via live stream, as the Golden Elks es­caped the Rams with the un­like­li­est of vic­to­ries. They marched back from a 14-0 half-time deficit, scored twice in the sec­ond half to re­main within a score and found the end zone with 17 sec­onds left to cel­e­brate a 21-20 win and keep their un­de­feated record in­tact.

“He walked out of the [Elk­ton] locker room [be­fore the game], and I was stand­ing out­side with some other coaches, and [he had] the look of just pure heart­break in his face be­cause he couldn’t play Fri­day night,” Elks head coach Matt Feeney said. “I can guar­an­tee you that the fire that’s in that kid’s belly is un­like any fire he’s ever had.

“Ba­si­cally, he’s try­ing to make up on what he feels he missed out on. He’s go­ing to be ready to go, that’s all I can say.”

Estep’s fire will be kin­dled tonight when he and sec­ond-ranked Elk­ton (5-0 over­all, 2-0 Ch­e­sa­peake) take the field to host No. 1 Havre de Grace (5-0, 2-0) in a bat­tle be­tween the con­fer­ence’s un­de­feated heavy­weights. With their

OWINGS MILLS — The most in­jured team in the NFL fi­nally catches a break on that front.

The Ravens will avoid Oak­land Raiders quar­ter­back Derek Carr when the two teams meet at the Oak­land-Alameda County Coli­seum Sun­day. Carr will miss up to the next six weeks with a back in­jury.

Bal­ti­more has lost to the Raiders in each of the past two sea­sons and Carr has been a ma­jor rea­son why. He com­bined to throw for 550 yards, seven touch­downs and a sin­gle in­ter­cep­tion in those con­tests, both of which Oak­land won by less than a touch­down. Carr is a two-time Pro Bowler and was a top MVP can­di­date last sea­son.

Backup EJ Man­ual will start in his place.

“There are cer­tainly some things that EJ Manuel – when you look back at his ca­reer – does dif­fer­ently than Derek Carr. He is def­i­nitely go­ing to run the same of­fense,” Ravens head coach John Har­baugh said. “They are not go­ing to change the of­fense, there is no ques­tion about that. You can see in the Den­ver game and in the pre­sea­son, he runs the of­fense well.

“Other things that they may add with him we have to be pre­pared for, and that is a lit­tle bit of a guess­ing game. We have to fig­ure out what those things are. The nice thing is we know enough about EJ Manuel as a quar­ter­back to know what those things have been in the past, at least.”

Manuel went 11-17 for 106 yards af­ter replacing Carr dur­ing Sun­day’s loss to the Den­ver Bron­cos. The Bills drafted Manuel in the first round of the 2013 draft and he led Buf­falo to a win in Bal­ti­more his rookie year.

“Derek Carr is Derek Carr. He has def­i­nitely come into his own, star run­ning back lead­ing the way, the Elks will at­tempt to find the end zone against a War­riors de­fense that’s al­lowed just 19 points (3.8 points per game) through five con­tests.

The game also rep­re­sents a rare reg­u­lar-sea­son bat­tle be­tween a pair of state fi­nal­ists from a year ago. Both teams suf­fered ti­tle game losses on the same day at An­napo­lis’ Navy-Ma­rine Corps Memo­rial Sta­dium last De­cem­ber, with the Elks fall­ing to Walk­ersville in the 2A Fi­nal and the War­riors los­ing to Fort Hill hours be­fore in the 1A Cham­pi­onship. but EJ Manuel has also been an NFL quar­ter­back, and I think the last time we played him, they beat us,” vet­eran line­backer Ter­rell

“I’m sure the guys are ready for it. They’re smart guys, they know go­ing in it’s two 5-0 teams play­ing each other. We re­ally try to pound on be­ing 1-0 this week no mat­ter who it is. That’s al­ways the goal and we try to keep the course on that,” Havre de Grace head coach Brian Eber­hardt said. “You have two teams Suggs said. “Say what you want, but they beat us. I think they are still go­ing to try to win the game. It is go­ing to be two teams com­ing

See BLITZ Page B4 off losses, and both teams are itch­ing for a win.”

The Ravens and Raiders each started the sea­son 2-0 but have suf- fered con­sec­u­tive losses since.

“I’m a de­fen­sive line­man, so the way we rush EJ Manuel ver­sus Derek Carr may be a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. He’s re­ally mo­bile, but Derek Carr was, as well,” de­fen­sive tackle Michael Pierce said. “We just have to get af­ter the quar­ter­back. We only had one sack last week, and we have to get that total at least dou­bled. So, we’re work­ing on it.”

A Ravens’ de­fen­sive front, miss­ing two of its starters, let Steel­ers run­ning back Le’Veon Bell run wild in Sun­day’s loss. Bal­ti­more strug­gled to set the edge all af­ter­noon, al­low­ing Bell to con­sis­tently get to the out­side en route to a 144-yard, two-touch­down per­for­mance.

Bell had strug­gled in Pitts­burgh’s first three games be­fore the out­burst. Sim­i­larly, the Raiders pos­sess a big-name run­ning back who has been off to a slow start.

Mar­shawn Lynch has rushed for just 151 yards through four games, and 76 of those came Week 1. He gained 12 yards on nine car­ries in last week’s loss to Den­ver.

“We’ve got ‘Beast Mode’ [Lynch] this week. You def­i­nitely don’t want to [at­tempt to] get back on track with this guy,” Suggs said, un­both­ered by Lynch’s slow start.

Har­baugh stressed the im­por­tance of gang tack­ling Lynch, one of the NFL’s most phys­i­cal run­ners.

“Mar­shawn Lynch is one of the best run­ning backs in the league,” he said. “He has a very unique style; he is a very vi­o­lent runner. He is hard to bring down. He never stops turn­ing, and he breaks tack­les. They have a big of­fen­sive line that pushes. They push the de­fense, they push the pile, and they push Mar­shawn if they have to. It is go­ing to be a group ef­fort.”

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig


Stand­ing alone near the end zone, Elk­ton se­nior Raiquon Estep looks back af­ter a late flag erased his 70-plus yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn for a touch­down dur­ing his team’s Week 4 win over Bel Air. Af­ter not play­ing last Fri­day, Estep re­turns tonight as...


Oak­land Raiders quar­ter­back Derek Carr (4) threads a com­plete pass over the out­stretched arm of Bal­ti­more Ravens in­side line­backer Zach Orr (54) on Oc­to­ber 2, 2016, at M&T Bank Sta­dium.

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