DI REGION 4 #4 ELDER VS #3 COLERAIN SNAPSHOT

HOW MUCH WILL COLERAIN MISS JAYLEN THOMAS?
DI REGION 4 #4 ELDER VS #3 COLERAIN SNAPSHOT at Mason HS

COMMON OPPONENTS

ST XAVIER
ELDER – WIN 31-28 / WIN 28-24**
COLERAIN – LOSS 21-14
**= Playoffs

This is a marque match-up for a good reason as both teams have enjoyed solid seasons. On paper many would pick Elder to be the team to beat but many also know you never count out a Cardinals team as they play with a chip on their shoulder every season no matter the success they’ve had.

The Cardinals enter the game with a major loss in leading rusher Jaylen Thomas following the seniors recent auto accident last weekend. Quarterback Freddie Johnson will be just one of a handful of players expected to pick up the load running the ball.

Johnson can throw a pass or two when needed and the Cardinals always seem capable of pulling out the pass when it’s least expected. However, this is not their strength and if they fall behind the Panthers could prove to be a challenge in coming back. Again, this is where Thomas will be missed as he was the teams leading receiver as well.

Look for the Cardinals to give senior Deshawn Pace more touches in this game as the future Cincinnati Bearcats signee has the skill set to add some solid carries when needed.

The Cardinals will have to control offensive tempo and the clock keeping their defense fresh to stop the big play abilities shown by the Panthers this season. Along with Pace, juniors Sean Williams and Xander Kendall will have to be at their best. Defensive lineman Dontay Corleone will be tested against one of the better offensive lines in Ohio with two future Division One signees anchoring the line in Luke Kandra (Louisville) and Jakob James (Ohio State). If Corleone can take up space and force the Panthers offensive line to double team him the Cardinals defense will be able to pressure Panthers quarterback Matthew Luebbe. If not, Luebbe will have a chance to set his feet and look to tight end Joe Royer (Ohio State) and receivers Drew Ramsey and Evan Vollmer while also finding running lanes when needed.

The Panthers escaped last week against St. Xavier with a big fourth down run from Luebbe to advance. While the loss of Thomas is huge in our opinion for the Cardinals if they can keep the game close they may have an advantage in the kicking game with junior Cameron Ott who has hit from as far out as 43 yards this season along with multiple 32-yards or longer field goals. Elder can answer with Sam Harmeyer but the seniors longest field goal on the season is from 33 yards.

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Dave Berk

Team publisher and recruiting analyst for Scout.com from 2002-2017. Founded Dave Berk Consulting (DaveBerkConsulting.com), a football recruiting consulting company focused on helping families through the recruiting process in 2016. Founded First Star Football Report in fall of 2018. Has appeared on national, regional and local television and radio including NFL Network, FOX Sports Radio, Sporting News Radio, 700 WLW, 980 WONE, WCPO CH9 and more. Provided recruiting analysis for FOX Sports Ohio weekly high school game of the week in Southwest Ohio area and was an analyst for the Time Warner Sports (Spectrum Sports) Ohio National Signing Day show.

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