“Those two are really good,” Colosimo said. “Thompson is so elusive, and trying to reenact that in practice, we don’t have anybody like him. We just have to try to bottle him up — make him go east and west — and if we can do that, hopefully the cavalry will get there and we’ll be able to tackle him up, but he’s a fine running back. As far as Edwards go, they always have a top-notch fullback, and this kid is no exception.
“They get you so concentrated inside because of the fullback and what he does, that then they get out on the perimeter. That’s always true with Hurricane; you have to defend from inside-out,” he continued. “We can’t be so concerned that we let the fullback run wild. They’ve got us kind of in a quandary of what to do. We’re just pulling our hair out, what left I have of it, trying to see how we can get to Thompson without compromising our interior defense.”
Hurricane will face the same dilemma of stopping Juan Diego’s offensive production. Chase Williams (886 yards and 16 TDs) and Jessie Springer (800 yards and seven TDs) lead the charge along with quarterback Nick Markosian, who has the ability to attack downfield aerially, too. In play-action situations, tight end Dakota Cox literally scores 50 percent of the time with seven touchdowns on 14 receptions this season.
“What’s scary is how well they throw. They can spread you out and beat you that way, too,” Homer said. “They’re going to take what you give them, and we know we got to stop Springer and Williams first, (but) Markosian is a scary, scary passer. We got a game plan in place, we hope it works.”
Hurricane’s quarterback Adlai Elison, in his second start behind center after spelling original starter Zac Prince from injury, went 3-for-3 for 118 yards and two touchdowns in the first round win against Delta, but he has yet to face a unit as talented as the Soaring Eagle.
“In watching both their quarterbacks they’re very similar. If they don’t have it on the pass they scramble, and (Elison) has some good speed,” Colosimo said. “But having said that, here’s a kid playing in a big game, and we’re going to try and disrupt what he does. Their quarterbacks are more managers than anything else; they just got to get the ball to the right people. We’re going to try and disrupt them, but that would be true whether it was (Elison) or Prince.”
For the junior, still relatively untested, his ability to manage the offense and avoid costly mistakes could ultimately determine the outcome.
“For him its more of a make sure you make the right reads, make sure you stay calm and be poised in the pocket and hit the open guy,” Homer said. “We like Adlai — he’s more of a threat to run. He needs to stay calm, basically.”
Hurricane statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 35.1 ppg
Scoring defense: 18.8 ppg
Passing leader: Zac Prince (48-68, 70.6%, 785 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT)
Rushing leaders: Jared Edwards (191 carries, 1,041 yards, 22 TDs), Adam Thompson (69 carries, 647 yards, 11 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Keanu Stevenson (10 rec., 280 yards, 3 TDs), Jared Edwards (14 rec., 165 yards, 1 TD)
Sack leaders: Bennett Heyrend (2.5 sacks)
Interception leaders: Koy Gubler (5 INTs)
Juan Diego statistical breakdown
Scoring offense: 36.6 ppg
Scoring defense: 7.3 ppg
Passing leader: Nick Markosian (34-70, 48.6%, 703 yards, 10 TDs, 3 INTs)
Rushing leaders: Chase Williams (136 carries, 886 yards, 16 TDs), Jessie Springer (118 carries, 800 yards, 7 TDs)
Receiving leaders: Dakota Cox (13 rec., 307 yards, 7 TDs)
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