Jonathan Alder’s Dalton Potts (2) chases down a Benjamin Logan ball carrier in this file photo. The Pioneers will host Springfield Shawnee tonight.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Will Channell)
The Jonathan Alder Pioneers hope to further secure their playoff aspirations tonight when they host Springfield Shawnee.
The 6-2 Pioneers are currently ranked third in Region 16 of Division IV.
The top eight teams in each region at the end of the regular season will earn a post-season berth. The top four squads will host first-round playoff games.
The Braves (4-4) are on the cusp of a playoff berth in the same region as they are currently ranked ninth.
Shawnee will flank out in the spread offense and will run the ball with quarterback Robbie Glass and running back Jack McCrory.
“Glass is a good runner,” said JA head coach Brett Glass (no relation). “He also throws the ball when he chooses to, however, they want to run the ball.
“McCrory (who will play as a linebacker at Ohio University next year) is a big, physical kid,” said Glass. “Those two guys will present a two-headed monster for us.”
The challenge for the Pioneer defense, according to Glass, will be to “tackle well in space.
“They can gain yardage both up the gut and on the edge,” he said. “They’ll start out going up the middle until people pack it in on them.”
McCrory anchors the Braves’ 3-4 defense from his middle linebacker’s position.
“They do a nice job of stopping the run, which will be a challenge for us since we are centered around running the ball,” said Glass. “They did a nice job a couple of weeks ago in stopping Kenton Ridge’s quarterback. However, we can throw the ball very well when we need to. We’re just going to have to see what their defense gives us and try to stay as balanced as possible.”
“We’ve got to take advantage of any opportunities we get in the red zone,” he said. “We’ve had some issues with that lately, as turnovers have stopped us.”
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