Randolph Telephone Game of the Week: ER at PGPosted on September on 27, 2012 @ 22:47:00 by Fred Burgess
Providence Grove High School
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Eastern Randolph travels to Providence Grove for the Randolph Telephone game of the week. Three years ago MyRandolphSports.com started an award that goes to the annual winner of this game. We have called it the "Battle for Silver and Gold."
Providence Grove won the annual battle the first two years. Last year Eastern Randolph jumped on PG early and went on to win 49-14. The Wildcats also defeated the Patriots in a 2009 playoff game. The two rivals have an even 2-2 record against one another.
This is more than just a rival game. This is more than just a "Game of the Week". This is more than a homecoming game. This is an extremely important game for both teams.
Both teams enter this game 3-3, and each have a loss in the tough Mid-State 2A Conference. Neither team can afford to drop another game this early in the conference season.
Let's try to break the game down in a couple of different ways.
Which team stands more to gain with a victory? Both teams want to win this game more than anything. A Patriot win would put them in a very interesting spot. Their next two games are against Bartlett Yancey and Graham. These are two games many people feel they should win. If that happens, Providence Grove will enter their last conference game against Reidsville with only one conference loss. I know players and coaches are not supposed to look past the next game, but I am not a player or coach. I am looking much further down the road than the Patriot players or coaches, but a win this week could potentially be bigger than just a victory over a rival.
A win for the Wildcats, on the other hand, is also very important. ER has dropped three straight, and a home game with Cummings is looming next week. The Wildcats remain confident despite their current losing streak. A Wildcat victory will give them some momentum for the Cummings game next week.
Also, Cummings and Reidsville play each other this week. Do not kid yourself into thinking differently. They believe the winner of that game will be the conference champion. If the Wildcats win this week they will have the opportunity to play a Cummings team who will either be thinking they have just won the conference championship or a Cummings team who is disappointed because they lost the conference championship.
What does all this mean? It really does not mean anything. Both of these teams want and need this victory. I do not see a win benefitting either one more than the other. It will be a great win for one of these teams.
Which team stands to lose more with a loss? I do have an opinion here. ER has lost three in a row. This team could easily be 5-1. The Asheboro game was the only game they were never really in. The reality is, this team has lost their last three. The Wildcats have the talent to win the rest of their games in the conference, but confidence is very important in high school athletics. The only thing worse than entering the PG game on a three game losing streak is entering the Cummings game on a four game losing streak. ER stands to lose more from a loss on Friday night.
Eastern Randolph's offense vs. Providence Grove's defense: This is a difficult one to judge. The Wildcats have struggled to run the ball, but have moved the ball effectively at times through the air. I still believe ER will try to establish the run, but they will look to the pass to get the big play.
I do think the Patriot defensive line has an advantage over the Wildcat offensive line. PG's defensive linemen, Michael Perrin, Jacob "Big Country" Parrish, Josh Register, Anthony Hicks, and Will Ford, have played very well at times this year.
The Wildcat offensive line is smaller and has yet to prove they can control the line of scrimmage on a regular basis. They have looked better pass blocking than they have run blocking.
The Patriots did not get much pressure on Randleman's quarterback, Zach Dunbar, and he picked them apart. They did get more pressure on the Cummings quarterback and it created some opportunities for the defense.
The key to this matchup is whether the defensive line of PG can get pressure on ER's Sam Whitley. If the Wildcat line gives Sam time to set up and find his receivers, look for a big night from Sam.
I do think the Patriot linebackers and secondary need to be better sure tacklers in this game. Eastern Randolph has a speed advantage and if you miss the tackle on Paris Martin, Tyrell Watts, or Boo Williams you set yourself up for giving up a big play.
I will give the PG defense a slight advantage over the ER offense, but it will come down to big plays. ER does not have an offense that will grind out a long drive with four and five yard gains. They utilize the big play. Providence must avoid giving up the big play.
Special Teams: I do not think this is very close. ER's kicker and punter, Julio Diaz, has the potential to be a very big weapon. He kicks the ball deep and punts the ball very well. Paris Martin and Tyrell Watts can return any ball for a score. I would be surprised if the Patriots kick the ball to either one of them. Advantage ER.
Providence Grove's offense vs. Eastern Randolph's defense: Stedman Rush is probably the best football player on the field. Although I would not argue against Paris Martin and Tyrell Watts. All three of these players are exciting to watch. Stedman can beat you on the pass or the run. Paris and Tyrell are great offensive and defensive players.
Contrary to some people's opinion, Providence is not a one man team. Stedman makes this offense go, but the talents of the supporting cast make Stedman that much better.
I feel the Wildcat defensive line has a distinct advantage over the Patriot offensive line. Josh Randolph has a motor that just does not stop. PG's tackles Ricky Bare or Joseph Woods will not be able to consistently block Randolph by themselves. I am not taking anything away from the PG tackles. Not many high school offensive linemen can block him one on one.
The Patriots do have the best offensive linemen on the field in center Josh Godwin. He will be matched up often against Daquan McKiver who is a very athletic player. McKiver could present problems for the Patriots. He is quick and strong. The only knock I have seen about him is that he does not play with the best technique, but he is able to compensate because of his athleticism. McKiver has a tendency to take a play off, but if you take a play off in this game you may as well not be on the field.
The ER defense is difficult to figure out. They are fast. They have a lot of experience. They force turnovers. They fly around to the ball. They do not give up a lot of points. But.....they do not always tackle very well. I do not know that I have ever seen a defense this good that did not have that many good tacklers.
For the Patriots, Detri Wilson has the potential to make big plays. I love watching Stedman Rush play. I am more and more impressed with the running of Jasper Milligan every game. Still, the ER defense is just more athletic. Here I give the advantage to the ER defense.
Penalties: Both teams have had a tendency to get a crucial penalty at times. I think the over/under on personal fouls is somewhere around four or five. This will be a war and cooler heads will prevail. I am not sure which team will have more personal fouls, but the team who does is just giving extra yardage to the other team. (I hope we do not have replacement refs.)
Coaching Staffs: Yea right. I am not about to pick this one. Both teams will be well prepared, and I expect a wrinkle or two by each staff. As far a who has the coaching advantage, I have only two words for you.... Jerry Kidd.
So who is going to win? If you look at common opponents, ER beat Randleman and Randleman beat PG. ER also beat Southwestern Randolph and SWR beat PG, so give the advantage to ER. But wait, PG beat Asheboro and Asheboro beat ER. PG beat Jordan Matthews, but JM beat ER. You cannot go by this to help pick a winner.
I really do not know who will win. I do believe ER has more speed and individual talent. I do believe PG has more team unity and has the best leader on the field in Stedman Rush.
I am not even sure who I am pulling for. I have family who attend both schools. My wife is going to be sitting on the Providence side. My parents and sister will be sitting on the Eastern Randolph side. My dad (ER fan) is going to escort my daughter (PG student) during the halftime homecoming. I am standing on both sidelines taking pictures more confused than Adam and Eve on Mother's Day.
I do know this. I expect a very close game. I expect the outcome of this game to be decided by two or three plays. It will be that close.
The coaches and the players expect one another, but want to beat one another more than anything. I will be thrilled for the players and coaches of the winning team, and also sympathize with those of the losing team.
Ok... So let's hear what you think. Who will win this game? And why?
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Correction- ERHS's kicker and punter is Julio Diaz.
This is a really tough one to call. ER has more explosive speed and is very capable of the big play, but like you said, they're not the type of offense that will grind the ball down the field on consistent runs. They definitely will rely on the big play, unless something bazaar happens. I look for Sam Whitley and Tyrell Watt to have several connections in the corner of the endzone.
You just never can tell about this one. Two years ago at PG, ER should have beaten them no problem, but for whatever reason they just didn't play well at all and lost 9-7 I believe. Then last year the game was all but over just 3 minutes into the game, as ER was up 21-0 and went on to a very lop-sided victory. Tough one to call, but I say ER puts those close losses the last two weeks behind them and break through with a rewarding victory over their cross-town rivals.