If you want to be an elite program, you need to play elite competition. That is something that the 1-0 Warren De La Salle Pilots have done this year when they scheduled the 1-0 Cleveland St. Ignatius Wildcats. The Wildcats are ranked in the top 25 in the nation and are the defending Ohio Division 1 State champs. This is definitely a battle of two strong teams and will really show how good the Pilots are.
Both teams are coming off of big wins in week 1. The Wildcats defeated the Cardinal Mooney Cardinals 31-7 at home. They had a balanced attacked against the Cardinal’s scoring on 2 passes and on 2 rushes, as well as adding a field goal. Some of their rush offense did come on a long runs, but seemed to have been opened up by their ability to put it in the air as well as from wearing them down.
On the other side, the Pilots aired it mostly in their victory over the Ann Arbor Pioneer Pioneers. The Pilots’ quarterback Shane Morris threw for 216 yards with 2 touchdowns. They are definitely going to need to do more of this if they want to defeat the Wildcats.
Both teams are also bringing in prospects that are being recruited to play at the highest level. For the Pilots, Morris has already committed to play for the Michigan Wolverines and his teammate Josh Cox who plays wide receiver and cornerback has committed to the Central Michigan Chippewas.
The Wildcats are bringing in three on their squad, their running back Tim McVey is being looked at by MAC schools. In their first game he busted a 42 yard run for a touchdown and added another one from 3 yards out as well. On the defense they have Kevin Kavalec who plays strong side defensive tackle and he has already committed to Boston College Eagles. The tackle that plays next to him, David Katusha is also being looked at by some MAC schools as well as the Air Force Falcons.
Defensively the Pilots are going to need to play a near perfect game. I believe the Wildcats are going to use McVey to soften up the Pilots and then try to catch them biting on the run by surprising them with the pass. They look to definitely wear you out early and then seal the game like that. Everyone is going to need to play their assignment and play smart. That is the only way they will be able to slow this offense down.
Offensively they are going to need to air it out. I also think they need to keep the running game in mind so the defenders don’t pin their ears back. At the high school level, if you can either run or pass really well, you are giving yourself a chance to win, unless you run into a team that can stop it. When you play a team like St. Ignatius, they can definitely shut you down and they are going to need to be on their A-game. They’re going to need to prevent Kavalec and Katusha from playing in their backfield and from getting too much pressure. If they can give Morris time, they should be able to move the ball.
These two teams didn’t play last year, so there is no history to go off of. With the game being played in Cleveland, I believe the Wildcats will win. They look to be much too strong and I think they in the end, will prevail. I do think that the Pilots will put up a good fight and stay in the game. My prediction of the score will be 27-21 Wildcats.
This game will be played at 3:00 p.m. on September 1st at Cleveland St. Ignatius High School.