The 1-1 Warren De La Salle Pilots were handled last week by the Cleveland St. Ignatius Wildcats. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier for them this week when they host the 2-0 Fordson Tractors for their home opener. The Pilots are going to need to play like they did week 1 if they want to defeat the Tractors.
Fordson has played both of their first two games of the season on the road. First they traveled to play the Dakota Cougars and left with a 27-14 victory. The Cougars threw for 152 yards, but had a tough time completing many of their passes, going 10 for 22. A combination of pressure and good secondary play was the difference. They also struggled to get the running game going, rushing for 91 yards on 31 attempts.
The Tractors then played the Thurston Eagles and handled the Eagles 35-14. In this game, Thurston couldn’t get anything going until the fourth quarter and by then the game was already over. The Eagles couldn’t slow down the Tractors’ offense as their quarterback Kamel Faraj completed 6 of his 9 passes for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns. Their running game also added 30 carries for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. Their defense was spectacular for much of the game and they added another score as well.
De La Salle’s defense is going to need to play much better this week than they did last week. What is good for them is that they aren’t going to see an offense as complete as the Wildcats’ offense was. What they are going to see is an offense that doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and just plays good football. The Tractors’ offense is used to being set-up by their defense so they don’t need to gain a lot of yards. The Pilots just need to play sound fundamental defense and I think they should keep this offense in check. What they went up against last week should give them good experience going forward.
The Pilots’ offense is going to need to play much better this week than they did last week. I don’t think Fordson’s defense is as good as St. Ignatius’ defense was, but they definitely are still stout. De La Salle is going need better play from their quarterback Shane Morris. They also need to sustain drives and avoid turnovers to prevent the Tractors from having short fields. If they can make them drive the field, I think the Pilots will be able to win this game.
The key player in the game to me will be Morris. If can air it out like he did week 1, it should open up the running game and keep Fordson off balance. If not, this could be another long game for them.
Last year when these two teams played, De La Salle scored the 31-28 victory on the road. Morris didn’t have a great game, but did play well enough and avoided turnovers to help their squad. I think if they use the same design again, they can definitely win this one. If Morris can move the ball better than he did last year, then I definitely see them winning, but the biggest thing will be to avoid turnovers. The game will be played at home for the Pilots and I think that will give them the advantage. My prediction for this game will similar to last year with the Pilots winning 31-24.
This game will be played at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 8th, at Warren De La Salle High School in Warren, Michigan.