By: Ken Cooper
As Sandalwood heads into the bye week, I'll take this time to look back a bit and reflect on the teams performance. Offensively, the Saints have scored 21 or more points in four out of the six games the team has played this season, posting a record of 3-1in those games with the only loss in coming in the form of a last minute let down to rival Fletcher. In the other two games this season Sandalwood split with a 1-1 record, putting up only 7 points offensively in both of these games. The strength on offense lies in its ability to pass the ball and pick up big chucks of yardage as needed. The passing game is supplemented well by the spread type option rushing attack set into motion by senior QB Parker Boehme, speedy senior RB Mike White, and powerhouse sophomore RB Jacari Graham.
Defensively, the team has held four of the six opponents they have played to 14 or less points this year. Lead by senior DE Demarcus Walker, and solid linebacking corps the team has been stout against the run. Unfortunately , the two games the Saints have lost have been to teams with running attacks with state wide recognition in Trinity Christian and Fletcher, both of whom are playoff teams from a year ago. The teams passing defense appears to be adequate, though Sandalwood has not had to play a prolific passing offense yet this year, so I would say the jury is still out on the subject. The one shining light from the pass defense has been the teams ability to get to the opposing QB and disrupt things in the backfield.
Now, on to the Mandarin game. The Saints led the Mustangs 14-0 coming out of halftime, but Mandarin caught fire and scored on back to back drives ting the game at 14 all in the third quarter. The Saints quickly cooled the flames on the Mustangs two plays later on a beautiful 80 yard touchdown pass from Boehme to a streaking Desean Blair down the Sandalwood sideline. Mandarin was never able to get back on their feet offensively, and after allowing another passing score from Boehem to Blair the Saints cruised its way to a 28-14 victory over the Mustangs. “I just comes down to executing...we didn't play well two weeks ago against (Terry) Parker, but we were the better team against Mandarin and we knew it,” Said Saints Head Coach Adam Geis.
“We got two good practices in already on DeLand, we're going to get a third one in today, where as they'll have maybe two good practices to prepare for us...they play this week, next when we play it will be on a school night, so we've go a lot of thing working to our advantage,” said Geis.
This game has been chosen by ESPN to be aired on ESPN U, so the Saints set to square off against DeLand next Thursday October 18th instead on the originally scheduled date of of the 19th. Sandalwood will be considered the favorite despite the fact that DeLand upset the District 1 8A favorite Fletcher Seniors last Friday night. The Saints will need a win at home if they hope to stay in contention for the playoffs this season.
Be sure to follow me on twitter @coop5106 for live updates NEXT WEEK versus DeLand from the Wood Shack, and check back in next Friday for a more in-depth preview of the game.
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