Five Keys to a Snider victory
1. Keep C.J. Jackson in the pocket. Easier said than done. The North Side senior quarterback is most dangerous when he scrambles and can either take off with the football or throw downfield. Jackson may not be the most well-built quarterback in the area, but he has the athleticism to escape trouble and the field vision to continue to look downfield while scrambling. The Panthers may not be able to completely shut down Jackson, but limiting the big plays from him will be key.
2. Defend the deep ball. It is no secret that North Side oOffensive cCoordinator Kevin Merz likes to extend the field with deep throws from Jackson. Even if the Panthers can keep Jackson in the pocket for most of the night, they still need to be ready for at least a half-dozen shots downfield. Not allowing the Redskins to pick up big chunks of yards through the air will be big.
3. Dominate the trenches. There were many heroes for Snider in its defeat of Penn in Wweek 4, but no bigger than the offensive and defensive fronts of the Panthers. Nic Reese and Je'norie Smith have gotten the headlines for Snider offensively, but nothing gets done without the guys up front. The Panthers will have a decidedly big size advantage on every North Side lineman not named Russell Collins., Iit needs to take advantage on Friday.
4. Test the North Side defense regularly. The Redskins were sick of hearing how they had a mediocre (at best) defense last week when they it shut down a Mishawaka team that entered that matchup averaging more than over 30 points per game, limiting the Cavemen to seven points. Mishawaka could not hang with North Side's speed, but Snider will have no problem doing that. Just as the Redskins will try to do, Snider must also spread the field. Work runs to the outside, throw downfield, attack the North Side defensive front. In other words, keep the Redskins' defense that has allowed 23 or more points three times this season off-balance.
5. Survive the first quarter. Anyone who has not been at a big game at North Side the past few years is missing out. Between the tailgating, the marching band playing “'Chief Mac”' and the dramatic way the Redskins hit the field with smoke and the American flag waving, Chambers Field gets hyped hype for marquee matchups. Friday will be no different. North Side will look to make a big splash early. Snider not only has to survive the Redskins' initial rush of the Redskins, but perhaps can notch a big play or two to turn the momentum its way.
Five Keys to a North Side victory
1. Limit mistakes. All teams make mistakes, but it seems like over the years North Side makes more than usual in key situations. If the Redskins are to knock off the No. 4 team in the state Friday, they it must play near- perfect football. An occasional penalty or a turnover may not seal their fate, but it all depends on when those they come. No turnovers that lead to points can happen. Bad penalties that kill drives will kill North Side's chances. Snider is a better team from a year ago, and the Redskins need to play better than they it did when they it beat the Panthers 19-16 in last year's regular season.
2. Play in control. This could be tied into No. 1, but it more goes along with the big atmosphere that will be at Chambers Field on Friday. North Side will key off its crowd, but it must also play within itself for four quarters, but particularly in the first quarter. Overexcitement can lead to a fumbled kickoff or a personal foul penalty that changes the complexion of the game early. The Redskins must feed off the its crowd, but not let the emotion lead to negative plays.
3. Keep C.J. Jackson upright. Just as this is a key for Snider, it is also for North Side. The Redskins have no hope of beating the Panthers if Jackson is running for his life all night, or if he has Snider linemen in his face after every other five5- and seven7-step drop. Jackson has the unique ability to extend plays, but he needs his blockers to help him. The longer Jackson can stay upright, the better chance he has of making a big play.
4. An unsung hero. There may not be a better offensive trio in the area than Jackson, running back Anthony Linnear and wide receiver Demond Gaston. But Snider will be keying on those three. To pull off the victory, the Redskins need some additional players to step up, guys who have not seen much the spotlight this year, if any at all. The Panthers' coaching staff will have game plans prepared to slow down North Side's playmakers, so a new hero may have to emerge.
5. Never lose hope. North Side has not trailed much this season, but it will be shocking if it does not find itself behind Snider at some point on Friday. The Redskins have a veteran group of seniors who that will help guard against dejection if the team finds itself on the short end of the scoreboard at times, but the entire team must believe that anything can happen. Redskins teams in the past would lay down when falling behind. To have a shot this week, North Side must keep morale high when things don't go its way.