Bishop Dwenger notched its 10th consecutive Week 1 victory on Friday night with a 24-14 win over host South Side. Here is how the Saints did it…
Limited Donovan Clark.
Every team that plays South Side this season is going to have the exact same first priority before every play – identify where Donovan Clark is at. Bishop Dwenger did that with efficiency on Friday. Apart from surrendering a long first quarter touchdown run and a sizable return on a kickoff, the Saints kept Clark from beating them by himself, which he was going to have to do if South Side was going to win.
Forced South Side into passing situations.
The Archers are not a passing team, far from it exactly. So when you force a double-wing option squad that is not proficient in throwing the football into 3rd-and-long situations with frequency, it is going to lead to good things.
Bishop Dwenger was able to do that, limiting the Archers on first and second downs and either making Trae Masten attempt to pass or make South Side settle for draw or misdirection plays on the ground to try and make up big yardage, which hardly seemed to work.
Utilized the size on the edge.
Not many teams are going to match up size-wise with Bishop Dwenger on the edge with 6-foot-3 Ryan Wattercutter and 6-6 Keenan Centlivre, and the Saints know it. So with curl and underneath routes, Bishop Dwenger was able to feed the ball to its sizable pass catchers with impunity for most of Friday night.
Part of that was the fact that South Side played such a soft defense when it came to its defensive backs. Even Clark was not up on his receiver but laid back from the line of scrimmage. The Archers may have been better off jamming the wideouts at least a bit at the line to take them off their routes, because Fiacable was able to hit them on timing routes with relative ease.
Never gave South Side momentum.
The Archers never once held the lead on Friday night, while twice scoring to tie the game. But every time South Side tied it up, the Saints had an answer.
With the game at 7-7, Bishop Dwenger scored less than two minutes after the Archers had tied it. Later in the second quarter, the Saints needed less than three minutes to take the lead again after South Side had tied the contest at 14.
What South Side and its fans needed was some momentum early in the game that could feed the sideline and the crowd, Bishop Dwenger never allowed that to happen.
Wore out South’s bigs.
The duo of Nathan Braster (6-5, 255) and Kenneth Rogan (6-2, 310) combine to form one of the toughest defensive line tandems in the area. They are beastly and have a strong motor for their size, particularly Braster, who showed good lateral movement skills to the outside.
The problem is that the Archers cannot go very deep with sizable talent up front. Bishop Dwenger repeatedly attacked South Side up front, forcing Braster and Rogan to exhaust themselves without much rest. By the time the second half came, the two were trying to stem the tide, and struggling to do so, knowing that there wasn’t much relief coming. That was when the Saints really began to instill their will…