#CFC50 HS game preview (NB): Titans preparing for physical battle against Olympiens

The #CFC50 No. 38 Tantramar Titans sit at an impressive 5-0 as they prepare to take on their toughest challenge yet in the L’Odyssée Olympiens. Coming off another strong performance in a 47-6 win against Saint John, the Titans are progressing every week on both sides of the ball. With their dominant rushing attack and stifling defensive front, they show no signs of slowing down.

The L’Odyssée Olympiens are also enjoying a strong campaign with a 4-1 record and are fresh off a 66-0 victory over Mathieu Martin. On top of this, they have one of the most athletic quarterbacks in the league in David Patry and one of the most talented linemen in the country in Charles Lavallee.

Co-head coach Jonathan Diodati is pleased with how his team has developed up to this point in the season.

Their climbing the ladder,” coach Diodati said. “We knew we had a strong squad of grade twelves and they are definitely doing the right things to get to the top of the level we want to be at.”

On offence, the Olympiens present a dynamic attack led by mobile quarterback and signal caller, David Patry. Their offence has developed into a balanced unit as the season has gone on.

They have progressed,” coach Diodati said. “We are a threat both by the air and on the ground and we’re taking advantage of all we can. Whatever the defence gives us we find a way to use it.”

Titans head coach Scott O’Neal is well aware of what his team is up against in shutting down the Olympiens talented mobile quarterback.

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David Patry is a running quarterback and he is good at it,” coach O’Neal said. “He runs the read-option well and their team basically runs off that. If he’s having agood day it’s awful hard to shut down. He can throw the ball as well, but he’s more dangerous with his feet than his arm in my opinion.”

He’s going to be hard to contain in the pocket, but that’s our game-plan,” added the Titans head coach.

Patry is the key to the Olympiens offensive attack, and more than being a threat with his athletic ability, the talented quarterback controls the game with pre-snap reads and adjustments.

In my book he’s probably the best athlete that we’ve seen in a long time,” said coach Diodati when describing his quarterback. “Especially his pre-snap decisions, he’s lights out. We build the offence together, he’s completely allowed to change the play on the fly.”

Coach O’Neal is also making sure the Titans focus on neutralizing standout lineman Charles Lavallee. The Titans players and coaching staff know through personal experience just how much of a dominant impact Lavallee can have on a game.

Obviously we see what he does on film, I mean he eats guys up,” the Titans head coach said. “The boys are very aware, a lot of them have played with him, they know who he is.

We’re gonna go after him, and we’re hoping that he plays both sides of the ball so we get a shot at him every time.”

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Diodati and the Olympiens coaching staff know that the biggest challenge in facing the Titans is dealing with their explosive rushing attack led by Aidan O’Neal, as well as their overall size and strength across the offensive and defensive lines.

They have a heavy set,” coach Diodati said.Two of the guys were on the defensive line of team NB and three of the guys were on the offensive line of team NB, and those guys play both ways.”

The other challenge is trying to stop that running back of theirs. They have a really strong back so those are the two things we need to cope with.”

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Far from being one-dimensional, the Titans have really begun to develop their passing attack compared to previous seasons. They also have a large part of their offensive package still waiting to be unleashed.

We’re evolving, but because of game situations we haven’t had to use a lot of our offence,” offered coach O’Neal. “We’re getting very confident with a lot our stuff that we haven’t had to use yet.”

If team’s want to take certain stuff away, we always have something to come back with,” added the Titans head coach.

While Tantramar’s phenomenal running game understandably gets a lot of attention, the Titans passing game is setting new highs this season.

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We’ve been running two quarterbacks and both quarterbacks are passing nice, and it’s sort of week to week on who our quarterback is. I think we have maybe 10 or 11 passing touchdowns this year, that’s unheard of at Tantramar. I think we had 1 last year, so we’re evolving for sure.”

Coach Diodati says making good reads and shedding blocks will be the key to slowing down Tantramar’s powerful offence on Saturday.

We’ve done our homework, we know what’s coming at us,” coach Diodati said. “We’ve had the chance to watch them all season, and Tantramar doesn’t lie about what they do. We just have to take on our blocks and try to break them.”

When it comes to Tantramar’s own game-plan, Coach O’Neal plans on doing what they do best: pushing defences down the field and outmuscling the opponent.

Our game-plan is to force them to play a physical football game,” coach O’Neal said. “We’re going to pound the football and see how tough these guys are.”

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I know it sounds like a cliché, but we gotta play 48 minutes,” the Titans head coach said. “There’s a good possibility that we might be scored on more than we’re used to because of the quarterback. So we gotta stay focused and not worry if we get down or behind, that we just continue to play football Tantramar style.”

From the experience of previous contests over the years, the Olympiens are prepared for what is in store. Coach Diodati is looking forward to the challenge Tantramar presents.

It’s going to be a physical battle,” coach Diodati said. “It was last year, it was the year before, it’s going to keep on being heavy. It’s always a hard one.”

We expect this game to be a hard hitting contest that is ultimately decided in the fourth quarter. Both teams have shown they can up points and play tough defence, so it will be interesting to see who wins the battle at the line of scrimmage. The Titans defence will have their hands full for the first time this season, but with so many strengths on offence they will find a way to move the ball effectively and scrape out their toughest victory of the season.

This must-watch game between between the #CFC50 No. 38 Tantramar Titans and the L’Odyssée Olympiens is set to kick off Saturday at 1pm on Tantramar’s home field in Sackville, New Brunswick.

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