PREVIEW: Titans, Gators battle common enemy

This Friday night at the Oshawa Civic Centre,  a bitter rivalry full of hatred, animosity, and even a tinge of disrespect will reignite as the Holy Trinity Titans and Donald A WIlson Gators battle it out for bragging rights and the all important bye week in the Lake Ontario Secondary School Athletic Association (LOSSAA) playoffs.

The rivalry between the two teams is somewhat secondary to an enemy everyone knows all too well – cancer. The support of this great event has been phenomenal on both sides with both schools showing up emphatically to support their teams and raise money to fund cancer research. Anyone is welcome to attend, admission is $5.00 and it promises for a great football game.

Last year, the Gators were left licking their wounds after a 21-0 loss to the Titans and come into this game hungry to avenge that loss. The key for the Gators to be successful in this game is simply stopping the ground attack.

The Titans offense has yet to find a decent rhythm in it’s passing game against quality competition, so if the Titans want to win they must get it done on the ground.

The Gators must suffocate the plays at the line of scrimmage and not give Titans running back Nathan Jones any room to work. For this to happen the pressure rests on the defensive line to nullify the blocks and allow the linebackers to fill the holes and tackle the back in the hole. If they can force the Titans to go to the air, their chances of winning increases exponentially.

As for the Titans they must generate push up front to give Nathan Jones room.  As a smaller more elusive back, Jones can be very dangerous when he gets to the linebackers so the offensive line must get him there. However for the Titans to win, quarterback Chris Waldinsperger must play inspired football as the Gators will undoubtedly be selling out to stop the run and the Titans must make them pay through the air.  In order to do that, Waldinsperger must play the best he’s played this season to efficiently move the ball through the air.

On defense, the Titans must also force Donald A. Wilson to the air. The Gators have long been a power running offense so don’t expect it to be any different on Friday. The foundation of a good run defense starts with a line that can penetrate into the backfield or can stalemate blocks to allow the linebackers to flow untouched to the football and make plays.The last time the Titans played a power back they were gashed up and down the field by Paul Dwyer Saints running back Dawson Odei so they cannot afford a repeat performance. The defensive line must play angry and not allow any push in order to give the defense a good shot at stopping the Gators ground attack.

Overall, this game promises to be a close one.  After a slow start, the Gators are hot coming off of a huge 26-7 win over defending LOSSAA Champions St. Mary Monarchs.  As for the Titans, they are rested and ready after enjoying a bye week.

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