Tuesday, November 11, 2014

SMCC @ Lumen Christi

SMCC (10-1) is coming off of a 50-15 thrashing of previously unbeaten Clinton while Lumen Christi (11-0) defeated Hillsdale 38-17. These two teams played twice back in the early 80's with Lumen Christi winning both games.

This will be the second straight undefeated opponent that SMCC has played. The Falcons come in with a rushing attack that has been successful against every team they have faced. Justin Carrabino and Mitchell Lamour may get the bulk of the carries with senior RB John Lako dinged up from the game against Clinton. QB Bryce Windham and WR Travis Vuich are as effective as any passing tandem in the state when called upon.

The Falcon defense will be tested this week by another high scoring offense. The Huron League Champs are giving up just 7.6 ppg. Troy Hilkins, Justin LaPlante and company will have the task of stopping a Lumen Christi offense that is averaging 45 ppg.

Lumen Christi is coached by veteran Herb Brogan who has been the head man for 35 years. His Lumen Christi teams have won 6 State Titles. The Titans are led by All State RB and Michigan State commitment Khari Willis. The rugged and lightening quick senior has rushed for more than 2,300 yards and has 28 TD's. The QB is Javon Greca who has thrown for nearly 1,000 yards and 16 TD's.

Defensively the Titans are giving up nearly 17 ppg. The defense is led by senor LB and co-captain Chris Cooper. Other co-captain 6-3, 245 lb DE Sam Girodat may be the best two way player the Titans have. Look for Devin Edwards and Wyatt Plate to have an impact defensively.

This is another great match up in the tough road to Ford Field in Division 6. Both teams have explosive offenses. The key will be who has the better defense. I think SMCC has the better defense, but the Falcons haven't seen a player like Willis since they faced Ithaca's Alex Niznak (Central Michigan) in the 2010 State Final or Detroit Crockett's Tony Lippett (Michigan State) in the 2009 opener. SMCC lost both those games, but I believe this may game may be different. Prediction: SMCC 29 Lumen Christi 27

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey chris, will you be posting the huron vs thurston comments soon?

Chris Schultz said...

Have all my info and prediction, just trying to find time to write it.

Anonymous said...

hello

Anonymous said...

Lumen has way too much size on the line compared to SMCC. In a game like this it comes down to the trenches and the running game (we know this!). With the advantage on the line and Khari it's hard to not like Lumen here. SMCC scores late... making the game look closer than it was:

Lumen 42 - SMCC 33

Anonymous said...

If there was ever a game where Howey and Lako are needed it is this game, need our bigger physical hitters more so than ever against this team and superb RB.

Anonymous said...

Whats the latest on Lako? Will he be able to go on Saturday.

stosento said...

PART 1
Initial Remarks

I don't think there are two more alike teams in the state. Both schools have rich football playoff history, run a simple, disciplined offense, have the same exact enrollment, and even have the same school colors. Among the similarities, their differences is what will give SMCC an edge.

JLC Offense
Khari Willis, Khari Willis, Khari Willis, Willis Khari, Wari Khillis.
This kid is good. If you're rushing for 2,300 yards and 28 TDs in a season, you will have some D1 schools looking at you, and MSU picked him up. Interestingly enough, they are not recruiting him as a RB, but rather a defensive ATH, either at the SS or OLB position. The good news here for SMCC is that RB may not be his best position. The bad news is that RB may not be his best position. The fact that he doesn't play defense for LCC (as far as I can tell) is a little bewildering. However, having your best player carry the ball is generally the way to go, and keeping him off the defense keeps him fresh.

JLC QB Javon Greca is nothing to sleep on, though. His stats display similarities to those of Windham and Vuich. That is, a solid run game that deflects the attention from an efficient pass game. They will lull you to sleep with run after run from Willis and then sling a 60 yard pass for a TD. Having an athlete like Willis running game makes the pass game pretty easy.

SMCC Defense
STOP THE WILLIS GUY. That'll be the focus for the Falcons this week defensively...I hope. Hopefully their scout team can try and emulate an athlete like that...somehow. SMCC has an advantage of just playing one of the best offenses in D6 in Clinton. Let's compare Clinton's best athlete to JLC's best athlete through highlights below (click for YouTube link):

Matthew Sexton
Khari Willis

SMCC effectively stopped Matthew Sexton, an agile 5'10ish speedster, as well as the rest of the Clinton offense. That team was averaging, quite ridiculously, just under 50 ppg. Sexton and Willis are different people, but I'm not sure SMCC will be that phased by it. The thing Sexton has for him is speed and nice cuts. You can generally see some great blocking downfield for him, but once he's past the second level, he's generally gone. Willis, upon my speculation, doesn't have quite the breakaway speed that Sexton has, but is a monster to take down. He keeps his feet moving and is a work-horse that has some speed down the stretch as well. It just seems that Sexton and Clinton's offense is more like SMCCs in that it's more of a structured and collective effort. While JLC seems strong on offense, it just doesn't look the same. That being said, I still think JLC's offense is for real, just more focused around Willis.

In order to shut down the JLC offense, it will take a disciplined defense that sticks to their keys and wraps Willis up on first contact. This may be the best O-line SMCC will face all year, and we'll see if they can handle it. A D1 QB scares me more than a D1 RB, so I think SMCC will be up to the task. However, I wouldn't be suprised to see 21-28 points out of JLC.

stosento said...

PART 2
SMCC Offense
Lako will be ready to play. It seemed it was just cramps on the sideline during the Clinton game, and Giarmo doesn't lie about player's health. SMCC still found 8(!) people to carry the ball for them against Clinton, so if Lako isn't healthy enough, bring in the next guy. SMCC still found a way to put 22 points against LCC (SMCC lowest of the season, LCC highest allowed) in a game where they were -3 in the turnover department. If your worst offensive showing is 22 points while turning the ball over 3 times against a 11-0 team that allowed an averaged 10 ppg in the rest of their games...I think you're okay.

So I think SMCC is okay. They scored against everybody, and unless they shoot themselves in the foot, I think they're going to score about 49 points, if not more.

JLC Defense
Meh. I don't know if I'm blinded, biased, stupid, whatever...but they don't seem like a threat on D. They're giving up about 17 ppg, as Chris said, in a schedule of mostly class B schools with an average of 4 wins. Just to compare, SMCC is giving up just over 7 ppg against mostly class B schools teams with an average of 5.5 wins. While this doesn't seem like that much of a difference, the summary would be that SMCC is holding winning teams to less than half the amount of points that JLC is allowing to losing teams.

Statistics, however, only prove so much. While someone on the last post kind of debunked the claim that JLC put in their second stringers early offensively, it can't really be said for sure about the D. The most intriguing game to look at is Hillsdale. At halftime, the score was JLC 19-17. That is pretty telling. Hillsdale failed to make the right halftime adjustments and JLC made the right ones. JLC scored 19 unanswered points to put it away. Hillsdale was not great. They allowed a TON of points to some less than great teams, so who knows.

Schedule / Location
2 of the teams JLC played made the playoffs, and neither are in the playoffs anymore (Coldwater D3 - lost PD, BCHC D4 - lost D). SMCC played 5 teams that made the playoffs, 3 of which lost PD, and the other 2 look like the favorites in their games to make the semis.

Strength of schedule is an indicator, but not the telling factor. Need proof of this point? Go back and look at Ithaca's schedule in 2010...if you compare that to SMCC's and make a prediction based on that, you were probably wrong. Looking at the individual matchups between the two teams based on statistics earlier in the year within context is important.

The game is away. This is big for Lumen Christi. I'm assuming this game will be played at Dungy Field at Jackson High School. SMCC is no stranger to this field, as they played there in the semis the past couple years. The away stands absolutely suck, but they've been there before. Furthermore, if they do win, the semi matchup would most likely be at the same field, which would be kind of good for SMCC.

stosento said...

PART 3
Final Remarks / Prediction

Not many would argue that JLCs offense is better than their defense. I think it's significantly better. That's both a compliment to their offense and a small hit on their defense. Which unit of SMCC is better is a harder question. I think their defense is stronger than their offense, but not by much. With this in mind, I think the matchup between JLC's offense and SMCC's defense is awesome. They are the stronger units for both teams, in my opinion, and are pretty well-matched. Flip the roles, and I don't think the JLC defense is no match for SMCC's offense. No one has stopped the Falcons except themselves (22 points, -3 turnover margin vs LCC), and I don't expect JLC to.

I predicted a 35-14 victory for SMCC versus Clinton. I was pretty on point with the SMCC defense, but maybe I underestimated SMCC's offense a bit. Maybe I'm doing that now. Who knows, man.

30 - 14 SMCC up at halftime, then the two veteran coaches will make their adjustments. I think after halftime, the defenses will find a way to slow down the opposing team's offenses, but won't be enough for JLC to come back.

SMCC wins 43 - 21

Anonymous said...

Lako was on crutches today

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I personally can't see SMCCs defense giving up 42 points. It's too solid. LCC was is just as good as JLC, if not better, and they scored 27. I agree with SMCCs score though. Probably somewhere in the 30s. It's going to take a whole team with lots of talent to beat SMCC. I'm not downplaying Willis or Greca by no means at all. Willis will be the hardest RB that CC has faced all year. Greca, the 2nd toughest QB (Behind Poljin or whatever his name is.) this may be a great offensive battle, but like Christ said, it'll come down to defense, and SMCC has a much better defense.

SMCC - 35
Lumen Christi - 21

Anonymous said...

Before every game they all say that the SMCC line is just to small yet their line comes through against bigger lines and opens up nice holes for the backs to tun through. I see SMCC winning by 6. SMCC has a better defense and three quality running backs.

Chris Schultz said...

He doesn't play much defense, but I expect him to play D on Friday.

Anonymous said...

Of course, I want SMCC to win, but I'm not gonna predict anything. I'll probably be in the stands, chewing off the tips of my fingers with nervousness. Whatever the outcome, it has been one helluva year for CC. Go get em, Falcons!

stosento said...

Couple additional things:

1) Lako on crutches is a bummer. Not the end of the world for SMCC, though. He will be missed defensively more than offensively. I wonder what the injury is.

2) I can see Willis coming in on defense as well, Chris. Play your best player both ways in games like these. Him on the end could mean bad news for SMCCs pass plays. However, does he have the stamina to play the whole game both ways without doing so all year? That's not easy, especially being the feature of the offense.

3) Sorry for all my grammar errors in the first post. :/

Anonymous said...

Lako will not be ready to play. He is out.

Anonymous said...

7 plays defense. Willis

Anonymous said...

No Howey no Robinson no Lako. Defense won't hold up

Anonymous said...

I think that if CC can run their offense more to the outside, away from wherever Willis lines up on D, they could possibly wear him out sooner. If he is constantly running east and west, and not just standing in one spot playing "catch", it might be something to think of. That was the problem with LCC. SMCC was constantly running at Poljan. He barely had to move to make his 16 tackles. It seems to me that if the other team has a 6'7" linebacker, you'd try to wear him out by running outside a little more. Willis is definitely the known unknown factor here. Did he play much defense all season?

stosento said...

Something I forgot to put in my original post...the winner of this game will be the D6 state champion. I called it back in week 1 of the playoffs and I'm sticking to it.

Anonymous said...

Lako on crutches is a major bummer! Is it that serious or more preventive to keep him safe till Saturday?

Do we know the injury now than? I figured it was just cramps. Hope he can play!!

Anonymous said...

Poljan was at safety not linebacker. Trust me cc will go at jlc like everyone else they have played. Coaches have had them prepared so far and will have them ready to go. No Lako, howey or Robinson will hurt them in this game. Have to score with them.

stosento said...

Nov 12, 6:37am
SMCC didn't have any of those players against explosive Clinton and they still held them to one offensive touchdown. Now if they were playing Ithaca this week, that'd be a different conversation. Will they miss Lako? Sure. Will they find someone else to fill his shoes? Probably.

Something I didn't realize...SMCC gave up a kickoff return for TD to both LCC and Clinton. SMCC special teams tend to be pretty strong, they really stress them in practice. Hopefully they can make the proper adjustments to make that unit stronger. When you're considering teams down the road, those 7 points can very well be the deciding factor. LCC got one and won by 5, luckily that wasn't a playoff game.

I think Lako will sit out this game then come back in semis based on his demeanor on the sidelines during the Clinton game. But it's all speculation at this point.

Anonymous said...

You know nothing about lakos injury, I do... he is out.

stosento said...

Nov 12 12:11PM
What's the injury? For the year or just for the game?

Anonymous said...

Let's not dwell on kids who are injured and if they will play or not. Let's get back to the real discussion of the teams that will be out on that field Saturday night fighting to play one more week of football! There are still many healthy kids preparing to give all of us fans a great game to watch. FIRE UP BOYS!

Anonymous said...

I would love to see SMCC win this one. Don't know that they have the defense. I believe they have the offense to score and play with them. It will come down to who can get a couple of stops on defense. Good luck SMCC.

Anonymous said...

rather not comment on the injury but for 1 game at a time. you never know how things will heal.. he is out for jlc for sure. CC will do as they always do... next man up

Anonymous said...

Both teams have strong offenses. I'll go with the team that has the more proven defense. SMCC 42 JLC 24.EM

Anonymous said...

the score will not be 42 -24 lol. It will be MUCH closer.

Anonymous said...

This will be a great game. SMCC was able to get through the lesser competition with kids out. Well, were down to the big boys now, they will need all their ammo. No matter how good you are as a team, a very talented D1 player will surface just as in the LCC game. SMCC has been taught well on defense, but you can't teach speed. It is god given. JLC will score as often as they want to.

A 35 year coach will pick apart SMCC's film and figure them out.
They will match up properly on Vuich and cover Carrabino coming out of the backfield. SMCC will give it their all, but JLC will prevail.

JLC 28, SMCC 20

Anonymous said...

Everyone said Clinton had two fast backs and SMCC spanked them by 35. SMCC is solid on both sides of the. Ball and will prevail by 16.

stosento said...

Anon Nov 13, 7:23am

"SMCC was able to get through the lesser competition with kids out."

Clinton was undefeated convincingly, averaging 50 ppg and coming off of a state finals appearance, while still retaining most of their talent. While I do think JLC is a better team, don't downplay a 35 point win over Clinton.

"No matter how good you are as a team, a very talented D1 player will surface just as in the LCC game."

Absolutely...anytime you come across a D1 athlete in D6, it's more of a "slow him down" situation that "shut him down", because shutting him down is generally pretty rough. However, a D1 QB and a D1 HB are two different monsters. A D1 QB generally has the arm to kill ya and then a pair of legs that can hurt you as well. Combine those two offensive possibilities with an efficient spread and you effectively have Ithaca 2010 with a much larger, slightly slower QB.

SMCC doesn't see the spread all too often during the season. LCC had both a D1 QB and the advantage of SMCC being less adept to that kind of offense. While JLC has a D1 RB, he doesn't provide the same threat Tony Whatever did for LCC. Furthermore, JLC is a team that runs offenses similar to the HL, so the scheme itself won't change a whole bunch for SMCC. That's pretty huge for SMCC. Furthermore, SMCC held LCC to their lowest offensive scoring all season. Keep in mind that SMCC was -3 in the turnover department and gave up a TD on a kickoff. 2 blown coverages set up LCC in the redzone, which is an easy task for an offense with that QB.

So, yes, a D1 athlete beat them from LCC, but SMCCs defense was on the field often being -3 in the turnover game, and holding that offense to 3 TDs with all those things against them is pretty great. Seeing a good RB in an offense not unknown to them is less daunting to me.

"SMCC has been taught well on defense, but you can't teach speed. It is god given. JLC will score as often as they want to."

Meh, Sexton was as fast, if not faster, than Willis. The thing Khari has going for him is size. He has the build of a D1 athlete, which Sexton lacks. You need multiple people to bring down Khari, which requires running to the ball carrier no matter where you are. SMCCs defense is disciplined...they've dealt with speed before.

"A 35 year coach will pick apart SMCC's film and figure them out."

Clinton has a 21 year coach that has seen SMCC's offense 5 times before this year, on top of all that film they surely watched. I do think JLC's coach is better, no contesting that. But, SMCC's offense has been the exact offense that JLC has struggled with historically. Last years JLC team had an undefeated regular season boasting similar offensive showings as this year, and against better competition. That team lost to Parchment first round, a team that ran an offense just like SMCC's...JLC gave up 40 points to them.

Do I think this has changed this year? Not really. Their defense has given up 4 TDs to some bad teams this year. Only one of their games had a defensive showing of single digits, and all of this is against weaker competition than their team last year.

SMCC runs the T better than most teams in the state, film only goes so far in figuring it out. Also, the speed that SMCC runs the T is deceiving on film. You can see the backfield develop on film. On the field, the backfield is pretty fast, and hard to watch with the line movement. Following keys in the T can be extremely difficult and frustrating for teams that haven't seen it run that efficiently. JLC will have problems.

Anonymous said...

So 7:23 JLC will only want to score 4 times?

Anonymous said...

Sexton runs an 11 flat 100. Willis does not.

Anonymous said...

Obviously some readers that say SMCC "never see the spread" don't know the Huron league. Most of the league runs spread, minus SMCC themselves, Riverview (who runs some) and Airport. The two none league teams ran spread as well Tecumseh and Lansing CC. Lumen is not a one man show. Their two wideouts and QB are faster than the D1 RB. They make big plays when too much focus is on Willis. In regards to coaching both coaches has playoff experience and big game experience so to me its a wash. Talent many times wins out if it performs. Lumen has the higher rated talent. But that's why you play the game. Upsets happen at all levels. It should be a competitive game. May the team that executes the best with their athletes win.

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing at the people that think WIllis isn't fast and that the Clinton kid has wayyyy more speed. Theirs a reason why Willis is playing at MSU next year and the the Clinton kid is a D 3 player most likely. Willis has great speed. Our CC defense needs to have a great outing to stop him!

stosento said...

Nov 13, 1:46PM

I didn't say that SMCC "never sees the spread". I know SMCC has seen the spread, and you're right that some teams in the HL run some form of spread. But it's not in the same way that an LCC runs the spread. I guess my point was that a D1 athlete scares me more in the LCC offense than in the JLC offense.

Your talent comment is dead wrong, btw. How often does SMCC have high talent? They can give the ball to 8 different guys on offense and they will all do what they have to. The whole point of SMCC's offense is that they don't rely on talent to win. In order to do some wide out stuff like SMCC has done this year does require talent, and I give a lot of credit to Jack Giarmo and crew for recognizing that's the best way to utilize Vuich and Windham.

A good defense is effective with talent, but a defense with a good scheme and people following their keys (being disciplined) is generally what makes a good defense. Discipline / Keys > Talent.

Both teams are pretty smart and coached by some of the state's greatest coaching staffs. Discipline is huge and in the end it will come down to a better defense.

stosento said...

Nov 13, 2:05pm

When did anyone say that "the Clinton kid has wayyyyy more speed"?? No one else really compared the two's speed besides me, here is what I said.

1) "Willis, upon my speculation, doesn't have quite the breakaway speed that Sexton has, but is a monster to take down. He keeps his feet moving and is a work-horse that has some speed down the stretch as well.

2) "Sexton was as fast, if not faster, than Willis"

You're right in the sense that there is a reason why Willis is playing at MSU next year...and that is his size, which is exactly what I noted at before. He has great speed for a 6'1 200+ pound running back. Sexton will be a D2, maybe D1 MAC school slot receiver if he's lucky. Khari is a man already, Sexton is tiny. Sexton is not a running back, he is an athlete, one that Clinton used at RB because you put the ball in the hands of your best players.

Khari is already a college-ready RB. He has all the tools. His speed is something SMCC has seen from Sexton, that kid is seriously fast. SMCC hasn't seen the size/speed combo Khari has going for him. Also, Sexton is only a JR.

Anonymous said...

All offenses are a mix of coaching, talent and execution. The more you have the better

Anonymous said...

SMCC vs Montague 2009 Talented QB D1 player SMCC loses.

SMCC vs Ithaca 2010 Talented QB D1 player SMCC loses.

SMCC vs Livonia 2013 Clarenceville Talented D1 RB get in open and out runs everyone. SMCC loses.

SMCC vs Jackson L.C. 2014 Talented RB, QB, WR D1 To be determined....

Talent does win football games!!!! You guys act like JLC is undisciplined and have never been here before. Just accept the fact on paper JLC should win this game....period. That's why I said you have to play the game, because even talented teams slip up.

Anonymous said...

My point is you shouldn't even be comparing Sexton and WIllis because Khari is on a WHOLE different level than Sexton. In my opinion CC hasn't seen a player to his caliber since Tony Lippett. The CC defense needs to be flying to the ball and gang tackling him, he's not going down on first contact. This is where the loss of Howey and Lako really hurt this week.

Any more info on Lako's injury?

stosento said...

Nov 14, 7:32am
2009, 2010 SMCC lost those games by 3 and 10 points, respectively, and had a very decent shot in winning both of those games. SMCC didn't pass much at all that year, having less of a dynamic offense. They were still in those games. Also, SMCC had not played against a spread like that all year. That offense hurt them and they couldn't find a way to defend against that.

They lost to Livonia on a last second play. Heartbreaking loss.

JLC - of course they're disciplined, I don't know where you got the idea that I said otherwise. JLC will come ready to play. The only reason that I believe on paper SMCC will win is because of their defense. SMCC's defense is better than JLC's. They were close in all the games you mentioned and it could have gone either way. I'd argue that talent only goes so far in winning a game, one of many factors to consider.

stosento said...

Nov 14, 8:05am

Dude, I'm not comparing them, just their speed. Some people were saying SMCC hasn't seen that kind of speed yet, and I compare Khari to Sexton on a speed basis. I even said that they were different RBs all-together. We'll see about Lako.

Anonymous said...

listen to the game... if you hear lako's name then he is cleared.. if not then maybe the coach did not want him to play.

Anonymous said...

lumen is simply too athletic for smcc.... It will be a shootout for the mos part if anything but if JLC gets a stop i think ballgame over because they go up 2 scored

Anonymous said...

you guys are idiots. ill be in the stands laughing at the look of depression when JLC walks off with that regional championship

Anonymous said...

Stay classy 12:07pm. Keep laughing at those high schoolers and their proud parents. Such a sad thing to say.

Anonymous said...

Lako wasn't on crutches today and it's possible that he'll play

Anonymous said...

This one could go either way. As long as SMCC and JLC play a hard fought game and leave it all out on the field. Barry Sanders never won anything, and defense doesn't always win championships. As for you, 12:07, parents will always be proud of their kids, no matter the outcome. You're a real class act, laughing at a bunch of high school kids. Always remember, punctuation, and CAPITALIZE the first letter of the first word in a sentence. Dunce.

Anonymous said...

You sir are the idiot. Why would you drive all the way to Jackson just to root against SMCC?

Anonymous said...

The Detroit Free Press has Lumen Christi wining 42-38 according to the Swami. Nobody it going to put up 42 points on Centrals Defense. Even Lansing CC couldn't do it and they are a much better team then JLC. Also you are mistaken to believe that defense doesn't win championships. Willis is not Tyrone Wheatly, sure he will score and get some yards but he will mainly be on defense trying to stop CC.

Anonymous said...

Haters will always hate that's what they do best...

Anonymous said...

Lako out...severe hip injury...can walk but not play. Surgery after season is over.

Anonymous said...

Highly doubtful Lako's doctor is taking the time to comment on the Huron League Football blog. Someone just stirring the pot again.

Anonymous said...

Lako was cleared to play today. Left school early to get his knee wrapped so he could practice today.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so worried about Lako. There are no JLC fans on here, why all the BS about Lako. Whatever happens, happens.

Still see the haters of SMCC piping in. I think that is Hilarious. The Huron side of this blog is nothing but praise. Perhaps the SMCC fans should take some lessons in modesty from the Huron. 0-9, 1-8 for many years to the semi-finals is a remarkable achievement.

Truth hurts.

Anonymous said...

Truth is, most SMCC fans are praising their team, everyone else gives us crap. Huron fans are proud, as they should be, but delusional.

stosento said...

Nov 15 12:05am
I see nothing but praise for Huron from all over the league right now. This is the thread about SMCC football game tonight...if you don't want to see SMCC talking about their team then don't visit the page.

While I agree the talk about Lako is a little much, he's a playmaker for the Falcons and would be nice to have for a big game. Most SMCC fans that I have seen give nothing but praise to Huron for a great season thus far.

I guess you're just trying to find reasons to be angry at CC at this point.