Keller @ Central Preview

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Matt Harris

Staff Writer 

Keller dropped its district opener last week to an overpowering Denton Guyer running game in which Guyer had three players run for over 100 yards and totaled 509 rushing yards as a team.

After losing big games, some teams tend to have a let down the next week and slip up against a team that they shouldn’t lose to. That will not be the case with this years annual Pink Out game though, as both Keller and Central give each other their best shot in an all important district rivalry game. The winner of the Pink Out game has made the playoffs for each of the last five years, so both teams know how important this game is. Let us take a look at how it might play out on paper.

The Offense:

Keller has one of the most explosive offenses in the district with playmakers all over the field. At Quarterback, Caleb Griffin has completed 66 passes in 104 attempts so far this year, and has 9 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions. Running back Tyler Tutt is averaging a baffling 10 yards per rush, running for 886 yards on 88 carries and 11 touchdowns on the year. Wide Receivers Dillon Smith and Cam Johnson have 23 and 19 catches respectively. For the Chargers, Junior QB Reese Robertson has replaced former starter Jake McClurg adequately, completing 65% of his passes on the year and throwing for 4 touchdowns and no interceptions through 4 games.

The running game is where Central looks very weak. Leading rusher Zion Purvis has ran the ball 44 times this year for 200 yards. That is an average of 4 yards per carry, not too shabby but it pales in comparison to Tutt’s 10 yards per carry. Nick Risher has been a threat on the outside with 24 catches for 313 yards and 2 touchdowns this year, and Carl Dorsey and Nathan Batoba have 10 catches apiece as well. The passing game is a strength for Central, but makes them look one dimensional.

The Defense:

Keller let up 62 points last week to a high powered and up tempo Denton Guyer offense that ran the ball for over 500 yards. Without threats in the backfield for Central to take advantage of, the Indians should know that Central will largely focus on the passing game.

The secondary has been a strength this year for Keller, as they racked up 4 interceptions in the first 2 games this year. Central QB Robertson will have to make smart throws and know when to throw it away instead of trying to force the ball downfield if Central wants to be competitive in this game.

On the defensive side of the ball for the Chargers, they gave up 51 points to an up and coming Denton Ryan team last week. Ryan has some huge receiver targets and it seems as if the Charger secondary struggled to contain them last week. Central also let up 31 points to a pretty awful LD Bell squad, so Keller should have no time driving the ball on offense.

The Prediction:

Central has looked capable of having a dangerous offense this year, at least by the numbers. While they aren’t very impressive out of the backfield, numbers reflect good decision making at the Quarterback position as Robertson has completed a solid 65% of his passes and has yet to throw an interception.

At receiver the numbers show sure hands, at least for Risher, who has 24 catches through 4 games. But then again, Keller’s offense has looked even better. With an offensive attack that is averaging 43.2 points per game, the Indians have weapons all over the place. A lethal running game will help set up an explosive passing game.

Keller has shown that they will consistently put up 40 points or more on any night, even against good defenses, which doesn’t seem to be a Central strength. Keller also has one very important tool that Central lacks: senior experience.

The Chargers are a very young team while Keller is starting a plethora of 2 and 3 year starters who are chalk full of senior experience. In the end, Keller will overwhelm Central as the Chargers go through a rebuilding year of sorts after a dominant 5 year playoff stretch. I believe Keller will win 63-21.