Byron @ Keller Preview

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Matt Harris

Staff Writer

Last week the Indians scraped out a 17-14 Pink Out win against a Central team that defended well against Keller’s run game. QB Caleb Griffin left the game with a knee injury in the first quarter that hindered the Indian offensive attack. The offensive game plan will have to change without Griffin’s leadership, so the offense will be hard to predict against a Byron Nelson squad that held a Denton Ryan offense to a respectable 13 points last week in a 20-3 loss.

The Offense:

With Caleb Griffin out, the Indians will rely on junior Dillion Smith (not to be confused with senior wide receiver Dillion Smith) to take reigns of the offense. Last week, Smith threw for 90 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions on 4 for 6 passing against Central. This is a small sample size to go off of and it will be interesting to see how much Smith gets to throw the ball next week. Running back Tyler Tutt struggled last week against a Charger defense that shut down the run game once QB Griffin left the game. Tutt ran for 95 yards on 25 carries. For the Bobcats, QB Preston Haire has thrown for 13 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards this season with just 4 interceptions. For the Byron Nelson running game, 4 players have each ran the ball more than 25 times this year, and are averaging about 4 yards per rush. Despite putting up some good numbers offensively Byron looked absolutely terrible on offense last week albeit against a stout Denton Ryan defense. This might be a game in which both teams struggle to get points.

The Defense:

Both Keller and Byron Nelson have looked average on defense this year. Last week both teams did well to hold their opponents to 14 and 13 offense points respectively. Nelson has a strong defense line as does Keller. Nelson’s secondary did well with defending the long ball and matched up well against Ryan’s physical receivers last week. The secondary has been a strength for Keller all year as well. But in past weeks both teams have been known to surrender at least 35 points a game. It is hard to judge the Keller defense thus far due to inconsistency and what I have seen of Byron’s defense so far has been good, but has a small sample size.

The Prediction:

With a Byron Nelson offense that looked as if it wasn’t capable of picking up much more than a first down last week and a Keller offense that will be without it’s vocal leader and a top playmaker, this game could very well be a defensive struggle. Most of that will depend on the play of Keller QB Dillion Smith, assuming he gets the start over the injured Caleb Griffin. I anticipate a pretty ugly game and has been the toughest game for me to predict yet due to all of the unknowns for both teams. I believe that Keller will win 27-13.