Keller @ Timber Creek Preview

Keller @ Timber Creek Preview

Matt Harris

Staff Writer

After an embarrassing homecoming loss to a sub-par Byron Nelson team, Keller will look for a confidence building win against a historically terrible Timber Creek squad. But as reassuring as that sounds, the Indians are in dire straights here. It is looking like almost every game for the rest of the year is a must win to get into the playoffs; and that is not as easy as it once was without QB Caleb Griffin. At this point the only loss Keller could maybe afford is Denton Ryan next week. Let’s take a look at Keller’s chances tonight in what is the biggest game to this point of the season so far.

 

The Offense:

As we know Junior signal caller, Dillion Smith, has taken over for Caleb Griffin. It is looking like Smith will be the starter for the rest of the year for the Indians. Smith has gotten off to an above average start after being thrown into the fire unexpectedly against Central. Completing 19/29 passes for 246 yards and one touchdown, his stats suggest that the coaches have put some restrictions on him to prevent any big and costly mistakes. Unfortunately, other teams know that Dillion Smith is not Caleb Griffin and has been selling out on the run. Central and Byron Nelson both relatively shutdown Keller running back Tyler Tutt, which is not something that has been easy for teams this year. The week three Inside High School Sports MVP bobblehead winner has still ran for nearly 1,100 yards and 14 scores through six games this year.

As for Timber Creek, their offensive attack has been solid this year. Quarterback Caleb Collins has completed 61% of his passes for 660 yards and eight TD’s this year with just one INT. Their big hitters are wide receiver Recie Saunders who has caught 15 passes for 198 yards and five touchdowns as well as 22 carries for 133 and two more touchdowns out of the backfield. The other offensive weapon is running back Braxton Washington. Washington has been one of the top backs in DFW this year and has 774 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He is also averaging a very solid five yards per rush.

 

 

The Defense:

The Indian secondary has a plethora of long and lanky pass defenders who seem to excel in man coverage. After giving up nearly five yards per carry to Byron Nelson running back Amani Kaegea last week, we would love to see the defense throw in plenty of blitzes and go to mostly man coverage on defense. Playing against a back like Braxton Washington, we would hope Keller would take after Virginia Tech’s trademark man coverage and blitz heavy defense. Shutting down Washington will be the defensive key to winning the game for the Indians.

Meanwhile Timber Creek has looked absolutely awful on defense this year. The Falcons have given up 30+ points in each of their first four contests before giving up 28 and 21 in their last two games to mediocre offenses. Creek will have to find a way to stop Tyler Tutt and hope that their defensive backs can hold up alright against a very good Keller wide receiving group. Similar to Keller, Timber Creek might want to play a man coverage and blitz heavy style of defense in order to contain Tyler Tutt. As Tutt is more of a problem for the Creek defense than Dillion Smith is.

 

The Prediction:

Keller lost to Byron Nelson last week in large part due to stupid mistakes. Nelson came out on top with a 21-14 victory, but only one of the three Bobcat touchdowns came on offensive drives that started on their half of the field. Nelson scored two touchdowns on drives that started inside the Indian 30 yard line which wound up being the difference in the game. Camden Hoyle fumbled a punt that Nelson recovered inside the Keller 30 and QB Dillion Smith fumbled a snap, also inside the Keller 30. If the Indians can eliminate stupid mistakes then the chance of winning tonight’s contest will greatly improve. Keller will need to get Tyler Tutt going well and if he can break off some big runs early in the game to help set up the pass it will take a world of pressure off of Smith’s shoulders. This game will come down to how well can the Keller offense do and how will the Timber Creek defense keep Tyler Tutt in check. Keller has a very real chance of losing this game, but the Falcon defense will not be able to hold on. We think Keller wins, 27-21.