Ida vs. Detroit Denby @ Mumford Friday 6pm

The Bluestreaks of Ida(7-2, LCAA) take the road north to take on the Tars of Detroit Denby(6-2,  DPSL-B).  Both squads wear the blue and gold and both make their 5th consecutive trip to the playoffs.  Ida has an overall playoff record of 7-8.  Meanwhile, the Tars bring a post season record of 6-13 record into this contest. These two teams have never met on the gridiron previously.

This was expected to be a rebuilding year for Ida, given the heavy graduation losses and retirement of longtime coach Tom Walentowski.  The drop-off however has been relatively minor, as first-year head coach Jeff Potter guided his Streaks to a 2nd place finish in the LCAA.  The Bluestreaks primarily run out of the full house T and will occasionally shift to a double wing set.  Senior Bryce Holmes(636 rushing yards, 16 TD’s) and juniors Jake Weilnau(915, 9TD’s), Sam Brettschnieder(767, 9TD’s) carry the rushing attack for an offense that averages 32 PPG.  Junior Quarterback Clay Simpson can make plays with his feet but hasn’t had to do much with his arm(17-34, 380 yds 4TD’s).  A defense led by Junior DE Alex Longenbarger(51 tackles), Junior DB’s Justin Gelso(51), and Junior Tommy Colpaert(3 INT) held opponents to 14.5 PPG, posting 3 shutouts, the most since 2014.

The Tars and head coach Tony Blankenship played a fairly tough schedule, as five of their games were against playoff teams.  Denby primarily runs the spread option and will sling it around from time to time.  Sophomore Quarterback, Tavion Buck, can make plays with both his arm and feet.  Senior RB/WR Armani White, Juniors WR’s T’shawn Wilkes and Jamari Griffen are all explosive play-makers for the Tars’ offense, which averaged 23 PPG.  A swarming defense led by senior DL Dave Blake, Senior LB Jaylin Early and Senior DB Brandon Stevenson, limited opponents to 13 PPG, albeit that number was inflated by a 40-0 loss to a very good Detroit Central in the PSL-B championship game.

In games like this, there are a lot of factors to consider.  Mainly I look for experience and Quarterback play.  The Tars have experience with Griffen, White and Wilkes and despite being young, Buck is the more athletic QB.  Add in that Ida has not won a playoff game on the road since 1990, it would seem a few things are stacked against Ida.

By Frank Vajcner

*look for our playoff picks coming soon*

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