Burr Oak travels to St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran today in a game the Bobcats hope will move them one step closer to the postseason. With a 3-2 overall record and 1-2 mark in the Southern Michigan 8-Man Football League, Burr Oak is trying to get off a two-game skid after losing to conference leaders Battle Creek St. Philip and Portland St. Patrick.
Michigan Lutheran is 1-4 overall and 1-2 in the league. The Titans lost to St. Philip 67-14 last week.
Scouting Michigan Lutheran
“Michigan Lutheran has a few athletes that are playmakers on both sides of the ball, one being No. 7 Casey Ross, who also by no coincidence is the quarterback. Michigan Lutheran runs an unusual type of spread formation lining four lineman up on the outside close to the sideline with one slot lined up behind them. This leaves just the quarterback, center, and right slot as a possible playmaker with the center being eligible for a pass.
“Casey Ross is a threat when in the spread formation and will have to be contained by man coverage on him in case of a QB keep or a broken play on a pass. We shut down Casey Ross’ speed on the outside, we shut down Michigan Lutheran’s offense.”
Stevens explained to JoeInsider.com that this week’s practice focus was on maintaining consistent intensity each day leading up to the game.
“With a long season of nine full weeks of games plus the first two weeks of practice and two-a-days, it can be a struggle to bring the intensity every day when you are hitting the same player across from you day to day and week to week,” he explained. “Something I have been preaching all season, but have not quite reached the players yet is playing to our true potential. There has been no game yet where we have had almost a flawless game. We have had too many games with too many penalties, lack of tempo and discipline, numerous missed tackles and confusion in the secondary. I am stilling waiting for that one game to turn the tables.”
Stevens added that this group, without the coaches’ insistence, has displayed a never-give-up attitude even in some lopsided losses.
“The boys keep getting up again, learning and getting better,” he said.
Burr Oak had an extra day of practice with a Saturday kickoff. Stephens said Wednesday that, at least up to that point in the week, the bonus preparation time wasn’t necessarily a positive thing.
“Practice has been mediocre with a lack of intensity,” he said. “Hopefully, the intensity picks up with a Thursday defensive practice and practice under the lights on Friday.”
Captain of the defensive ship
Alex Munoz, defensive end/middle linebacker has excelled in his role as defensive captain this year, going far beyond just making the right calls.
“When a defensive starter has to come out due to a injury or being shaken up, Munoz is quick to help coach up the substitute coming in and getting them in the right position,” Stephens said. “Most importantly, Munoz helps encourage the defense through adversity. Alex is very resilient player with a toughness that is hard to come by.