Colon enters Friday’s home game against Adrian Lenawee Christian fighting for its postseason life. The Magi dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in Southern Central Athletic Association play after last week’s 43-8 loss to Pittsford. Lenawee Christian is 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the SCAA.
Scouting Adrian Lenawee Christian
“They have a nice core group of experienced seniors and some very impressive size,” Colon coach Darrin VandenBerg said. They run a lot of zone read offense. Their QB is a good run, but they don’t hesitate to go to the air. They run and pass out of several sets. Defensively, we will need everybody doing their jobs in being responsible for their responsibilities. It is critical that we finish plays on defense on the first tackle. Wrapping up the ball carry, and not letting them break the initial tackle, is a fundamental skill in football and if we can execute this we should see success on defense. Offensively, we have been pretty good when we are not making mental errors that result in penalties. If we can play penalty free football we should be able to move the ball and give ourselves a great opportunity to put points up on the board.”
VandendBerg didn’t disclose the nature of the injuries, but the Magi saw a couple more key players go down recently.
“Our injury status has gone from bad to worse,” VandenBerg said. “With Ronny Moyer, Brandon Hinkley, Corey Collins, and Andrew Mock already on season-ending or extended injuries, we have added lineman Sam Jarrell and starting offensive tackle and defensive end Chase Farrand to the list. They will both miss this Friday’s game but are expect to return next week with some luck. Calen Thibideau will take over Chase’s duties on offense and Nick Martin is the likely candidate at defensive end. Getting Billy Vaughn back will help on defense and should allow us a fraction of flexibility.”
Colon is working to correct mistakes that have derailed the team at times this season. The Magi have been penalized 38 times for 259 yards, though opponents have been flagged 36 times for 281 yards. Colon has fumbled 19 times (lost 12) and thrown five picks. Opponents have turned the ball over just seven times.
“We have had a lot of illegal procedure and ball control issues on offense,” VandenBerg explained. Going on various snap counts is new to our players and it has been a point of emphasis since day one. While we have gotten more disciplined in this area, we have still struggled with keeping our focus in pressure situations. We have also been working on our ball control issues and anticipate improvement in this area over the next several weeks.
“Nothing has come real easy for us this year. We work very diligently on all aspects of the game, but injury issues on a small team continue to force us to shuffle kids around and sometimes put them in unfamiliar positions. On a positive note, our kids love to play football and never hesitate to learn a new position when a situation requires it.”
Solidifying blocking schemes has been another area of focus for Colon, something VandenBerg believes is an easy fix. Finishing tackles and learning to overcome adversity, he says, has been the tricky part.
“Most of the other objectives are painstakingly difficult as they require breeding out bad habits, breaking past routines and focusing on patience and positivity,” he said.