Saturday, March 8, 2014
Cony and Gardiner will renew their storied rivalry on the gridiron this evening when they kick off at 7 p.m. at Hoch Field.
Here’s a few pre-game notes ...
• The Tigers and Rams will feature contrasting styles on both sides of the ball. The Rams will go with a four-man defensive front, led by tackles Isaac Gingras and Josh Woodward.
The Tigers, meanwhile, will go with a three-man front and four linebackers. Nose guard Tyler Eldridge is one of a handful players up front whom coach Matt Burgess said will need to elevate their games this season.
Gardiner will start nine seniors on defense; Cony six.
• Offensively, the teams couldn’t be any different. Cony will run primarily out of the spread. It will go with four and even five wide receiver sets to test what is a veteran Gardiner secondary. The Rams this week spent large chunks of practice working on a variety of passing plays. Cony quarterback Ben
Lucas looks bigger, stronger and more poised this season.
He was one of the top passers in Pine Tree Conference Class A last season, and could well accomplish that feat again this year.
While Gardiner will start four seniors in the defensive backfield — Dennis Meehan, Frank Chepke, Josh Moore and Tyler Jamison — it will need to pressure Lucas tonight to slow down that passing attack.
• Cindy Donnell, whose son, Eddie, played for the Tigers and graduated last spring, will be an honorary captain tonight. She works in the Gardiner school system and is a cancer survivor. The game is part of the Drive Out Cancer Challenge.
Burgess said Cindy Donnell almost was an honorary captain in the game last year, but decided it would be too emotional for Eddie.
Speaking of Eddie Donnell, he will attend St. Joseph’s College this fall and plans to compete on the indoor track and field team.
• Remember, the game will be streamed live on our web site. If you aren’t at Hoch Field, log on and check it out.
We’ll be back later with some post-game analysis.