Thursday, November 3, 2011

Carolina Gridiron Game of the Week for Week 12

It’s playoff time in North Carolina.  Teams who can put together the complete effort will move on, while other teams will be getting ready for basketball season.  The brackets are set, the teams and fans are excited, and it’s time to win or go home.  Be sure to go out and support your local team this Friday night.

Carolina Gridiron Game of the Week

This week’s matchup is from the most brutal of all of the pods, the 3AA Midwest.  Four of the top five seeds in the western region are located in the Midwest.  The top four teams in the Midwest went a combined 39-2 during the regular season.  The games in the Midwest are sure to be some great matchups between great teams.  This week’s game is just that.  The Carolina Gridiron Game of the Week for Week 12 features the 7-3 Berry Academy Cardinals traveling to Waxhaw to take on the 9-1 Marvin Ridge Mavericks.

Berry Academy, in its first year in 3A ball, is loaded with athletes on both sides of the ball.  One of those athletes is Germone Hopper, a two-way threat who is headed to Clemson next year.  He has definitely showed the Tigers what they can look forward to this year, returning 2 punts and 3 kickoffs for touchdowns this year.  Defensively, the Cardinals, led by FBS recruit Nick Dawson, only gave up 16.5 points a game in MEGA 7 3A/4A conference action.

Coach Andrew Howard’s Berry offense is averaging 32 points a game on offense in a schedule that has featured top teams like Mallard Creek and Charlotte Catholic.  While this is Berry’s first year playing 3A ball, the Cardinals are no stranger to playoff football, making it to the second round last year before losing to eventual 2AA state champion Salisbury.

Marvin Ridge is only it its fifth year of existence, but they have made the playoffs every season.  Coach Scott Chadwick’s Mavericks have averaged 9 wins a season over the last three years.  This year’s Mavericks team was not expected to have as much success, having to replace 18 starters from last year’s playoff team.  But, the Mavericks have worked together as a team on a mission this year.  The Mavericks have “exceeded expectations this year…both individually and as a team” according to Coach Chadwick.

The Maverick offense is led by senior quarterback Tyler Chadwick and is averaging 30 points a game.  Chadwick has led the Maverick passing attack this season, completing 71% of his passes over the last five weeks.  Lineman Adam Smits anchors a defense that has only given up 17 points a game.  His 13 tackles for loss and 10 sacks this season make his a “huge playmaker” according to Coach Chadwick.  The secondary is led by Luke Stennitt, who is “near the top of the team stats in interceptions, tackles for loss, and sacks.”

While both of these schools could hold their own in an academic matchup (Berry is a top magnet school in Charlotte who focuses on technology; Marvin Ridge is the number one comprehensive public high school in North Carolina), it looks to be a great football game Friday night in Waxhaw.