A little over a month ago, Salesianum and Middletown met in the most highly anticipated game of the season at that point. Not only were both teams undefeated, but many felt the match up could be a preview of the state championship.
Just a couple weeks later, here they both are ready to meet again with the ultimate state prize on the line.
Salesianum fell to Middletown 35-0 in a lopsided game in which the Sallies offense could never find a rhythm. However, Salesianum’s number one offensive weapon, Running Back Troy Reeder was out with a leg injury severely disrupting the offenses game plan.
Now, Reeder is back after returning to action last week against St. Mark’s. He ran well, and more important he ran hard, proving his leg injury is most likely behind him.
Even though Reeder has returned, the Salesianum offense may turn more to the passing game on Saturday night.
After earning a bye like Salesianum, Middletown took on Caesar Rodney in the semifinals last week barely escaping with a 35-28 victory.
While Caesar Rodney certainly throws the ball more than Salesianum, their offense is tailored to a rotating group of running backs. However, seeing that one of the only weaknesses the Cavaliers had this season was against the pass, the Riders threw the ball - then threw it some more - and nearly got away with the upset.
Now, Salesianum can’t just air it out, it’s not their style. However, quick slant patterns or even some screen plays might be enough to keep the big, speedy, athletic Middletown defense honest.
Bottom line, the game will be different with Reeder in the backfield. Though, if Salesianum can’t score points, they can’t win. And the only way they may be able to put together long scoring drives is if they mix in some passing plays here and there.