High School Sports

November 18, 2011

Team that runs best will move on to section semifinal

ATWATER — If you’re looking for spread offenses with footballs flying left and right, tonight’s Buhach Colony-Del Campo matchup is not for you.

Getting these two teams to throw is as easy as making a 5 year old eat his vegetables. This is ground and pound football. Two teams looking to smash helmets and leave bodies lying behind on the turf in their wake.

Whoever does it best will move on.

The Thunder (11-0) will host Del Campo (8-3) at Falcon Field in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 Playoffs.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

“The trend going toward widening people out,” Buhach Colony coach Kevin Swartwood said. “More teams are getting in shotgun, spread offenses. That’s the fad now.

“We’re not that team. Del Campo has some of those formations, but I don’t think they want to use them. They want to run the ball.”

Both teams feature big lines on both sides of the ball and athletic running backs.

“This is going to be a great game for us,” Buhach Colony center Matt Cochran said. “They have two guys over 300 pounds who are about 6-foot-2, or 6-3. For us that’s a challenge because we’ve been recognized as the best line. This is a good game for us to prove it.”

The Thunder had little problem in disposing of Lodi in their playoff opener last week.

Buhach Colony scored touchdowns on all six its first-half possessions and cruised to a 48-13 win.

Del Campo also handled Downey easily with a 34-12 win. The Cougars ran wild for 441 yards, including 183 from James Milan.

“If we can stop the run that’s big,” Thunder defensive lineman Aziz Shittu said. “We take pride in that. If we stop them then we force them to pass. That’s something they’re unfamiliar with.”

Meanwhile, Buhach Colony will rely on its people-movers up front to open holes for its running game. The Thunder average 324 yards on the ground per game.

“Watching them is like seeing a mirror image of us,” Swartwood said. “They try to do what we try to do. Neither team wants to pass unless they have to.”

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