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Hamilton VS. Byron Center Preview

by Eric Peterson

This week Hamilton closes their season against a very tough conference opponent, Byron Center. Last year, they made it to the Quarterfinals in the playoffs, and they have the talent to do it again this year. Byron Center has already made the playoffs this year, they’re 6-2 overall, and 3-1 in the conference. This is going to be a very tough matchup for Hamilton as the last game of the season.

Pass Offense
Byron Center runs a shotgun offense, though they run a lot out of it, their pass offense is extremely effective. Last week, they put up three touchdowns through the air, which accounted for their only points against Zeeland West. This might be an area in which Hamilton struggles if their defense can’t stay disciplined, but it can also be an area in which we strive, if we put pressure on the quarterback and force him to make some bad throws.

Run Offense
Last week, Byron Center ran the ball 29 times, which is a lot out of the shotgun. They did it effectively too, against a really good defense in Zeeland West, not scoring any touchdowns, but gaining over 100 yards. This year the team has over 1700 combined rushing yards, leading the pack is Jarod Rodgers with just over 1000. If Hamilton can keep the run contained and force tough passes they can stop the strong Byron Center offense and have a good chance to win the game.

Run Defense
Hamilton runs a spread offense that favors the run, which is not good for their chances against the very disciplined 3-4 defense Byron Center runs. Sometimes they will move the outside linebackers on the line to make a 5-2, which does not bode well for a run-favoring offense. The part of Byron Center’s defense to conquer is forcing them to play undisciplined, which is something they don’t do.

Pass Defense
Byron Center’s 3-4 defense is almost as good against the pass as they are against the run. They’re zone coverage is outstanding as they will play either a Cover 2 or Cover 3, which is especially tough to beat. Not only does Byron Center have a great defense, but Hamilton’s quarterback Brady Mudd is out with a head injury, so one of their top receivers Colin Tidd has his first start Friday, which is going to be a tough challenge against such a great defense.

Prediction
Overall, I think Byron Center will do what they have done all year, run the ball efficiently and effectively. That is something I don’t think Hamilton can overcome to get a win this week, especially with so many injuries to starting players. I believe Byron Center will win 42-28 with at least three rushing touchdowns. Hopefully the Hawkeyes prove me wrong and win their final game of the 2014 season.

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