Posted: 1:36 pm Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Playoff Primer 2010: John I. Leonard prepares for Bayside’s powerful offense 

By Matt Porter

Next up in our playoff preview series: John I. Leonard travels to Melbourne to take on one of the state’s most potent attacks, Bayside.

The Lancers made the playoffs on a tiebreaker, and coach Wayne Monroe and his staff are determined to keep the program heading in the right direction. A playoff win would do a lot for that goal.

BY THE NUMBERS

JOHN I. LEONARD
Record: 5-5
How they qualified: Second, District 12-5A; won second-place tiebreaker.
Average points per game: 21.5
Average points allowed per game: 12.4
Offense: 10th, large schools; 2,306 yards gained (1,642 rush, 664 pass)
Defense: 20th, large schools; 2,339 yards allowed (1,611 rush, 728 pass)
Offensive standouts: RB Marlin Joseph (125 carries, 1,003 yards, 10 TD); QB Travis Lee (585 yards, 37.9 completion percentage, 7 TD, 5 INT); RB Daulton Hall (18 carries, 83 yards).
Defensive standouts: DL Andy Daceus (Jr., 6-4, 240); DL Logan Long (Sr., 6-3, 225).
Common opponents with Bayside: None.

picture-9BAYSIDE
Record: 7-3
How they qualified: Second, District 11-5A (three teams); beat Port St. Lucie Oct. 22.
Average points per game: 36.8
Average points allowed per game: 22.0
Offense: 3,869 yards gained (2,158 rush, 1,711 pass)
Defense: Not available.
Offensive standouts: QB Richard Burrows (1621 yards, 52.5 completion percentage, 16 TD, 2 INT); WR Jhomo Gordon (42 catches, 815 yards, 7 touchdowns); RB Johnnie Hicks (119 carries, 1,039 yards, 7 touchdowns).
Defensive standouts: DB Alton Eliphar (6-1, 170).
Common opponents with John I. Leonard: None.
Area teams played: Beat Port St. Lucie 59-7.

John I. Leonard has not faced Bayside this year, but knows what it’s up against.

“We’ve seen this guy before,” coach Wayne Monroe said.

Monroe was speaking about Bayside quarterback Richard Burrows, who leads Bayside’s powerful offense. Monroe means that Burrows reminds him of Evan Moore, the leader of Lake Worth’s high-scoring attack.

Bayside has Burrows, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound QB who is being recruited by Harvard, Central Florida and South Florida; a fleet of receivers and a stout offensive line. Burrows has thrown for 1,621 yards this year, but averages 7.17 yards per carry. In the Bears’ four-wide spread offense, the receivers have put up astonishing numbers: according to stats entered by on MaxPreps.com, they have a 17.98 yards-per-catch average. The main threats in the passing game are wideouts Jhomo Gordon (42 catches, 815 yards, 7 TD) and Neally Cunningham (26 catches, 444 yards, 6 TD), and running back Johnnie Hicks (14 catches, 283 yards, 3 TD). Bayside has received modest statewide recognition; the Bears earned three votes in final Associated Press Class 5A poll of regular season, but were not ranked.

Monroe said his team’s defensive ends and outside linebackers need to keep Burrows contained.

“We have to stick to our game plan we’ve had in the past few weeks,” Monroe said. “His biggest threat is outside the pocket. … We have to be disciplined on the edge, and everybody has to get to the football and wrap up.”

“We have to bring the pressure,” Monroe continued. “Our cornerbacks know the ball’s going to come out fast. We’re really confident with our secondary that we can play some man-to-man. We’ll mix in some zone to really force him to read what our defense is doing.”

Offensively, Leonard has the threat of senior running back Marlin Joseph, but a new threat has emerged. Senior running back Daulton Hall was a major factor in the Lancers’ District 12-5A tiebreaker win last Monday, and he’s giving opponents fits.

“It’s funny, he’s probably the smallest kid on the field, but has the biggest heart,” Monroe said. “He’s what makes us go. Our success depends on No. 9. It used to be Marlin, but everyone keys on Marlin now.”

If Bayside can wrap up Joseph and Hall, senior quarterback Travis Lee could hurt them. His stats aren’t impressive, but he’s shown an ability to run and throw the ball. He’ll have to be quick with his decisions, however. Known for their offense, the Bears allowed two first downs in the second half of a 34-7 win over playoff-bound Melbourne Nov. 5.

For a prediction of this and every first-round playoff game, click here.