Posted: 4:01 pm Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Playoff Primer 2010: Can Melbourne stop Lake Worth’s high-flying offense? 

By Matt Porter

Our playoff preview series rolls on with Lake Worth, which welcomes Melbourne to town, in the first home playoff game for the Trojans in quite some time.

BY THE NUMBERS

melbournehelmetMELBOURNE
Record: 6-4

How they qualified: Second, District 11-5A (three teams); beat Port St. Lucie Oct. 8.

Average points per game: 27.3

Average points allowed per game: 20.4

Offense: 2,136 yards gained (1,720 rush, 416 pass)
Offensive standouts: RB Brandon Shaw (135 carries, 830 yards); RB Kalil Owens (88 carries, 484 yards).

Defensive standouts: DL Aaron Perry (42 tackles, 11 for loss, 4 sacks); DL Jamal Stadom (30 tackles, 5 sacks); DL Thomas Dorvillus (32 tackles, 3 sacks).
Common opponents with Lake Worth: None.

Area teams played: Lost to Fort Pierce Central 21-16; beat Port St. Lucie 45-21.




lakeworthhelmetLAKE WORTH
Record: 8-2
How they qualified: District 12-5A champions; beat John I. Leonard Nov. 5 for the title.

Average points per game: 41.1

Average points allowed per game: 12.5

Offense: 1st, large schools; 4,108 yards gained (2,394 rush, 1,714 pass)

Defense: 6th, large schools; 1,489 yards allowed (1044 rush, 445 pass)

Offensive standouts: QB Evan Moore (1,714 yards, 56.7 completion percentage, 26 TD, 7 INT); WR John Sullivan (32 catches, 668 yards, 8 touchdowns); RB Jerry Michel (151 carries, 1,015 yards, 7 touchdowns).

Defensive standouts: DT Junior Estelus (6-2, 255, No. 51 on the Big Board); LB Cory Moore (6-0, 175).

Common opponents with Melbourne: None.



The last time Lake Worth had a home playoff game, coach Errick Lowe was nine years old.



That was in 1986, when the Trojans won their district. “I was at the Friday night football games, tearing up the sod behind the bleachers,” said Lowe, born and raised in Lake Worth and a star running back for the Trojans (Class of ’95).



Just as much as his players, Lowe feels the excitement for the Trojan’s first district title in 24 seasons.



”I told the kids [Tuesday], after winning the district, which is a monumental achievement, that we’re in uncharted waters,” Lowe said. “We’re setting milestones. We’re achieving new heights. It’s great for the school, and it’s great for Lake Worth. It’s creating a buzz around the city.”



If they want to extend their run, they’ll need to continue to execute. Their offense is one of the best in the area, behind quarterback Evan Moore, his receivers — John Sullivan, Travis Meeks, Bernard Davis and RIchard Seraphin — and 5-5 speedster Jerry Michel.

Don’t look for anything new or fancy this week — just the same go-go offense they’ve been running all season, with Moore (who has accounted for 2,697 total yards and 43 touchdowns) leading the way.

“We do what we do, you know?” If we prepare ourselves well, I feel pretty good we can win any game,” Lowe said.

The Trojans’ pass defense has allowed 445 yards, the lowest total among large schools. That’s fine by Melbourne, which likes to run the ball with Brian Shaw and Kalil Owens. Quarterback Sterling Munich has struggled, completing 25 of his 64 attempts (39.1 percent) for 416 yards.

On defense, look for the Bulldogs to try and get to Moore early. Their defensive line is considered one of Brevard County’s best, and has shown it can close gaps and keep quarterbacks in the pocket. Seniors Aaron Perry and Thomas Dorvillus and juniors Jamal Stadom and Joe Conti have played well. Conti has battled injuries as of late.

“Our biggest thing this week is executing the things that we do,” Lowe said. “We’re not trying to complicate the kids with stuff we haven’t done. That’s not the way we are, that’s not the way we coach it up. We just continue to do what we do and we’ll be successful.”

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