Posted: 2:03 am Tuesday, September 6th, 2011
By Matt Porter
Spent a hot, sunburn-y day covering the Glades Central—Dwyer game. Many of you watched it on TV, so I’m going to keep these takes short.
I was on the visiting sideline; Jeff manned the home side.
First, here’s all our coverage from today’s game:
1. Growing pains on defense. Glades Central had its own problems on offense, but Dwyer’s defense deserves credit for not allowing the Raiders to establish any rhythm. Hardly methodical – negative-4 yards of total offense through the first half – Glades Central’s best chance to score was to hit on a big play through the air.
“We knew they couldn’t move the ball,” Dwyer coach Jack Daniels said. “We knew the only way they could move the ball was to hang a deep ball up, and they did.”
Standouts were senior safety Julian Whigham (two interceptions) and sophomore Shawn Boone, who had some nice plays in run coverage. The Raiders’ offense, however, picked on junior corner Deandre Bozeman in the fourth quarter.
On third and 8, Glades Central went from their own 45 as the clock ran inside 11 minutes. Greg Davis threw it up, and Bozeman’s jump was a little mistimed, while William Likely showed expert body control and awareness to stay inbounds and grab the ball. Three plays later, Bozeman couldn’t keep up with Jaime Wilson before the Glades Central senior grabbed a five-yard out for the touchdown that put the Raiders ahead to stay. With 9:29 left, Bozeman again jumped too soon, but got his hand on a 45-yard bomb from Greg Davis. As a nationwide audience saw, Likely got both hands on the ball, making a SportsCenter grab as he fell into the end zone to make it 21-10.
Bozeman wasn’t the only reason for Glades Central scoring 17 unanswered in the fourth quarter, but the growing pains were evident.
“The kid’s made that play every day, all summer,” Daniels said. “He just got caught up, I think he jumped a little early. That kid’s a heck of a player and he’s going to be a great player.”
2. Good and bad for Bauta. Early on, the commentators were in love with Faton Bauta. The senior quarterback drew praise for his “big arm” and ability to move the ball with his legs. “You’ve got to account for him every play,” ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill said [note: yes, clearly I am watching the DVR of the game]. In the second quarter, Bauta threw the ball down the sideline as Clinton Stephens blew past cornerback John Brockman, and safety Crevon LeBlanc couldn’t get over in time. A four-play, 47-yard drive ended in a 27-yard touchdown pass, putting Dwyer up 10-7.
Later, as he began to misfire – 7 of 9 throws went incomplete during one third-quarter stretch – Bauta began to hear criticism from the analyst booth. “He’s got to start having that clock go off in his head,” said ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill, a former Arena League quarterback. His point: Bauta needs to know when to release the ball. When he did, a couple sideline throws hit the people standing on the sideline, screen pass to running back Matt McMahon was back-footed and bounced short. Overall, it was a debut that left some wondering if Bauta is a quarterback at the next level. Personally, I think he’ll be fine, but he does need to release the ball quicker. Plus, Dwyer’s pass protection wasn’t as shaky as it was during an eight-sack outing against Miami Central, but it didn’t seem give Daniels much confidence. He elected to run on third-and-long twice early in the third quarter.