Tuesday, December 1, 2015

AA Varsity BC Championship Game!

2015 Subway Bowl


GI's Pick

Abbottsford Panthers vs Carson Graham Eagles:  Fifteen short weeks ago I have to admit, I did not see this one coming.  At the start of the playoff tournament, this would not have been my pick either. There is surely a reason why the games are played however and two very deserving teams are squaring off for the 2015 BC Championship!  Lets get down to the analysis: Defensively, the biggest similarity between these two teams is that they attack, attack, attack.  One or more blitzes are constantly being dialed-up by the respective defensive coordinators.  Pressure is the game here.  The offenses however are very different.  Yes, both spread the field and both tend to throw the ball a lot.  The run games are very different however.  Carson runs the ball from sideline to sideline and though Abbey will occasionally run a bit of jet sweep, it is not the same East-West threat of the Eagle attack. The Panthers seem to prefer their draw game and a bit of counter to the wider stuff (which looked pretty sloppy early on vs Langley).  Soooo, how does this play out against the attacking defenses? Well, in terms of the run game, both defenses become more vulnerable.  Blitz vs Abbey and get walled out by one of their enormous (and talented) linemen and you will be paying for it by creating a big lane for the draw.  You are never 100% right when you blitz, it is a calculated risk and sometimes that means a big play either way.  If you are Abbey blitzing against Carson, beware the inside pressures.  Carson has a very good perimeter game that gets there quickly and you can get caught in very bad inside-out pursuit situations and their resultant big plays. Run game in my opinion, Carson.  The pass game goes to Abbey.  They have been unrivaled this year via the air and stubbornly and effectively are not deterred.  Carson's defensive heat mean's man coverage.  The poison Abbey opponents have faced this year is "do ya cover 21  with two guys (only really carried off once vs G.W. Graham) and man-up or quasi zone vs the rest of the cast".  Big problem as Langley found out was that the supporting cast is pretty darn exceptional themselves and can create big plays with great regularity.  Abbey's QB mobility may seem an Achilles heel for their offense, but in practice, it has not been.  The release is quick and the routes are so well timed that it is barely an issue.  Blitzing the Panthers means a lot of man coverage and vulnerability to draw/screen. Carson, throws pretty darn good too and is the better screen team in my opinion.  Abbey will be challenged. Do these teams base-up defensively and go manno et manno against one another?  Hec no they don't.  They are what they are and will be coming at one another all game long.  Special Teams: Carson looks like they work at it more than Abbey.  The Abbey field goal kicker has more range and the Eagles likely won't kick deep to 21.  Punts and pressures are roughly the same.  Carson's edge in terms of field position gained may be nullified by kicking short and punting out of bounds.  What's left?  "Want-to"?  Nope, both teams want this one as much as the other.  Toughness?   Nope, both are tough.  What then?  I am going to take a stab at durability.  Yep, I saw a lot of tape on ankles up front, lots of limping and some injury subs in the past couple games up front.  The "trenches" will be decisive in the second half.  How each team handles adversity and or the potential loss of one of their stud offensive/defensive two way players will be big.  Lastly, emotion.  Keeping emotions "In The Middle" as opposed to losing one's mind individually and collectively will be big in a game such as this. Seem em both up close, there is a difference here that I will keep to myself.  I want to congratulate both teams, their rosters, coaching staffs and all those who come out to support on a couple of very fine seasons.  AA  Ball will be represented well on Saturday. GI's Pick: Abbey.  By how much? Well, the players on the field will determine that outcome.  


Dick Shiner said...

So I was pretty close with the semi final predictions.

Carson beat GW Graham by 3, 24-21 and Abbotsford beat Langley by 21, 50-29. No real surprises here. Either Carson or GW Graham would be worthy finalists, as would Barsby. I was a bit surprised to see Langley put up 29 on Abbotsford, but I realize Abby took its foot off toward the end.

So the final is an interesting match up. The best receiver and player in AA (quite possibly all of BC high school football) against quite possibly the best running back in high school football, and quite possible the best TEAM. Claypool makes great plays on his own whereas Carson RB Flynn Heyes is running behind a very strong O line.

Claypool makes the Abby QB look a lot better than he is. Ask yourself: does Abby make the playoffs without Claypool? Maybe in the 3 or 4 spot in the East. Does Carson make the playoffs without Flynn Heyes? Yes, and still probably in the 2 spot. Claypool is Abbotsford. While Heyes continues to get better with each game, and is in my opinion the best RB in AAA and AA, there are several reasons why. The O line is excellent, QB Tyler Nylander can not only throw, but is also an excellent runner himself who can read the secondary, and a couple of excellent blocking receivers who go unnoticed and make clutch catches. It's the little things that Carson does well.

Furthermore, the Carson secondary is tall. Both corners are 6'3" and 6'4" and run FAST. The linebackers and defensive ends are big, fast and angry. All could be lineman on other AA teams.

As for emotions, Carson learned its lesson early against a tough and well-coached John Barsby. Has Claypool forgotten the Holy Cross ejection?

Watch for Carson to run all over Abbstsford, then mix it up with the short pass. Watch for Abby QB Madigan to loft it up for Claypool, who will score, no doubt about it, but Madigan's mobility will become an issue, as he has two stud defensive ends who are both taller, heavier and FASTER than him pound him all game. That and Abby's lack of running game and too much pressure will be on Claypool to pull out the win. Will he have it in him?

No. He'll get frustrated early with the press. Madigan will be on his ass early and often and in turn will rush plays.

Keep in mind when GW Graham played Abby, GW Graham running back Von Richardson ran for 100+ yards IN THE FIST HALF but only got about 60 against Carson ALL GAME. The Carson defense is the real deal. GW Graham's QB was the top rated QB in AA; he was picked off three times.

I will always take the stud running back over the stud receiver. I will always take the team over the stud player. Carson has both.

Carson by 6.

Jesse Clifford said...

I didn't get a o-line provincial all star for nothing you can write a whole article about how chase is the team but I'm sure are running back is going to break 1,000 yards for this season after this game and our other 2 wr have over 500 passing yards each so say what you want we have been underdogs the whole season doesn't matter after Saturday

Panthersfan2 said...

Well spoken Jesse the Panthers have a great running back and some of the biggest strongest lineman going don't forget 3 players in the top 5 receivers in the province(only one I'd named Claypool) On any other team #88 & #80 would be the absolute stars of the show but on a team with a Canadian phenom it's hard to appreciate the number 2 receiver has near enough 600 yards. Which just to point out is double the output of Carson Graham #1 receiver. Go Panthers!

Dick Shiner said...

No disrespect intended.

It is going to be one helluva game!

Panthersfan2 said...

Let us not forget the junior varsity members of this team were in the provincial finals last season and lost a close game to GW Graham. So runner up in the provincial finals last year and at least runner up this season quite possibly #1. For you're information Chase was NOT on that team, but the quarterback and the other receivers were. You should really do your homework before making your comments Mister Shiner this team will be a contender again next season.

Dick Shiner said...

Yes, Claypool was not on the JV team last year, but he was on the Varsity team last year. And no doubt Abbotsford will be in the mix again next year. Of note, both Carson Graham and GW Graham will be bumped to AAA next year (where I think they belong).

I was very impressed with Abby's win over Barsby, That was a benchmark win against a well-coached team. Any two of John Barsby, GW Graham, Carson Graham and Abbotsford would be a worthy final.

Like I said, it should be a great game. While someone haas to win, the real winner will be the fans and high school football.