Despite the Red Devils controlling the game for a 54-41 victory, both teams' offenses showed plenty of fire power and plenty of talent to keep an eye on for Ball State fans.
First, a look at West Lafayette who moves on to the Regional and stands at 11-1 and will take on Fort Wayne Concordia and 2014 Ball State recruit David Morrison next week.
Maurice Woodard, 6-0 200 Sr. RB – I am thoroughly and completely surprised that Woodard has yet to pick up a Division 1 scholarship offer. Woodard is a solid sized back that is very patient and displays good vision. He allows the Red Devils blocking scheme to make a hole and then he provides a solid burst to get yardage. Once he is in the secondary, he has enough wiggle to make defenders miss and end up with explosive plays. The senior back ended the night with 275 yards and 4 touchdowns on a stalwart 40 carries. Woodard seems like he would be a perfect fit for a zone blocking or spread team because of his ability to be patient, diagnose quickly and hit the hole with authority.
John Duvall, 6-4 290 Sr. DT/OG – Duvall plays both ways and is a stalwart on both sides of the ball for the Red Devils. He is a tough cookie with a great motor. I like him better at OG where he has good athleticism and a nice frame. He also excelled with getting into the backfield against Yorktown and causing havoc. Duvall seems to be the kind of kid that will either walk on to an FBS school and bring his best every day or will make an FCS coach looking for a late steal happy.
Peyton Truitt, 6-5 270 Jr. OT – Truitt is a big and physical kid that was who Woodard chose to run behind all night. Truitt manhandled his guy all night long and was able to move effectively. This kid has a chance to be a big talent as he gains weight on his frame. The Ball State coaching staff should keep an eye on him.
As for Yorktown, their season ends at 10-2, but the future is very bright with a talent laden junior class.
Riley Neal, 6-5 200 Jr. QB – Neal was very impressive on the big stage of a sectional title game. He ended the night going 31 of 50 for 376 yards, 3 touchdowns and only 1 INT. He has a very live arm and made some impressive throws that some college QBs struggle with. Neal showed the ability to both zing in a fastball in a tight window to the slot and then turn around and deftly drop a wheel route in the bucket over great coverage for a long gain. Neal was pressured all night, but showed an innate awareness in the pocket and the ability to move his feet when pressured and elude the oncoming rush. He struggled a few times when throwing on the run by placing the ball high, but when his mechanics where sound on the run, he showed the ability to put the ball on target and with power. Ball State is already got Neal on the radar as do Michigan and several other powerhouse programs.
Riley Miller, 6-2 165 Jr. WR – Miller is Neal's #1 target and classmate. Miller has good size and solid hands and is a good route runner especially shown on a nice double move – pump and go where he was able to get wide open with great footwork. Miller made several difficult catches and ended the night with 7 total for 78 yards and all three of Neal's touchdown throws. Miller looks to be a possible possession receiver at the next level, who, if he can add weight to his frame, should be able to be physical and has solid hands.
Carson Moore, 6-4 180 Jr., S – Moore is a tall and lanky athlete that per his film is a ball hawk that has the ability to read and make big plays as the free safety against the passing game. Friday night I didn't get to see much of that as West Lafayette keep the ball on the ground for the most part. Moore did show the ability and speed to be able to come in a crash the run and fill a hole against a solid back like Woodard including an impressive tackle for loss where he was able to cut Woodard down in the backfield by quickly diagnosing the run and bursting into the hole he knew the RB was coming. What little passing West Lafayette did do was short, quick throws that showed Moore's ability to make good open field tackles. One long pass play that was impressive was a fade route near the front of the end zone where Moore was able to cover a lot of ground as the ball was in the air and then deliver a big blow to the receiver as he was attempting to catch the ball. Given Moore's size and speed, Ball State should be keeping a close eye on him, I can see a future of either continuing as the FS at the next level with his ability to cover ground with his long strides or even moving up to an linebacker position with increase weight due to his ability to play the run and also cover.
Anthony Todd, 6-5 295 So. OT – Todd is a beast at 6-5 295 and just a sophomore. He is quick and nimble enough to not only play DE for the Tigers, but also make several plays. This athleticism also shows on Offense, where he will certainly play at the next level if he continues to work hard. Todd is solid in his pass protection and displayed the ability to get out and make blocks in the Tigers screen game. Todd certainly has the physical tools to be a prospect to watch at the next level.
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