Big Shane Smith and his boys upfront will be the key to the offensive game plan of the Eagles. You much win in the trenches if you want to win this matchup.
Eldorado offense vs. Las Cruces defense
This is the second part of our breakdown for this highly anticipated matchup. Yesterday we broke down the Las Cruces offense against the Eldorado defense and in our viewpoint the advantage goes to Las Cruces because of the overall talent in the skill positions.
As much hype and attention that has been given to the offense of Las Cruces, the Eldorado offense has to feel a little like Rodney Dangerfield, "they get not respect." All they have done this season is average over 31 points a game. That is a very good number and when you add in the fact they have done that against one of the hardest schedules in the state, you get a real sense of just how good and efficient this side of the ball has been all season. AB Armin Day has having a great junior season and will go into the 2009 season as one of the top quarterbacks in the state. So far he has thrown for just under 2000 yards and thrown 29 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions. RB Gary Maestas, is yet another talented junior. This season he has rushed for over 1200 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. All that talent is able to do things because of a talented offensive line, led by big Shane Smith. Smith has lived up the hype thus far and has been one of the most dominant individual players this season. WR Ross Williams and WR Jami Abdullah have been good enough on the outside to keep teams honest and have been the favorite target of Day all season.
The defense of Las Cruces got overshadowed this year. Because of the success of both James Hall and Dante Caro on offense, it's almost as though teams have forgotten how good they have been on defense this season. Their front four of Mike Bernal, Zach Bischof, David Testa and Chris Skipper have been very good all season. They allow linebackers Will Bruce and Jose Garcia to run around and make players, without having to take on offensive lineman. The secondary has also been special with safeties Ryan Farley and Zac Diaz, plus two really good corners in Hall and Jacob Lilley. Because of how good Caro and Hall are on offense you almost forget just how talented they are on defense.
The key to this part of the matchup is in the trenches. The winner of the big boys up front will determine how successful the Eagles are on offense. If Shane Smith and big Willie Pounds are successful in controlling the line of scrimmage that will help them move the ball and keep that talented Cruces offense on the sideline.
I really feel like the Las Cruces defense is underrated this season, however, you can't teach lineman and Eldorado has two really good ones in both Smith and Pounds.