Heidelberg to be challenged by No. 10 John Carroll
For the second time in three weeks, a nationally-ranked team will be coming to Hoernemann Stadium to take on Heidelberg at 1:30 p.m.
John Carroll, ranked No. 10 by D3football.com, will arrive with a 7-1 record. Its only loss was a 37-14 defeat to Mount Union, and it is coming off a 42-0 victory against Wilmington.
“They’re very well coached,” said Heidelberg coach Scott Donaldson, whose squad comes in with a 6-2 record, 5-2 in the Ohio Athletic Conference. “They’re a very fundamental football team. They block well, and they go hard at all times. They’re jut an all-around very good football team top to bottom.”
While John Carroll is capable of putting up a truckload of points — earlier this season it scored 90 in a shutout of Capital — Heidelberg is no slouch offensively, either.
The Student Princes put up 50 in last week’s win over Muskingum.
Donaldson said he knows HU is going up against a top defense today. But that doesn’t mean the Student Princes will change what they do offensively.
“We have to play our game,” Donaldson said. “We’re not gonna change our game because we’re seeing a good defense. We’ve seen a pretty good defense this entire year. We saw a really good defense last week. The biggest thing is we’ve got to play our game of football, and play Heidelberg brand of football.”
That means running the football with Montavious Yearby, and quarterback Jimmy Gephart taking shots down the field to receivers like Maceo Matthews, Dimitri Penick and Keivon Belcher.
“I think offensively, we have to be able to stretch the field,” Donaldson said. “We gotta get guys out of the box so we can run the football. They’re very big inside and very fast outside.”
It won’t be easy. John Carroll is led by Cal Reynolds, who has eight sacks, and Harrison Richardson, who has 5 ½.
“It’s a very good front seven defense,” Donaldson said, “so we have to be able to stretch them vertically, early, and then hopefully we can create some running lanes for the running backs later in the game.”
Offensively, John Carroll is paced by tailback Michael Canganelli, who has 618 yards on the ground, as well as nine touchdowns. Devin Limerick has run for 282 yards and four scores, while quarterback Jake Floriea has thrown for nearly 1,500 yards and 14 scores.
“No. 1, we’ve got to get them in situations where we can dictate what they do,” Donaldson said. “We’ve got to win first and second downs, keep them in third and longs,where we know they’re gonna pass the ball and we can get the pressure up there.
“They have very good success in the medium downs, to where it could be run, it could be pass, and so, we’ve got to contain the game by getting them behind the sticks, and getting behind the sticks early,” he said. “But, no question they’re a running football team. They have a few very good running backs, and we’re gonna have to contain them.”
Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.