WHEN: Tonight, 7:30 WHERE: Strawberry Crest Stadium
Bloomingdale’s Isaiah McIntyre vs. Strawberry Crest’s Tristan Hyde
Both McIntyre and Hyde have been solid performers the past few years, though Hyde has had to fight through more injuries, including a torn ACL that sidelined him for the season after only two games in 2013. Hyde, who threw for more than 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore, looks 100 percent healthy heading into 2014. “Mentally and physically, Tristan is all there,” Strawberry Crest coach John Kelly said. “He just needs to knock off a little more rust on the throwing.” McIntyre, meantime, suffered a knee injury in the third quarter of last Friday’s 12-3 preseason victory against Middleton. McIntyre, who averaged 160 yards passing a game in 2013, sat out Tuesday’s practice, but he could play against the Chargers.
Perspective vs. High Expectations
Both teams had one of the best seasons in school history in 2013, each going 6-4 and narrowly missing the playoffs. But Bloomingdale first-year coach Brian Surcy said he’s only thinking about the game in front him. “What’s past is past,” Surcy said. “All that matters is right now, and that’s what we keep telling our players. My mentality will never change, and I hope that will be the mentality of our team.” At Strawberry Crest, Kelly has reminded his players that the Chargers have never beaten Bloomingdale. “I’m telling my guys that they have a chance to make a little history,” Kelly said. Last year, Bloomingdale defeated Strawberry Crest 23-12 in a hard-fought affair.
Tackling, Endurance and Big Plays
As much as anything else, Bloomingdale has focused on tackling. “We missed too many tackles last year that ended up going the distance for other teams,” Surcy said. “We’re trying to make sure we finish off those tackles.” At Strawberry Crest, Kelly has emphasized fitness, both mental and physical. “Last week (in a 27-2 preseason victory against Freedom), I think we had a little fatigue, as much mental as physical,” Kelly said. “We’re trying to make sure we stay mentally sharp.” As for focusing on key players, Kelly said his squad is concerned about McIntyre, versatile athletes Doug Sandberg and Logan Crouse and linebacker Ryan Voyles. As for the Chargers’ weapons, watch out for twin RB/LBs Chase and Bryce Blackmon. Chase Blackmon scored two touchdowns last week, one on a 40-yard pass, and the second on a fumble recovery in the end zone.
Team Bloomingdale Strawberry Crest
Total yards 260.4 272.6
Passing yards 183.2 146.2
Rushing yards 77.2 126.4
Points scored 22.8 22.2
Points allowed 20.0 19.5
Sacks 2.8 3.1
Average per game for 2013 season