NJSIAA Football Playoffs: Weequahic-Hasbrouck Heights Preview Part II

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ –  A look at tomorrow night’s North 2, Group 1, Semi-Final, as the Hasbrouck Heights host Weequahic at 7 pm at Depken Field.  

Scouting Weequahic –  The Offense

The Indians offense revolves around senior running back Charles Bruton (5’11, 195) who comes into the game just 15 yards short of 1,000 (122-985, 8.1 ypc), averaging 123.1 yards per game. The senior has nine touchdowns on the season. Sophomore Donovan Wadley rushed for 335 yards on 34 carries in a secondary role.

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Quarterback Jerron Phillips doesn’t run much, gaining four yards on just five carries. He does, however, have big play ability with his arm, completing 35 of 65 for 813 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 23.2 per completion average means the Aviator secondary will have to keep the Weequahic receivers from getting behind them.

Tyler Phillips, 23 catches for 640 yards and six touchdowns, is his favorite target.

Scouting Weequahic – Defense

The Indians feature a huge defensive line led by Dioh Desuah, who at 6-0, 270 recorded 81 tackles (second of the team) and eight sacks, along with three fumble recoveries.  Strong safety Ian Venable’s 84 tackles led the team, as did his four forced fumbles. Wadley led the team in Interceptions with three of the Indians 10.

Overall:  Weequahic wins due to outstanding size, a strong defense and the ability to make big plays. With three shutouts, and six opponents held under 10 points, the Aviators could be facing the best defense they have seen all season.   That said, Hoboken, 4-4 on the year, had two low-scoring duels with the Indians, limiting them to just 27 points in the two games. After a hot start on offense, the offense has slowed down, except for a 45-19 win over Cedar Grove in the regular season finale.

Hasbrouck Heights:

On offense:  Junior quarterback Spencer Lee is playing his best football of the season, as the Aviators have taken to the air the last two weeks. Lee had five touchdowns passing against Rutherford, and followed it up with a 9-of-12 performance last week against New Providence. Back-to-back weeks he has 80-yard touchdown passes to Jasiah Purdie.

Purdie, the Aviators multi-dimensional threat, had two New Providence defenders following him all over the field last week, and he still caught six passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. With 621 yards receiving and 421 yards running, he can hurt a defense any time he gets the ball.  His 21 touchdowns (13 rushing, 8 receiving) show his versatility.

His presence on the field opens up things for running back Michael Robertson, who leads the team in rushing with 748 yards and has added seven touchdowns.

The Aviators are averaging 42 points a game.

On defense:

The Aviators are under-rated on defense, as the first team has watched the second team give up points late in blowouts throughout the year.  

Come playoff time, starting with Park Ridge, the Aviators have been creating turnovers and shutting down high-powered offenses.  They have also had pick sixes in their past two games, as Matteo Ochoa (who had two in the game) ran one back from 50 against Rutherford, and Ian Rinke took one back 100 yards for touchdowns.

The Aviators will have to rely on quickness on defense, particularly up front, as they give up some size to the Indians.  

Note:  Heavy rains are forecast for Friday, including the possibility of flash flooding.  Check in with TAPinto to see if there is a change to game-time, as there was last week.

TAPinto Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge/Teterboro is Hasbrouck Heights, Wood-Ridge and Teterboro’s free daily news source.

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