What Remmy has seen:
Wolcott- This Eagles come off as being a cocky bunch, but I think they're just a confident squad that knows they can beat anyone. That's a good mindset to have as a football team. It also helps being the most powerful squad in the NVL. They love to pound the ball between the tackles and take pride in being able to out-last its opponents. Wolcott had a tough time running against Woodland.
Ansonia- Young, yet dangerous. Dobbs can take over a game. Newsome is coming into his own. And Chudwick has been throwing some nice balls lately. The defense plays with a lot of intensity. Despite Ansonia's success as a program, this year's squad is a very hungry one.
What Kyle has seen:
Wolcott- The Eagles definitely take after the personality of head coach Patrick Russo. I don't think Wolcott will be intimidated at all in this game. I saw the Eagles just once in the game against Woodland and wasn't particularly blown away, but I was impressed with how fundamentally sound they were on both sides of the ball. They play with a lot of intensity and are very tough. The Hawks did a good job limiting the run, but Wolcott just keeps pounding away. Even though they have the potential to score every possession, I think the Eagles are very confident in their defense, which has allowed 28 points in four games. They don't allow much.
Ansonia- I've seen the Chargers twice and they looked almost like a different team from when they played Woodland to when they smoked Holy Cross. Ansonia has more speed than Wolcott with running backs Montrell Dobbs and Arkeel Newsome. Though it's not a typical big Ansonia line, it's still formidable and can pave the way for solid rushing yards. This will be the biggest offensive threat posed to Wolcott so far. For the first time in a long time, the Chargers aren't afraid to throw the ball, either, which could definitely play a role in this game as long as the weather allows.
Remmy's keys to the game:
Wolcott- Stop Dobbs. If the Eagles can hold Dobbs under to a sub-100 yard performance on the ground, their chances at leaving Jarvis Stadium as victors are very high. Murphy is a man-child on the O- and D-lines. And their DB, Christiano, is lightning-fast and hits like a Mack truck--seriously.
Ansonia- Limit Bonvillian from doing damage on the ground. If the Chargers' defense can stuff the Wolcott line and contain Bonvillian, Ansonia will have a good shot at the win. Hit Bonvillian hard, early, and fluster him. The Eagles may take flight behind Gambino's arm. While not being the most fundamentally-sound quarterback (he lacks proper mechanics), he's still a tough kid and very dangerous with the ball.
Kyle's keys to the game:
Wolcott- I think Wolcott can win a lower-scoring battle. I'm not as confident that the Eagles would be able to score with Ansonia if it came down to a shootout. Wolcott needs to put together a few sustained drives with heavy doses of DeVante Bonvillian and Mike Flammia. This might be the game that Dom Gambino finally breaks through. Winning the time of possession will be key. The Eagles will also have to win the line of scrimmage. On defense, Wolcott must be intense and swarm to the ball. Sure tackling is a must.
Ansonia- I think the magic number for Ansonia to win will be 20 points. If the Chargers hit 20, I think they win. If not, I think the advantage goes to Wolcott. Big plays have helped out Ansonia a lot this season and it could definitely use at least one of those in this game. The health of Montrell Dobbs will be perhaps the most important part of the game. If he's feeling good enough to be close to himself, it's a tough matchup for Wolcott. If not, the offense will come down to young Arkeel Newsome and a hot-and-cold passing game with Elliot Chudwick.
The Eagles have established themselves as a powerhouse of sorts, but considering they haven't beaten the Chargers, I can't choose them. I thought they would be able to get the job done last season and Ansonia came from behind to win the game on the road. Being the weightlifting champs for many years may work to Wolcott's advantage. However, winning weightlifting titles doesn't mean it will automatically win the NVL football championship. With that said. I can't go against the hometown Chargers. Pick: Ansonia, 28-19.
I've heard plenty of the Wolcott's-never-won-a-big-game talk leading up to this game. That might be true, but I'm not a big believer in the past having much of an impact on games like these. Ansonia is playing beyond its years right now and I'm wondering if inexperience will catch up to the Chargers at any point. I don't think youth will be the problem for Ansonia--I think it's going to be Wolcott's intensity and physicality. The Eagles know this game means everything to them and I can't see them losing it. Pick: Wolcott, 14-10.