Crestview visits re-vamped Aces
Thursday, September 04, 2014 12:01 AM
BY JOHN PARENT
Crestview fullback Jake Lippi breaks tackles during the week one win over Parkway. The Knights hope to feature a strong ground attack this weekend at Hicksville. (DHI Media/Tina Eley)
DHI Media Sports Editor
CONVOY — After a season-opening shutout of rival Parkway, the schedule gets quite a bit tougher when the Crestview Knights travel to Hickville to take on the Aces on Friday night.
The Knights beat Hicksville 41-18 in Convoy last year, but the Aces went on to a Division VII playoff berth and return a dozen starters. The Aces pulled off a last-second come-from-behind win at Achbold to open their season last week, and showed a different look in pulling off the victory.
In particular, last year’s starting quarterback, Johnny Giesige, had 224 yards vs Archbold… as a wide receiver. The new man under center is 6-foot-4 Garrett Crall. All he did last Friday night was go 25-for-35 passing for 440 yards. Last season, the Aces averaged fewer than 100 passing yards per game, but ran for over 2600 yards on the season.
“Offensively, they’ve moved some guys around from what they had last year,” Crestview head coach Jared Owens explained. “It looks like they’ve gotten a little more athletic. They definitely have some weapons. They’re a well-coached team, and a team that’s going to do things the right way.”
Crestview allowed the Panthers just 92 yards through the air last week, on 11-for-26 passing.
The Aces have switched things up on defense as well, going to a 3-5-3 system, similar to what Crestview runs.
Defensively, scheme-wise they’re a little different (from last year). They’re playing more of a stacked 3-5 style,” Owens noted. “It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, because we practiced against it in two-a-days, but it is unique as far as our league and the teams that we play against. It’s not something we see very often.”
That new-look Hicksville defense yielded 35 points to the Blue Streaks last week, including a 66-yard pass for a score. The Knights know all about big plays after once again turning in several versus Parkway.The Knights averaged better than 10 yards per play last week and had four scoring plays of 19 yards or longer, including Preston Zaleski’s 66-yard run and a Zaleski-to-Nate Owens pass that went for 78 yards.
“Big plays happen because guys are playing hard on the back side of the play, and usually because the individual that has the ball in their hands makes a guy miss or breaks a tackle and has the athleticism or the speed to get down field,” Coach Owens continued.”Big plays happen because of great effort, so we’re just trying to coach execution on every play, and guys know their responsibility and trying to take care of that responsibility on every play.”
The Knights come into the game as healthy as they have been since the preseason began and Owens and his staff have spent the week fine-tuning in practice.
“We’re just trying to get better at what we do; we’re not trying to re-invent the wheel or anything,” Owens said. “We just have to make sure we’re solid with our assignments and tackle a little bit better.”
Presale tickets for the game will be available on Friday in the Crestview athletic office from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Presale prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students. All tickets at the gate are $6.