Tigers have something to prove
After starting the season with losses to Reynolds (41-6) and Eisenhower (33-6), the Maplewood Tigers seem to have found their footing, going on to win two consecutive outings against Union City (28-19) and Youngsville (39-8).
The Tigers have shown that they possess some effective offensive weapons. Two weeks ago, running back Miller Peters rushed for 142 yards and scored two touchdowns. Last week, fellow running back Tyshaun Johnson took a turn, gaining 125 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. (He also returned a pick for 6.) Also, quarterback Dane Barker has been a consistent threat, rushing for 279 yards and five TDs on the year while passing for another 314 yards.
This week, the Tigers (2-2 overall, 2-1 Region 2) will look to keep that going against Iroquois. But it won’t come easy.
“They got me nervous, I can say that,” said Tigers head coach Bryan Borkovich. “I respect their program up there. They have a lot of players who have the ability to be explosive. We have to do our job and make sure they don’t get out in our flat and make any big plays.”
The Braves enter the game with a record of 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the region. Although, those two losses came against the top two teams in the region — Eisenhower (42-18) and Cambridge Springs (36-14).
Iroquois’ playoff hopes depend on how they fare against the rest of the league. And that stretch begins tonight against Maplewood.
By that same token, Maplewood needs to win to maintain its spot among Region 2’s top four.
“If we win, we’re right where we need to be,” said Borkovich.
Iroquois has a couple of threats on the offensive end of the ball. But the main one is junior running back Brandon Roda, who has rushed for 445 yards and six touchdowns on just 32 carries this season.
“He’s averaging over 13 yards a carry and 100 yards a game,” said Borkovich. “He is definitely someone we have to keep bottled up.”
Dylan Carpin is the Braves’ quarterback. He’s completed 15 of 28 tries for 137 yards, two TDs and two interceptions. And Borkovich says, “Carpin is not a bad athlete either. But Roda is definitely the engine that makes them go, and he is someone we have to take care of if we want to come out on top (tonight).”