Wolcott’s one-two punch of Mike Audibert (23) and Vincent Gambino has been a formidable offensive duo all season. (Credit: GWImages)
Wolcott is one of three teams still alive for the NVL championship, even if they can really only grab a share of it. Both the Eagles and Derby still have hopes at making the state playoffs, but whichever team loses this week is probably out of the running. (Wolcott may have a little more room for error, but it wouldn’t feel very good.)
This Game of the Week is presented by Blanchette Sporting Goods.
Remmy’s Keys to the Game: Derby had better hope its defense shows up this week or it has absolutely no shot at beating Wolcott. What occurred last week in Derby was unreal. Kind of like when I picked the Down + A play with San Francisco in the original Tecmo Bowl — the defense simply couldn’t stop it. What I have yet to figure out is how Wolcott, which got blown out by Masuk, beat a solid Naugatuck team that simply embarrassed Derby just a week ago. I am not too confident in Wolcott’s ability to play great defense in this game but I have a feeling the Eagles’ D will force enough turnovers to put this game away in the mid-third quarter. Wolcott needs to do one thing this week: Take away the Derby ground game.
Kyle’s Keys to the Game: About midway through the season, Derby played three straight games in which it allowed single-digit points. Maybe some folks thought it meant the Red Raiders’ defense was developing into a real threatening unit. Of course, those games came against some of the league’s poorest offenses, as Derby has allowed 92 points over the last two weeks. Wolcott’s offense is better than that of Seymour, which posted 44 (OK, two kickoff-return touchdowns were in the mix). The Red Raiders need to stop the Eagles’ rushing attack first. That’s been the real strength of Wolcott this season, as the passing game hasn’t been the primary attack. Derby also can’t afford to come up empty on offense early in the game. Wolcott’s defense hasn’t put forth a fully quality defensive effort against a good team this year — its shutdown of Woodland came before the Hawks had fully settled in to the wing-T — so there’s room for Derby to move the ball. It can’t turn it over.
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