Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So who's going to win?

West Liberty is having one of those seasons, blazing through new frontiers and getting noticed for an offensive football team that is as fun to watch as any June Jones produced at Hawaii.

California is a tradition power team, based on good defense, strong running by Windell Brown and devastating passing from Josh Portis.

The two teams meet Saturday in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II quarterfinals at West Liberty. The Hilltoppers are coming off a record-setting 84-63 victory over Edinboro and Cal just avenged a previous loss to Shippensburg with a 26-21 victory.

Most are talking about this number: 84. But the important number is 63. The Hilltoppers defense gave up 63 points to Edinboro, a team Cal defeated in the regular season. West Liberty will have difficulty scoring half as many points against Cal as it did Edinboro because the offense will not have the ball as much.

Cal's running game should control the West Liberty defense and eat up time. Vulcans' head coach John Luckhardt said the key is scoring points. But how many? If Cal hits in the 40s, it will win. If not, the Vulcans will lose.

Edinboro missed a lot of tackles against West Liberty, something Cal will not do. The Hilltoppers are a feel-good story but I think it will end Saturday.

Cal 49, West Liberty 34


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