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UW-W 62 Belhaven 6

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Photo Provided by The Clarion Ledger

 Random Notes and Observations

 Pace-setter

*Jake Gierlak set a great tempo when he blew up the returner on the Warhawks’ first two kickoffs.  The Blazers thought the better of it and didn’t try returning one again for awhile after that.

Power of Precision

*Obviously, UW-W’s offensive line completely outmatched Belhaven’s defensive front physically.  Even more impressive was the execution and precision with which they operated for a first game.  The rhythm and timing of the first unit was exceptional. This video wouldn’t be a bad choice for a coach wanting to teach an offensive line how to run the zone blocking scheme.

 Running Smoothly

*Along with the dominant performance of the offensive line, the savvy with which Jordan Ratliffe, Dennis Moore, and Nick Patterson run the zone scheme is uncanny.  Ratliffe and Moore have the patience and one-cut explosion which make them ideal zone blocking backs.  Patterson’s vision and quickness allow him to pop into the second level quickly.

Swarm Factor 

*While evaluating team speed against an inferior opponent can be tricky business, the Warhawks defense appears to play really, really fast.  They react quickly to the ball. On Saturday, they looked to be a bunch of guys who really wanted the ball to come their way. 

Brute Force

 *The quickness and power of the defensive line overpowered Behlaven’s outmanned offensive line. The D-Line put continual pressure on QB Clayton Webb, who was timed by the UW-W coaches as getting the ball out in an extremely fast 2.2 seconds in his first start against Millsaps.  Despite the fact that Coach Hal Mumme’s passing game is based on quick reads and throws, the Warhawks sacked him four times. Defensive End John Flood (2), defensive tackle Brandon Tamsett (1), and Andrew Mulshine (1/2) were defensive linemen credited with sacks in the game.

Trending Up

 *The linebackers looked aggressive, fast, and hard hitting on Saturday.  They held their zones very well in limiting the short passing game which snuffed out any hopes the Blazers held of moving the ball. Nothing else was going to work because of the dominance of the Warhawks’ defensive line. But the linebackers’ ability to cover also played a big role in creating the sacks for the defensive line. 

       Matt Seitz continues to show rare athleticism. Two plays showcased his versatility. On Belhaven’s first play from scrimmage, he attacked a double team block on a swing pass, disposed of it quickly and drove the  running back out of bounds for no gain. Later, he covered a small and presumably fast slot receiver 25 yards down the field, reaching up at the last moment and knocking the pass down. Justin Dischler attacked, showing great burst and strength when the play was in front of him. He also showed an ability to drop deep in coverage, a must for this style of defense. Paul Foster was also solid. The confidence level this group is playing with appears to be on a different planet than it was at the beginning of the year last year.

Blanketing the Blazers

 *The secondary covered the athletic Belhaven receivers extremely well. To hold this offense to 168 yards in 45 attempts is phenomenal.  This was a really good start for a unit that had some question marks when camp opened.

Additional Weaponry

 *Brent Campbell served notice that he will be far more than a third tackle this year.  Campbell, Tony Gumina, and Logan Solano form a formidable tight end group.

More to Come

 *Due to the flow of the game and the dominance in the run game, the Hawks threw only 12 passes for 70 yards. Those hoping to get a read on the potency of the Warhawk aerial game will probably have to wait another game or two.