Last year, Republic racked up more than 500 total yards against Glendale in their district semifinal game. The two teams combined for more than 1,000 yards total. This year could be more of the same.
Republic has had a week to prepare for the Falcons, who enter tonight’s matchup with a 4-6 record. The Tigers are 5-4.
Glendale is led by quarterback Alex Huston, who has completed 399 passes in 598 attempts for 5,110 yards. Huston powers a hurry-up spread offense that tries to march down the field on shell-shocked defenses before they have a chance to compose themselves. For the most part it works. Offensive coordinator Ben Mauk told the Springfield News-Leader the Glendale playbook calls for scoring on every offensive possession and getting one stop on defense.
The primary targets for Huston are Luke Montgomery (1,852 receiving yards), Von Oeser (961), Jeremy Almeida (858), and Zach Helm (831).
Getting a stop against Republic’s single-wing offense won’t be a given for Glendale. The Tigers have two 1,000-yard rushers in Jerney Jones and Riley Watkins. They also play a more physical brand of football than the Falcons are accustomed to seeing in the Ozark Conference. Throw in the Tigers’ overall speed and Glendale will have its hands full with the Republic attack.
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What to watch:
Weather: Will the rain stay away until after the game begins? And which team can handle wet conditions more effectively, if the rain does come? A wet field makes it harder for Glendale to throw the ball, but could also offset Republic’s speed advantage.
Up front: Can the Tigers’ physical front line on both sides of the ball take control? On offense, the Tigers will look to open big running lanes for their stable of running backs. On defense, they’ll need to create a push and put pressure on Alex Huston.
Defensive backfield: Glendale’s offense is based on precision passing. Can the Tigers knock the Falcon receivers off their routes and disrupt Glendale’s timing? And if they do, can Republic’s d-backs step up and pick off a couple of passes to swing the momentum their way?