The Edge

04/16/03 Coach John Bronkhorst

This week was not real difficult for me when I was sitting here trying to figure out which game I wanted to breakdown.  After looking at all the games and there are some intriguing match-ups, the one that peaked my interest the most was the, I-10 SHOWDOWN!!!  The Beaumont Drillers (4-0) Vs. Lake Charles Landsharks (4-0), both teams are undefeated and both in the same conference.  This one shapes up to being a classic.  First off, I am going to give you what I feel are the strengths of each team on a particular side of the ball, then I will follow-up with what I believe each team needs to do to stop the other.  So lets not waist anymore time…..lets get to the breakdown!!!


Beaumont:  If you want to find the strength of this team, look no further than to the QB and WR positions.  QB Derrick Taite, WR’s Pat Palmer and Shock Davis.  In the Drillers first 4 games this season, these 3 have accounted for approximately 80% of Beaumont’s offensive production.  If defenses want to come in with the notion that if they stop and shut down this trio, then they shut down the Drillers, they are sorely mistaken.  Enter RB Troy Sumrall.  Ask Evansville about Mr. Sumrall, they got an up close and personal look at what this guy can do.  All he did was rush for 137 yards and score on 2 – 45 yard touchdown scampers. 

What Lake Charles needs to do to stop Beaumont is quite simple, harass Taite.  As good as Taite can look in a game, he can equally look as bad.  The book on this kid is if you give him time, he will pick you apart, but if you can knock him down, rush him, and get him out a synch, he will fold like a tent.  Its up to the ‘Sharks front 4 (DL-LB) to create this unhappy atmosphere for Taite.  If they can get to Taite early and often, you can say goodnight to this game, the ‘Sharks will be roll.  But if they cannot get the consistent pressure and they allow Taite to set his feet and get in a rhythm, Taite will put on a clinic.  That will put a lot of pressure on a veteran secondary to hold Davis and Palmer in check.  Lets face it, these 2 will get their catches, the key will be to keep them in front of you every time.  Do not let them stretch you deep and get you in a track meet, the ‘Sharks secondary will not be able to keep up.  If they allow these 2 quality receivers get off, the ‘Sharks will have no choice but to drop another safety deep for help, which will put added pressure on the front 4.  If this happens, watch for Sumrall.

Lake Charles:  This side of the ball has so many new faces; the coaches have had to put nametags on the helmets to know who is who. Seriously, as new as this group looks, it does have 1 very important old face remaining, QB Ted Robison.  Robison, who entered this season coming off a sternum injury that kept him out of much of last season, returns healthy and playing well early on and is definitely the leader of the offense.  The heartbeat however, comes from diminutive RB David Winbush.  Winbush comes to the ‘Sharks from the University of Kansas, where he holds numerous records and left as the #6 all-time leading rusher in school history.  The old saying goes, that great things come in small packages.  This small package comes with a wallop.  This kid is a human highlight reel and is the key ingredient to this offense that makes it one of the most dangerous in the league.  Although they lost 2 outstanding receivers from last years squad, this years trio of Martin, Austin and Vercher have more than held their own to this point.  They do however need to develop more consistent play at a high level. 

What Beaumont needs to do to stop this offense, is simply stop Winbush.  Easier said than done though.  The Drillers need to force Robison and the receivers to be the difference makers in this game and force them to win it for the ‘Sharks.  As the weeks have gone on, Winbush has become the main focus of this offense and the ‘Sharks go to guy.  If the Drillers can force Lake Charles to throw to the receivers, it plays into the strength of the Drillers defense, their secondary.  With Robison coming off a serious injury, there are doubts about his durability.  The Drillers must get to him early and test him, see if he is gun shy.  Force him to think about the pressure, which will lead to poor decisions and short-armed passes.  If Beaumont can get to Robison, the ‘Sharks will turn to Vercher to play QB.  To me that is the ideal situation for Beaumont.


Lake Charles:  Unlike the offensive side of the ball, this group returns almost everyone.  This unit is giving up only 30 points/game.  The front 4 is the key to the success of the ‘Sharks defense.  They play such an aggressive style, it is extremely important for this group to get the pressure up front in order for their defense to be successful.  If they can get consistent pressure, get to Taite and get him out of rhythm, they will have a field day.  This is a very physical secondary that likes to hit you in the mouth.   The LB’s are solid and aggressive. One thing I remember about this group, they like to talk trash. 

What Beaumont needs to do is attack the middle of the field.  Last year, we just missed on several deep posts because the ‘Sharks like to play one safety up close to get involved in run defense.  If they can send a message early by hitting on some deep passes or even coming close to connecting, that might force Lake Charles to drop the other safety back for help.  If they can do that, that will make it easier on Taite and allow Sumrall some open space.  Another key is to hold on to the ball and keep the ‘Sharks defense on the field a lot.  Play ball control football, eat clock and tire this aggressive defense out early.  If Beaumont can get them to start sucking wind early, that will allow for Taite to get in his comfort zone. 

Beaumont:  This team can find its strength by looking to its secondary.  Safety’s Chappell and Espirit are the real deal and can control a game by their non-stop activity in the defensive backfield.  The front 4 have shown good signs of developing a consistent pass rush and becoming solid at stopping the run.  Against Houma last week, the front 4 spent all night in the Bucks backfield.  If they want that sort of success against a ‘Sharks offense that averages 55 points/game, they must stop the run.   Force them to the strength; force them to throw to your secondary. 

The good thing for Lake Charles is that the Drillers have shown some weakness in stopping the run consistently.  Although they played well against Houma last week, the Drillers had a difficult time stopping the run against Austin.  Now if Austin can run on you, what will Winbush and the ‘Sharks do?  Knowing that Winbush is the go to guy, I expect the Drillers to sell out to stopping the run, if that does happen, the ‘Sharks need to utilize quick, slip screens to Winbush.  Get him in space to create, using the over aggressiveness of the Drillers against them.  Beaumont wants to put pressure on Robison, to test him, this is the best way to get him into rhythm and get some early success.  Use misdirection, quick hitting plays and make the Drillers defense think, which will keep them off balance.


Beaumont:  Depending on how the moon and stars are aligned, the Drillers kicking game is up and down each week.  The biggest issue is can they get clean snaps back to the holder to even get a good shot at a FG or Extra Point.   The scary thing for you Drillers fans is WR Adam Black has been activated to kick this week.  Can anyone say 2-point conversion?

Lake Charles:  Does Winbush return kicks?  If he doesn’t, someone needs to be fired.  If Sanford, the ‘Sharks kicker, can get any sort of clue on how to kick indoors, he might make some friends on the defense.

Man I hate kickers!!!


All right, you got the breakdown.  You know the strengths and what each team needs to do to win.  Both teams are familiar with each other and to that fact don’t really like each other than much.  Heck, who likes the Drillers anyway…

….I do this week.  Take the home team in a barnburner:

Beaumont – 48

Lake Charles – 45

See you next week!!!

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