The Edge - Rewind
06/03/03 Coach John Bronkhorst
Beaumont Drillers Vs. Lake Charles Landsharks
Atlantic South Division
I think you could easily say that the week leading up to this game and the pre-game was far more interesting than the actual game ended up being. The week of the game had many twists ranging from will Ted Robison actually suit up and play for the Drillers, the return of Jacobe Austin to Lake Charles, Beaumont releasing three Defensive Lineman including Michael Boleware and Lake Charles signing distraught and disgruntled QB Johnny Johnson. The pre-game brought the biggest surprise to me. I showed up to do color analysis for the Beaumont Drillers Radio Network and found out that Derrick Taite not only was not starting, that he did not even suit up. It was being said that the staff decided to rest him do to a leg injury. Who am I to question a coach’s decision…but I am going to anyway. I like Coach Blake, I think he has done a good job considering what he has had to endure, but when you are in control of your playoff life and you are playing your conference leader, “resting” your starting QB doesn’t fly with me. Lets face it, Taite has played well below his potential, so lets call it like it really is, the Drillers benched Taite in one of their biggest games and went with a rookie because they felt he gave them a better chance.
Early on it looked like a brilliant move, Kasey Nonette hit 5 of his first 7 passes and looked like he had control of this team offensively. He led them down the field on their opening drive and a costly penalty by the Landsharks on a Drillers FG attempt gave the Drillers 1st and Goal and they scored on a Roland Hayes dive over Right Guard. What also caught my attention was the how multiple the Drillers offense had looked. They came out in a 4 wide shotgun look. They used Hayes in the backfield a lot and Kasey ran with the ball at times. They looked very good on their first drive. Too bad it didn’t last, Nonette preceded to throw 9 straight incompletions. The Drillers defense kept this team in the game in the first half. Safety Randy Chapelle was a MAN. He was everywhere on the field and at one point picked a ball off and returned it for six, but the officials had flagged the Drillers for an illegal defense that nullified Chapelles TD. That was a big blow, had the TD stood it would have made it a 20-17 game.
The Landsharks had their own QB issue. They were starting Freddie Harrison for the 3rd week, but you couldn’t tell early on. I was not impressed with this kid at all. His mechanics are poor, he doesn’t set his feet in the pocket and he using all arm to throw. With that all said, all he did was lead the Sharks to a 20 points in the 1st half. I was certain that I would see newly acquired Johnny Johnson sometime in the early 2nd quarter. I just felt that the Sharks offense was stagnant, but Coach Texada kept with Harrison and it he got the job done. The Sharks defense was its normal aggressive self, but early on I think they disrespected Nonette a little too much and allowed him to get in a rhythm. They played a very soft zone and allowed the Drillers to attack the middle of the field with curl routes. After the 1st drive, the defense came alive and forced Nonette into many errors and bad throws. They put a lot of pressure on him on the edge and forced him to step up into the pocket, which didn’t seem comfortable to him. They shut down what was a very good running game of Beaumont.
HALF-TIME – LAKE CHARLES 20 BEAUMONT 10
All I have to say is WOW!!! Talk about a tale of 2 halves.
I have to admit, I was unable to stay for the 2nd half do to prior commitments, but when I talked to people the next morning and read all the accounts, to me it seems like all the momentum that Lake Charles carried into halftime, they brought it out in the 2nd half and just dominated Beaumont. Things did not go right for Beaumont, when they intercepted a Landsharks pass, on the very next offensive play they fumble and Lake Charles returns it for a TD.
I will say this, what I did see in the first half was a team that has potential and I also saw a team that was led and directed by their Coach, Bryan Blake. I think Nonette has a lot of potential, I think this team has a lot of potential, this issue is can they come together and become One Heartbeat and play as One.
Lake Charles is a very good team. It’s also a team that is just getting by. They have so much talent that is so under-utilized it’s not even funny. I still think they are the Atlantic South Champions, but if they don’t start using their playmakers properly, Atlantic South Champs is all they will be.
See you on Tuesday with my Week 13 edition of The Edge.
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