Bolts face tough test vs. Wildcats

Bolts face tough test vs. Wildcats

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Bolts face tough test vs. Wildcats

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Key Matchups

■ Millville DT Antoine White (6 feet, 3 inches, 270 pounds) vs. St. Joseph QB Salaam Horne (5-10, 165). Horne has emerged as a dual threat for the Wildcats at the quarterback position, with 152 rushing yards and 143 passing yards with three combined touchdowns. White will have to lead Millville’s defensive line in disrupting Horne’s rhythm if the Bolts hope to slow St. Joseph’s offense.

■ Millville LB Ed Shockley (6-0, 216) vs. St. Joseph RB Cody Sampson (5-10, 180). Sampson carried 22 times for 152 yards and a touchdown in last year’s meeting between the two teams. The Bolts are expecting more of the same from the Wildcats’ offense and will look for a strong effort from their front seven on defense. This will be one of those games where Shockley needs to take over on defense.

■ Millville RB/WR Ryquell Armstead (6-0, 185) vs. St. Joseph LB C.J. LaFragola (5-11, 185). Armstead has proven very early on that he is a game-breaker. The Bolts will need him to continue that trend against a team like St. Joseph. The junior is a versatile weapon who can make an impact from several positions, as evidenced by last week’s 152-yard rushing performance on just five carries. LaFragola and the Wildcats defense will need to be on guard.

Keys to the Game

■ Millville’s defense must create turnovers. It didn’t happen last week for the Bolts, but against a talented Atlantic City team in Week 1, Millville generated four takeaways — two fumbles and two interceptions. When a team is the underdog, as Millville is in this game, winning the turnover battle is key in keeping the contest within reach.

■ Millville must establish the run. It hasn’t been a problem to this point in the season, as Ennis and Armstead have caused havoc for opposing defenses. Both backs went well over 100 yards last week and the duo will be counted on to keep drives alive while wearing down the Wildcats’ defense and keeping St. Joseph’s offense off the field.

■ Millville’s secondary must continue its progression. The unit gave up a pair of passing scores against Mainland, but held Mustangs quarterback John Tyler Mindish well under 50-percent passing (11-for-26), so that was a good sign. The Bolts’ defense has seen 57 passes in two weeks.

Intangibles

■ Saturday slumber: The Bolts need to look no further than their Oct. 22 date with Lower Cape May in 2011 when the team struggled mightily in a 22-7 win. It’s the last time Millville played a day game. St. Joseph is used to the routine and is a far superior opponent than the Caper Tigers. A slow start could spell doom for the Bolts.

■ The next step: Millville has earned the respect of the South Jersey football community, but if it wants to garner more, a win over a team with the pedigree of the Wildcats would go a long way.

Prediction

St. Joseph 28,

Millville 20

— Anthony Coppola

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