Buena football preview: Chiefs eye 2-0 start vs. Ocean City

Buena football preview: Chiefs eye 2-0 start vs. Ocean City

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Buena football preview: Chiefs eye 2-0 start vs. Ocean City

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Key Matchups


Buena DEs Ian Fike (6 feet, 2 inches, 200 pounds) and Sam Crouch (6-2, 200) vs. Ocean City RB Frank Woolley (5-8, 190). The Chiefs played a bend-but-don’t-break defense in the second half against Vineland last week. Woolley gained most of his 108 yards after halftime last year. Woolley is an experienced, reliable runner who the Chiefs need to keep in check, and need to make sure is contained late in the game, where he is strong and Buena is vulnerable.


Buena RBs Crouch and Shaquille Scott (6-1, 200) vs. Ocean City LBs Kevin Wiesner (5-10, 210) and Owen Dierolf (5-11, 165). The promising duo of sophomore running backs proved effective for the Chiefs in Week 1, combining for 77 yards on 20 carries. They didn’t run all over the place, but they proved difficult to tackle and often broke through the first line of defense. Wiesner and Dierolf will need to be at their best to help contain Crouch and Scott.


Buena CBs Mike Britt (5-6, 155) and David Bond (6-0, 175) vs. Ocean City QB Joe Keyes (6-0, 175). Keyes is a second-year starter, and the Red Raiders tried to use him to move the ball through the air in the last meeting. Keyes attempted 13 passes, but completed only three of those. He did gain 79 yards on those three completions though. Britt had an interception against Vineland and Bond really wasn’t tested. A similar performance to last year in the secondary would go a long way in slowing down the Red Raiders offense.

Keys to the Game

■ One of the unknowns going into this season was who would get the bulk of Buena’s carries. That’s still an unknown after one game, but it looks like that will work in the Chiefs’ favor. In all, there are five backs capable of handling a heavy load and moving the ball on the ground. In Week 1, Scott had the hot hand and got the most work. This week, it could be different. Keeping defenses guessing is a great tactic and it’s something Buena will look to take advantage of.

■ The Buena defense only allowed seven points against Vineland last week, but it looked like they were allowing the Fighting Clan to move the ball up the middle of the field. That needs to be addressed. The Chiefs were great on the perimeter, but the big guys in the middle need to do a better job of closing up holes to keep stalling out drives.

■ The Chiefs’ new hurry-up offense looked to be effective in Week 1. Buena needs to keep doing that, and even expand on it. When executed properly, it gives the offense an immediate advantage. In addition to not allowing the other team to make substitutions, and keeping them guessing, there’s also a sense of confidence that seems to come from a team that can move the ball consistently with the no-huddle. Picking up five or six yards at a time, and being slowed down only by the referees resetting the ball and moving the chains, puts a little extra swagger in the cleats of the offense.

Intangibles


Home cooking: Buena loves playing at home, and for a team with so many young guys making an impact, that added sense of comfort can go a long way.


Momentum: It’s only one game, but Buena played well in the opener. Winning the first one always is tough. Now the team knows it’s capable of scoring, playing solid defense and winning games. The Chiefs will want to make tonight’s game just like last week’s.

Prediction

Buena 21,

Ocean City 14

— Patrick Buganski

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