Millville football preview: Bolts look to clean up mistakes

Millville football preview: Bolts look to clean up mistakes

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Millville football preview: Bolts look to clean up mistakes

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Key Matchups

■ Millville’s offensive line vs. Mainland DL Ken Randall (6 feet, 3 inches, 305 pounds). The offensive line is expected to be a strength for Millville this season, though the group wasn’t as dominant as expected in the opener against Atlantic City last week. It’s still early, so no reason to worry yet, but the crew should be tested by Mainland’s defensive front, particularly Randall, a Temple recruit.

■ Millville LB Anthony Stubbs (6-0, 205) vs. Mainland RB Justin Walsh (5-9, 160). The Mustangs will be a run-first team this season and part of that attack should center around Walsh, a speedy edge runner who will look to make big plays. That will put Millville’s outside linebackers to the test, including Willard Woody Jr. (5-7, 190), who played well last week.

■ Millville WR Kyreem Loatman (5-11, 180) vs. Mainland DB Qwin Vitale (5-9, 180). It took a while for Millville’s passing game to get going last week, but when it did, it was effective. Loatman made a splash by hauling in a 43-yard touchdown catch. This matchup with Vitale figures to be a good one, as both players are near identical athletically.

Keys to the Game

■ Millville’s line play must take a step up this week. The veteran-laden group is expected to be a major plus for a Bolts team with Group V South championship aspirations. Millville did run for 283 yards last week, but outside of a Rob Ennis Jr. 40-yard touchdown run, didn’t produce many big plays. On the defensive side, Atlantic City quarterback Jamir Prevard took advantage of good pass protection to connect on 17 completions for 193 yards.

■ Millville’s playmakers need to stay on the field. In last week’s win over Atlantic City, Ennis, wide receiver Ryquell Armstead and tight end Ed Shockley allwere in and out of the contest with various injuries, mainly cramping. Conditioning should improve as the season wears on, but with early wins a must, the Bolts need to take the proper pregame measures to ensure they’re on the field when it matters.

■ Millville must tighten up its pass coverage. Atlantic City attacked the Bolts through the air and had moderate success doing so. The Vikings’ lone touchdown came on a long catch-and-run play for 65 yards. Mainland isn’t as dangerous through the air, but could be tempted to expand the playbook if it thinks it can expose the Bolts’ secondary.

Intangibles

■ Cleaning up: Millville captain Antoine White spoke Wednesday about the team’s need to perfect some things, mainly in execution of play calls and wiping away some penalties. A veteran Bolts team should have no problem doing that. Look for it to start this week against Mainland.

■ Motivation: The Bolts handled Mainland with ease last season and this figures to be a bit of a rebuilding year for the Mustangs, but Millville should proceed with caution when lining up for the game. The Cape-Atlantic League American Conference is a place where upsets can happen, and no team is safe.

Prediction

Millville 35,

Mainland 7

— Anthony Coppola

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