■ Vineland ILB Greg Slaughter (5 feet, 11 inches, 220 pounds) vs. Pleasantville QB Michael Foster (6-1, 225). Foster highlights an improved Greyhounds offense, which operates out of the pistol. He’s a big kid with good athleticism who can take a hit. He also has a decent arm, as he threw a touchdown pass against Mainland on Sept. 12. Slaughter will have to pay close attention to Foster if Vineland wants to limit Pleasantville’s attack.
■ Vineland CBs Chris Atoki (5-9, 170) and Daivon Seymore (6-1, 215) vs. Pleasantville WR Donnell Moore (5-11, 174). Moore is the Greyhounds’ top receiver, so if Foster passes, he’ll likely be his first target. Atoki and Seymore weren’t tested by Buena quarterback Eric Rainear in Week 1, as he only attempted three passes. They’ll likely see more action tonight.
■ Vineland RB Ben Anderson (5-9, 200) vs. Pleasantville ILB Foster. Anderson was the Fighting Clan’s most effective threat against the Chiefs, piling up 96 yards on 12 carries. Vineland’s success stemmed from inside runs, and that could be key again. Foster, in addition to being the quarterback, is a tough linebacker as well.
Keys to the Game
■ Vineland must play smart. The Fighting Clan had too many self-inflicted wounds against Buena. They had 12 penalties for 95 yards, including two fourth-down offside calls that gave the Chiefs firsts. Quarterback Angel Rodriguez also threw two picks, causing Vineland to lose the turnover battle. Teams will make mistakes throughout the course of the season, but the Fighting Clan won’t win many games with so many wrapped up in four quarters.
■ The Fighting Clan must play physical. Vineland’s production against Buena stemmed largely from running between the tackles against the Chiefs — Anderson and freshman tailback DaQuan Cosby combined to rush for 139 yards on 19 carries by carrying the ball up the middle. As a Group V school, Vineland had more big bodies than Buena and also will have more than Pleasantville. The Fighting Clan need to take advantage of that.
■ One area Vineland did succeed in against Buena was limiting the big play. The Chiefs’ first play from scrimmage gained 24 yards, but their longest play after that was just six yards. If the Fighting Clan can force Pleasantville to sustain drives, they’ll have more opportunities to create turnovers.
■ Confidence: Vineland entered the season with a ton thanks to the positive attitude of new coach Dan Russo. Some of that’s gone after losing to Buena, but the Fighting Clan need to tap into whatever they have left against the Greyhounds.
■ Resiliency: Vineland needed it the last time these two teams met, rallying from 16 points down to top Pleasantville last season. The Fighting Clan showed more of it against Buena last week as they played a much more competitive second half. One of Vineland’s biggest flaws the past several years is quitting when the chips are down.
— Josh Friedman