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Prep football: Which ’Cats show up?

Wildcats have been an inconsistent team

Posted: September 30, 2010 10:30 p.m.
Updated: October 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 

West Ranch has been two teams this season.

At times, it looks unstoppable, like in its 52-30 win over Lancaster three weeks ago. Other times, it hasn't looked quite as sharp.

That was the case last week in a 24-20 loss at Silverado.

Today, the Wildcats come home to face St. Francis of La Canada at 7 p.m. at Valencia High School.

West Ranch head coach Sean O'Brien pinned the inconsistency on the fact that his team doesn't always execute from start to finish.

"You can't make a season with half a game here, half a game there. You've got to have entire games where everyone's clicking," O'Brien said.

With St. Francis (3-0) coming to town, West Ranch (2-2) will have its hands full against a balanced offensive attack behind quarterback Brett Nelson, who has collected 560 passing yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions on 32-for-53 passing.

Nelson, the senior transfer from Loyola High, also has running backs Michael Melnick and Austin De Los Santos backing him up in the ground game. The two have combined for 399 yards on 78 carries thus far.

They are running behind four returning offensive linemen from last year.

"I'm very big in taking what the defense gives to us," said St. Francis head coach Jim Bonds, who added that he doesn't have a preference between run or pass. "I kind of consider us an opportunistic offense."

The biggest challenge for St. Francis will be containing West Ranch quarterback Connor Eichten, according to Bonds.

Defensive backs Ryan Jenkins and Ted Williams, who are two of the team's top three tacklers, will have their hands full against Eichten and company.

"He's a good, tall kid with a very strong arm, and they have a couple of good wide receivers that can get behind you," Bonds said.

The senior quarterback has gone 61-for-99 with 919 yards passing, 10 touchdowns and a pick this season.

O'Brien knows what his team is capable of when things are going well. Now, it's just a matter of figuring out how to make that happen.

"This comes at a great time in the season for us," he said. "This is exactly the kind of opponent we want. This is a remarkably well-disciplined, well-drilled team."

 

 

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