Prep football game of the week: Colony at Kaiser

Both of these teams are fast gaining confidence, CIF-SS Eastern Division No. 2 Kaiser (2-1) with a shutout of a Cajon team last week that entered averaging over 50 points per game and Central Division No. 5 Colony (3-1) with non-league wins over teams ranked first and second in their Divisions before the Titans knocked them off. Something has to give when these two clash tonight but their defenses aren’t much for charity.

POINTS OF EMPHASIS
If points weren’t already hard enough to come by, this game will likely be shortened due to the ground-oriented style of each of these teams. Of course that’s probably a good thing… it’s safe to say the shorter this game, the better for each team’s health.

“Oh, yeah,” Colony coach Anthony Rice said, “there will be some hitting.”

Kaiser’s 6-3, 218-pound hybrid linebacker/defensive end Josh Shirley will lead the hit parade. Rivals.com’s eighth-rated outside linebacker in the country runs a 4.5-second 40 and does plenty of fast moving before the snap too.

“They line him up all over the place,” Rice said. “It’s going to be a chess match the whole game.”

Through three games Kaiser is allowing 11.6 points per game, an impressive number despite a 28-12 loss to a talented Riverside North team.

When he’s not playing running back, USC-bound cornerback Anthony Brown will be locked on Utah-bound Colony receiver Kenneth Scott with secondary mate Jimmy Awolesi over the top fresh off his three-interception performance last week.
Most of the action, however, will likely take place in the box, a point of concern for Kaiser coach Phil Zelaya.

“Their offensive line is considerably bigger and more athletic than our defensive line,” Zelaya said. “So, they have an advantage there.”

IN COLONY’S DEFENSE
The Colony defense may not have the star power of Kaiser’s, but the talent is well dispersed.
The Todd brothers alone have already collected 63 tackles, four sacks and an interception combined. Of course, there are three of them.

Middle linebacker Edward Todd is likely the most fearsome of the bunch at 6-1, 255 pounds. After missing all of last season with an ankle injury, 275-pound senior defensive tackle Greg is playing a key run-stuffing role and sophomore Michael, already 5-10, 195 pounds, is leading the team with two sacks from his cornerback position.

Scott and Jered Bell join Michael Todd in a secondary that has already collected six interceptions against a difficult slate of opponents. In total, Colony has forced 14 turnovers in four games.

“There’s going to be a lot of defense,” Rice said. “It’ll be smash mouth.”

Certainly there are more out of the ordinary happenings at the high school leverl than all others of football but I think a single touchdown might win this game. Though all signs point in that direction, neither coach would allow it will be low scoring.

“We can’t really tell if it will be a grind it out type of game,” Zelaya said. “As we look at it, we’re not able to simulate them in practice.”

THE RUNDOWN
Brown, whom USC has indicated could play defense or offense for the Trojans, is the workhorse for Kaiser having amassed 318 yards and three touchdowns on just 50 carries in despite an 18-yard performance against North.

It only took one game for senior Jamil Austin to emerge from the Colony platoon of running backs. Including a 202-yard performance three weeks ago, the 5-9, 180-pound senior is averaging 154 rushing yards per game the last three games.

“Jamil is the hot hand right now,” Rice said. “So we can’t stop giving him the rock.”

PREDICTION
Kaiser 13, Colony 10