Indian River RB Carmello Sweat (Photo: Joe Barnes/recruit757)
Indian River is two wins away from an undefeated regular season
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Grassfield (4-4) at Indian River (8-0) 7:00 p.m. Thursday
After last week’s thrilling win over Oscar Smith, the Indian River Braves are met with a new challenge.
On five day’s rest, don’t have a let down against a middle-of-the-pack Grassfield team.
The Grizzlies have improved on last year’s record. In 2017, they missed the playoffs for the first time in ten years with a 3-7 win loss record.
This year, Grassfield has beaten lesser teams but has fallen against better teams. Their four wins have come against Great Bridge (1-7), Western Branch (0-8), Lakeland (2-6) and Hickory (2-6).
On paper, the outcome looks obvious.
WHEN INDIAN RIVER HAS THE BALL:
The Braves are led by quarterback Dominique Brooks, who has been extremely productive owning the position full time. After a transfer from Oscar Smith, Brooks was handed the keys to the Indian River offense and he has led them to a nearly flawless season. Indian River is clicking on all cylinders with even contributions in the running game and passing game. Lamareon James, Rasheen Brooks and Desean Cromwell are play making receivers while Carmello Sweat, Ricardo Ray, Jamal Burnell and Chantz Baylor carry the load in the ground game.
Expect Coach Glenwood Ferebee to spread the touches around in order to keep his entire team prepared for a playoff run.
WHEN GRASSFIELD HAS THE BALL:
First year starter Grant Swanger has established himself, and he’s capable of making all of the throws. Last week against Hickory, Swanger connected with junior wide receiver Ethan Buenviaje for a 53-yard pass that was just short of a touchdown. Evan Odom and Kadari Cuffee are also assets for the Grizzly offense.
Since their opener, Indian River has allowed 40 points in seven games. That’s less than 6 points per game, including games against Deep Creek, King’s Fork and Oscar Smith. Grassfield will have a tough test against the Braves’ defense.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Indian River should not look ahead to the playoffs. If they’re focused, it should be a win no matter what Grassfield throws at them.
– Andy Hilton