September 4, 2009

The JV-USMAPS Showdown!

The final score saw the Army JV prevail, 21-14 over their USMAPS brethren. Although it was a much anticipated game by squads and coaches, it definitely looked like both teams first game of the season, especially the JV team.

Surely that should not be viewed beyond the fact that they have been running scout team since the camp open. So it took a series to get use to game speed. But once they got that and realized that they were playing football, it's full speed and trusting in what they could do … they played hard and well.

As one observer stated, "They played Ellerson football, which is hard, relentless and non-stop."


It appears that it is just may be matter of time before Derek Bisgard says goodbye to his JV mates and hello to the varsity - Bisgard is a stud. The JV ran a 4-3 look, where he was either that three technique to the field or on inside blasting the "A" gap. The talented defender played most of the game. He made some first game mistakes, but he even made those full speed … his motor just does not stop.

Loren Baker was on the other side of Bisgard, playing the boundary tackle and the direct freshman played extremely well. Especially playing tackle in the 4-3 defense against the triple option and make the tackle against the fullback.

With a couple of backers down this week due to injury, Josh Powell did not come out of the game on defense. So as the Mike, in the middle of the 4-3, he covered pitch to alley on both sides or reading the dives. He made some first game mistakes, but made them only once.

Converted wide receiver Ryan Mumma played safety. Mumma is the type of athlete-player that the coaches know can play and looking for that spot, because he needs to be on the field getting reps, somewhere. Along with safety, he is getting reps as punt & kick returner.

It would almost appear that the prep squad knew of the speed and breakaway skills of Brian Austin, because throughout the day, they avoided kicking to him. However, this allowed for Mumma to show off some of his talents. Towards the end the game, with the score 14-14, the prep team punted, and the low line-drive end-over-end punt, Mumma returned in 35 yards and put the JV in the position to go in, score and win.

Also C.J. Shelley and defensive end Shola Mustapha, cornerback Greg Cotton, along with Sean Maag had noticeable plays on defense.

Offensively for the JV came out the gate fast, where they took their first drive down and scored.

Freshman Kelechi Odocha, who last year this time was at the prep school, ran the ball well, as did Jamal Olatunde.

Jimmy Reitter started at quarterback for the JV, but was dinged early. True freshman walk-on David Collins came in with the score tied at 7-7, and ironically scored the winning touchdown on a triple-option play, where he kept the ball for the score. Not bad for a walk-on, who has spent most of his practice running the scout team offense.

However, with Collins in the game, it appeared that the staff made a concerted effort to get him into the flow by sticking with the option, which limited the passing game and took wide receiver Brian Austin out of the offense.

Brad Gallik continued to show that he is just a hard nose football player and if you were in a street fight, he is the guy you want to be on your side.

Offensive line starters were freshman Aaron Retter, Jordan "Cowboy" Pleasants, Will Wilson at center, walk-on Emmitt Cosgrove started at right guard and Ben Jebb rounded out the starting unit for the day.

One may ask about the likes of guys like Jon Neill, Matt Villanti, Frank Allen and others. "Those are the guys we started because the coaches had seen them work together," shared a satisfied Coach Brock, who picked up his first head coaching victory. "Those guys have really been "B" squad guys all year. Allen, Villanti, Kevin Flanagan and Neill, as did direct walk-on from last year, Jon Cohen … they played extremely well and they were all in the mix."

Starting or not starting really did really mean much for the JV first game, because players were being rotating in and out almost every three plays or series. Now, the Army coaching staff can go back and review the game film and determine who actually will be the starters going forward.

In the case of Neill, who is just a mean/tough player, also Villanti who is both athletic and big, and then you have Allen who is probably one of the strongest linemen on the team and of course center Will Wilson; there is plenty of youthful upside and truly the cupboard is not bare.


Without a doubt, this is a really good football team and looks like a team that have together more than two weeks. They weren't jumping offside; the kicking game was solid, along with their special teams.

Actually, overall and based on the allotted time this squad has been together, they have the potential as a team to be one of the best assembled in the past four years.

As noted in the pre-game coverage, Julius Warmsley is a beast and he lived up to it yesterday. Actually, there were times that it appeared that the JV team started to call plays away from the talented defensive end. True or not, he is and will be a force to be reckon with.

The same can be said about Jamal Mtshali, who had a few classic match-ups when he went head-to-head with big Frank Allen.

Mike Sikorski, who came in as an athlete, has added some weight and played well at the nose tackle.

Brandon Porter continues to shine, and although small by comparison, he absolutely makes up for it by being such a competitive athlete.

When it came to Raymond Maples, you could hear JV Head Coach Brock screaming at his defense to bring Maples down … easier said than done, Coach. They were getting a hat on him, but he is elusive enough where you don't hit him flush and he doesn't go to the ground. And when you think he is going to the ground, he will put a hand down or he stretches out where he is inches from the ground … and always moving forward. Along with a series of solid runs, he hit paydirt on a 40 yard touchdown run yesterday. Simply put, Maples is a special player.

Slotback Julian Crockett, who is a speedster and was effective on offense for the prepsters.

Typically, the last component that is added and/or worked on in the triple option is the passing game and yesterday it showed. Although the passing game was lacking, Cody Jackson looked crisp running the option and it will be just a matter of time before Jackson and wide receiver Scott Williams become an effective combo.

Although understaffed due to the departure of several commits, the offensive line for the prep squad played very well. You could see their skill, as they were cutting players down and getting to that second level.


It is clear that the prep team has been able to effectively integrate Coach Ellerson's style of play and schemes in just two weeks, which says a lot about the players, as well as the coaching staff.

What is also obvious is the team's discipline in running to ball, being fired up and cheering. They are tight-nit group or as we heard one player say, "We came in here, there were so many players and then they started falling away, but all that did was tighten up this group."

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