by Andrew Garda
Last season East Orange met a Montclair Mounties team coming off a disappointing loss to Union City and suffered a 55-10 loss. This season, the Mounties are rolling, but just as motivated and offering one of the most talented teams we’ve seen in some time. But while Jaguars may not have the physical horses to hang with Montclair, their coaching staff is very familiar with Montclair.
Head coach Rae Oliver, offensive coordinator Kevin Batty and staff members Ibn Wallace, Terrence Munford and Chris Mangrum all played for Montclair or have MHS coaching connections from the past.
It will be interesting to see what wrinkles a staff familiar with MHS might bring to the table.
Offensively, EO tends to line up with quarterback Quadir Scott in shotgun.
That gives him a moment or two so he can read the field, which is key for a team which seems to run a lot of read-and-react plays. When they run, Scott gives an elongated handoff, very clearly reading the defense (probably the defensive end) while he decides whether to allow his back to take the football or to pull it back and run himself.
Much of the time he gives back the ball and he often attacks the interior of the defense. Given the struggles the Mounties had last week with similar plays against Union City, we’ll definitely see this on Saturday. The Mounties interior needs to shore itself up, and has to get penetration to clog up those inside lanes.
While the inside of the MHS front works on clogging up the A and B gaps, the outside defenders have to be alert for runs to the edge. Many of EO’s opponents seemed to get caught creeping inside, allowing the Jaguars to bounce a run around the outside and gain extra yards.
The Mounties have to stay disciplined, something they struggled to do at times last week.
If the ends, outside linebackers and defensive backs keep to their responsibilities, they should be able to snuff any outside runs out immediately.
Scott has a decent arm, but many of his passes end up close to the line on short outs and screen passes.
So if the Mounties can clamp down on the run, they should also be able to contain those short throws.
On offense, MHS knows that the Jaguars will concentrate on closing down Danny Webb. EO plays mostly five-man fronts, meaning they load the line with five defensive linemen.
However, the Jaguars linebackers tend to set up too close to the offensive line, and if Webb — or Josh Crawford or Willie Matthews — gets past the line of scrimmage, they’ll likely face only one or two defenders and a lot of open field.
Given Earle’s field vision and arm, as well as the aggressive Mounties receivers, MHS should also be able to move the ball through the air.
While the Jaguars defense can play a tough brand of football, ultimately the Mounties skill players should be up to the challenge.
Earle up for Award
While the Mounties prepare for their game with the East Orange Jaguars, Tarrin Earle is preparing for a separate battle. Earle has been selected as a Week 5 Nominee for USA Football’s Heart of a Giant award, presented by the Hospital for Special Surgery and the New York Giants.
The Mounties faithful can help him win this one by voting at https://www2.usafootball.com/poll_management/userpoll/19 starting today at 5 p.m. (the link is inactive until that time) and continuing until Oct. 29 at 11:59 p.m. You can vote once every 24 hours, per device.
If Earle advances, he’ll make a video stating why he is the best candidate for the award.
If he wins, Earle gets $3,500 in donated equipment for the MHS team. Then he and head coach John Fiore will attend the Giants-Eagles game on Dec. 17, where they will get a $5,000 check toward new football equipment.
So by helping him out, fans can help the school and program out as well.