Division 4A Showdown Preview: Graham vs. Springtown

Gavin DunawayBy Gavin DunawayAugust 30, 20204 Minutes

On Friday, September 4, the Springtown Porcupines will host a non-conference game against the Graham Steers. Despite the fact that both teams are ranked within the top 10 of their respective divisions, this game has the potential to be decided by a big gap in points.

In week one, the Steers earned a resounding 50-14 win over the Alvarado Indians. They finished the game with 374 yards of total offense, 226 of which came through the air. Graham’s defense limited Alvarado to just 274 yards of total offense. The defense also only allowed 32 yards in passing throughout the game and intercepted the ball twice.

Springtown started off the season with a 27-13 loss against the Glen Rose Tigers. The Porcupines only managed to accrue 212 total yards, most of which came through the passing game. Considering that Springtown’s Quarterback Camden Chesney averaged roughly 210 passing yards per game last season,  this first match was a rough one.

Although the Tigers may be a tougher opponent than the Indians, Alvarado is certainly no pushover team. They have consistently made it to the playoffs in the last five years.

The last time the Porcupines and Steers faced off was in late September of last year and Springtown dominated with a 46-7 victory over Graham. The Steers were locked up defensively, only being able to put up 241 yards of total offense. However, that stat could shift immensely in this upcoming match considering how both teams’ rosters look this season.

Graham is an extremely senior-heavy team this year. 10 of the returning seniors will be on their third year starting for the varsity squad.

Among those returning for the Steers is Senior QB Hunter Lanham. In his junior year, Lanham threw for over 1,900 yards and 23 touchdowns. In last week’s game against Alvarado, he threw for 226 yards and four touchdowns. Two of those touchdown passes were thrown to senior wideout Daniel Gilbertson. Gilbertson was Lanhman’s favorite target last season, receiving for over 700 yards and seven touchdowns.

Springtown also has some key offensive players returning this season. Most notably is star QB Camden Chesney. Chesney was a top 10 QB in all of Divison 4A-1 last year, throwing for 3,112 yards and 37 touchdowns. Chesney’s main target from last season, Andy Behle, is another crucial return for the Porcupine offense. He received for 807 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

While the Porcupines have retained critical players on the offensive side of the ball, the defense will look much different. They have lost their top four tacklers in LB Trey Appel, LB Ricky Bell, LB Josh Mote, and DB Aaron Foster. Appel, Bell, and Mote were all in the top 20 of Division 4A-1 for total tackles. Foster led the division in total interceptions with seven of them.

Ultimately, Graham has a significant advantage in this matchup in terms of the overall experience on the team. While the Porcupines have some exceptional offensive weapons in Chesney and Behle, they struggled last week and will now have to face five three-year starters on the Steers defense. Graham’s edge in team chemistry combined with Springtown’s loss of major defensive weapons will give the Steers a decisive victory in this match.

Gavin’s Prediction: Steers win by at least 10 points