The passing attack for both St. X and Trinity will be huge, as each leans heavily on the run game. The Tigers go a solid six deep at wideout, and Trinity’s receiving corps is led by a slew of juniors. Whoever can complement the running game through the air most effectively will likely win this game.
St. Xavier Depth Chart
– #21 Jaylon Hibbs- 6’0”| 181 lbs.| Senior
– #17 Mason King- 6’2”| 164lbs.| Senior
– #25 Michael Ackerman- 5’7”| 158 lbs.| Senior
– #16 Griffin Ackermann- 5’10”| 175 lbs.| Senior
– #37 Blake Roshkowski- 5’10”| 167 lbs.| Sophomore
– #2 Colin O’Daniel- 5’11”| 140 lbs.| Junior
St. Xavier Overview
The Tiger receiving corps is experienced and deep with four seniors serving as primary targets for quarterback Noah Houk. As I mentioned earlier, the passing attack Friday night is crucial for the offense to have success. TaiJon Smith will need a few plays off and I look to the receivers to provide those necessary moments of rest. Senior Jaylon Hibbs is a freak athlete who will go up in jump ball situations and come down with it just about every time. He leads the receivers with two touchdowns on the season. Lining up in the slot on the other side of the field is Michael Ackerman who is a burner. Ackerman is comparable to a Wes Welker, Percy Harvin or Brandin Cooks type of receiver. When he gets the ball in space, watch out. He is notorious for catching short passes and taking them deep into an opponent’s territory. The offense runs a lot of screens for Michael and he is a definite threat when the ball is in his hands. Senior Mason King provides Houk with a nice, tall target and has come up with some big catches this season in crunch time. Junior Colin O’Daniel and sophomore Blake Roshkowski provide the true depth of the receiving corps. Both are known for their ability to take the top off of a defense and reel off big chunks of yards after the catch.
I asked Michael Ackerman about what he thought makes the receiving corps such a threat to secondaries.
“I think the biggest threat we have is that all of us are dangerous. It’s hard to lockdown on 3 or 4 receivers at one time,” he said. “You can’t double team us all.”
Trinity Depth Chart
– #10 Rodjay Burns- 6’2″|175 lbs.| Junior
-#80 Dalton Jones- 6’2″|175 lbs.| Junior
– #21 Santo Biddix- 5’9″ | 160 lbs. | Junior
– #13 Jake Woosley- 5’10”| 170 lbs.| Junior
– #1 Connor Carrico- 5’7”| 145 lbs.| Junior
The Trinity corps is not nearly as deep nor experienced as the Tigers, but they are talented. There is a clear-cut number one receiver for the Rocks and his name is Rodjay Burns. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you will. Burns can set the tone of the game in just one play. His quarterback, Ryan Young, spoke glowingly of the two-way star.
“He just really has a feel for the game, he runs great routes and can go get the ball at its highest point when he needs to.”
Junior Dalton Jones is a big target and is a nice counterpart to Burns. In the Rocks’ close victory over Cocoa, Florida, Jones was the difference maker catching 2 passes for 43 yards, both of which went for touchdowns. On the other side of the field, Santo Biddix is a reception monster and can provide a change of pace in the passing game with his short, slashing routes.
EDGE: Both teams have formidable pass catchers that can break a game open in no time. It’s tough to say which one has the edge, but I’m going to side with the Tigers and here’s why: experience. These receivers roll deep and have learned from talented players who came before them. The trio of Ackerman, Hibbs and King have built up great chemistry with their quarterback and know how to get open when it matters. The deep play ability of the underclassmen is very important as well. It will be tough for the Tiger Defense to slow down the Rocks’ receivers, especially Burns, but they will be up for the task. In an almost even matchup, I’m giving St. X the slight advantage over Trinty at wide receiver.