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SAINT FRANCIS AT SIENA HEIGHTS

Records: No. 6 Cougars (2-1); No. 25 Siena Heights (3-1)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: O’Laughlin Stadium, Adrian, Mich.

Radio: 1450 AM

3 matchups to watch

Saint Francis DBs vs. Siena Heights TE Donovan Campbell: Campbell has been Siena Heights quarterback Matt King’s go-to guy, with 26 receptions for 362 yards and a team-high five touchdowns. No other receiver has caught as many as 10 passes for the Saints. If Taylor Brown, Tracy Hathaway and Kory Stamps can either take Campbell away or limit him to considerably less than his 13.9 yards per catch, King will have to look elsewhere to put up his numbers. This season, King has completed 64.4 percent of his passes for 630 yards and the five touchdowns to Campbell. If Saint Francis can accomplish that task, then half of a balanced Siena Heights attack (422.5 yards per game, 191 on the ground and 235.5 in the air) will be blunted.

Siena Heights down seven vs. Saint Francis RB by committee: The timing could not be worse. The Cougars lose leading rusher and scorer Antoin Campbell for the season with a torn ACL the very week they take on a Siena Heights defense that has been plenty stingy – 13.8 ppg and 323.8 ypg – but especially so against the run, where opponents have averaged 134.5 ypg and 4.0 yards per carry. Leading the way has been LB Tyler Karcher (a team-high 25.5 tackles including three tackles for loss) plus DBs Sederick Dunbar and DeShawn Gilbert and LB Trenton Bragg, who have 56 tackles, three tackles for loss and four interceptions among. All told, eight Saints have 12 or more tackles.

Saint Francis third down offense vs. Siena Heights third down offense: Another matchup that could turn things one way or another. The Cougars haven’t been lights-out on third down, converting 18 of 41 (43.9 percent). Siena Heights, meanwhile, has been more anemic than that, converting just 20 of 56 (36 percent). Converting third downs keeps drives going, and, with Campbell out, more of the responsibility for doing that will fall on Saint Francis QB Josh Miller. King, meanwhile, has RB Travis Damron (289 yards, 1 TD) to lean on if necessary on third-and-short.

bensmith@jg.net

– Ben Smith, The Journal Gazette

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