Friday night, the Scouts travel to Glenbard East to face the Rams. The game is the season opener for both teams.
Here’s a ScoutsFootball.com scouting report on the Rams.
School Location: Lombard, IL
Conference Affiliation: Upstate 8 Valley
Head Coach: John Walters, 6th season
2016 Classification Enrollment: 2,288
Last Playoff Appearance: 1999
Did You Know: Former Northwestern Wildcat and Chicago Bear D’Wayne Bates is the Rams Athletic Director.
Glenbard East Offense:
Base Formation: Spread
Tendency: Read option/inside zone
Blocking Style: combination zone/trap
Strength: offensive line
Weakness: skill positions
X-Factor: Quarterback Bret Bushka
Glenbard East scored a lot of points in 2015. Thirty-five points per game in fact. But the Rams replace their quarterback, running backs and wide receivers from a 4-5 team.
Personnel may be different, but not the Rams scheme.
‘We have a pretty good run/pass balance but at the end of the day, we like ot throw it around the yard,” coach John Walters said. Bushka, a sophomore, gets the start one year removed from the Rams freshman squad. He will hand the ball off to running backs Scott Szabo and Jack Oberli.
Where the Rams have size and some experience is in the offensive line. Two players are listed at 280-plus—J. T. Walsh (6-4, 280) and Sam Santiago (6-3, 300). Two other lineman started games in 2015, although not full time. Glenbard East will lean on this position group to control the line of scrimmage and get to the second level.
Glenbard East Defense:
Base Defense: pro 4-3-4
Blitz Tendency: combination pressure/zone
Strength: defensive line
X-Factor: defensive end Tom Flood
The Rams defensive unit is a senior-dominated unit. Their front four possess two physical traits important to success in football—width and height. Flood stands 6-4,
defensive end Zach Thornton 6-2. Interior lineman Cameron Simmons is listed at 6-1, 280 as is Brandon Raines. “We have some pretty big kids up there,” Walters said. “We’re going to try and force the hand of the offense.”
What that means is pressure on the backfield.
“You have to control people’s running game with the four bodies up front. I think if our front four can stop the running back, it makes a team one-dimensional,” Walters said.
Glenbard East mixes up coverages and will sit back in a base ‘40’ front. If the Rams are getting pressure from their front four, there is no reason to blitz. The backside of the defense is inexperienced and could be susceptible to vertical and out routes. With virtually all new starters, it’s impossible to tell how good of a tackling team the Rams are. If the defensive line dominates, it makes the other seven players a lot better.
This is a tough first game match up for the Scouts offensive line. If they are unable to block the Rams front four effectively, it will be difficult for the Scouts to move the football consistently.
Quarterback-designed runs, rollouts and quick screens could be counters to the Rams’ backfield penetration.
Defensively, this is a good match up for the Scouts. The Rams may have a few big offensive lineman but they are not particularly athletic. Lake Forest is a pressure defense and this schematically works to its advantage. The X factor is Bushka, who possesses good speed. Look for the Rams to run him in an attempt to elude Scout blitzes.
This is a coin flip game. A lot of new players for both teams making their first varsity starts. Which team handles the pressure and plays with poise in critical situations will most likely determine outcome.