This Maine South team is riding high after an impressive 44-13 win over over reigning 6A state champion Montini. 2015 All Conference RB/SB and junior Fotis Kokosioulis returns with not only his tongue twister of a last name, but an impressive early showing on the football field excelling with 20 carries for 183 yards and 2 TDs. I actually had someone reach out to me and ask why Fotis was not on any of my 2018 watch lists to which I replied that he was on my list to evaluate, but I haven’t had the chance to do so yet (Spoiler alert: He’s someone to watch out for this season and will be on the next list). Senior Nick Leongas came up big for the Hawks against Montini completing 15 of 24 passes for 278 yards, 3 passing TDs and 1 rushing TD. Leongas fumbled early leading to a scoop and score for Montini, but after that Leongas settled in and went off against the Broncos. He must take care of the football this game in order to beat this tough Loyola defense. Leongas has some talented receivers on the outside in 2015 All Conference WR Matt Holbrook and the big (6’6″ 205 lbs) Luke Hinkamp. Look for Leongas to target these two receivers as well as Kokosioulis out of the backfield/slot. Now the moment I’ve been waiting for: Michigan State commit and LPI #1 OL Kevin Jarvis. Jarvis is a big “kid” at 6’5″ 340 lbs, but what sets him apart is his exceptional athletic ability. He’s quick off the line, is a natural knee bender and dominates the point of attack. I’ve talked to my uncle about him numerous times and we just love this kid. I simply cannot speak highly enough of him and I image Loyola will have a tough time dealing with him this game. This offense can put up points in a hurry, but don’t forget about this defense that held Montini to only 13 points. Seniors Michael Pusateri, Jack Pistorius and Emmett Zima are back to make an impact on defense.
Keys To The Game
1. Kevin Jarvis and the rest of the Maine South OL must control the line of scrimmage against this dangerous Loyola front 7. If they can open holes for Kokosioulis to run through and can control the clock I think they can do very well this game.
2. On defense, the Hawks have to keep tabs on a lot of weapons in the Loyola offense. If the Hawks can put pressure on Loyola QB Tom Herion and somehow slow down TE Jake Marwede and David Terrell Jr. at the same time they will put themselves in good position this game.
Other Players To Watch
Dan O’Malley, John Cleary, Simon Tsehaye, Sean McNulty,
Gone now are the likes of Eric Eshoo (Northwestern), Ben LeRoy (Northern Illinois) and John Shannon (Notre Dame). Coach John Holecek and this Loyola squad are a team that seems to reload each and every year and are primed to make another deep playoff run this season. Coming off an 8A state championship victory in 2015 the Ramblers cruised passed Marquette University (WI) 36-7 in their 2016 opener. Tom Herion (LPI #17 QB) won the QB battle this offseason and performed well in his first varsity start throwing 17 completions on 28 attempts for 180 yards and a touchdown. Herion is very intriguing to me this year as he’s got good feet, isn’t the fastest guy but is quick, can throw well on the run and is very accurate when he sets his feet. He’s only 6’1″, less than ideal height for college coaches, but he’s a good player that leads the best team in the state so I’d love to see him do well this year and pick up a few D2 or possibly D1 offers. Herion’s go to guys are going to be Duke commit and TE Jake Marwede (LPI #2 TE) as well as go to receiver David Terrell Jr. Marwede previously backed up at QB, but has since switched over to and excelled at the TE position. He has a big and athletic body at 6’5″ 235 lbs that is a matchup nightmare for defenses. On film, Marwede routinely uses his large frame to shield off defenders and simply outleap them for the catch. Marwede didn’t play last weekend because of a minor injury, but if he suits up this weekend I fully expect him to have a big game. Colgate commit Jack Badovinac (LPI #11 OL) is going to anchor the line for the Ramblers and is going to be another to watch on offense. On the other side of the ball UConn commit Ian Swenson (LPI #4 DB) and Mickey Kane lead the Loyola defense. Swenson is another in a long line of big CBs to be highly recruited. At 6’1″ 185 lbs Swenson uses his great size and speed to lock down opposing WRs. He is also very physical and hits like a safety by routinely laying punishing blows on ball carriers. Mickey Kane is another player to watch out for this game as he’s your prototypical OLB/DE rusher that can get to the QB in a hurry.
Keys To The Game
1. Herion has to look to his playmakers in Marwede and Terrell Jr. If they are locked down on the outside Hamid Bullie will have to carry the workload at running back and he showed he is more than capable with 134 yards and a TD on the ground against Marquette Academy last weekend.
2. The Loyola defense has to contain the many weapons of the Maine South offense. I fully expect the Ramblers to key in on Kokosioulis and do a good job at limiting him this game. If the Loyola defense can limit big plays I can see them doing very well this game.
Other Players To Watch
Jack Moran, Hamid Bullie, John Brekke, Noah Jones, Charlie Gilroy, Anthony Romano.