When required, Saint Louis Crusaders quarterback Marcus Mariota will use his speed (4.33 in the 40), but it takes more than physical ability to beat a superb Kahuku defense.
In this Aug. 27 nonconference showdown, Saint Louis lines up in a rare double-tight end set. Mariota, in the pistol, has the option of handing off to running back Keanu Mook-Garcia. The offensive line does nothing fancy, just straight-ahead blocks against Kahuku’s four-man front (which actually uses linebackers lined up as defensive ends in this series).
Saint Louis vs. Waianae
7 p.m. Friday, Aloha Stadium
Mariota reads the defensive end, who has been blocked by tight end James Lewis (6-1, 215), and pulls the ball out of Mook-Garcia’s hands. Left guard Houston Clemente seals off the right outside linebacker, while another linebacker who blitzes gets caught in traffic and is neutralized.
All interior defenders go for Mook-Garcia except for defensive tackle Nicholas Acoba, who had Mariota within his reach in the backfield.
However, Mariota escapes from Acoba, heads for the edge, jukes a cornerback and races upfield. Then, he beats two defenders on a cutback and scores on a 51-yard touchdown.
Containing Mariota causes a dilemma. Sit back too long and he’ll pick the defense apart through the air. Attack too soon, and he will leave you behind in the dust, or, as is the case at Aloha Stadium, lying in a pile of little rubber granules.
Note: Mariota executed a similar play against Leilehua on Friday, except the play went to the right side. His big gain in a late, short-yardage situation sealed the win.
MARIOTA READS ABCS AND DES
1. In the pistol, QB Marcus Mariota has the advantage of a double-tight end set, something uncommon to any defense. Mariota fakes to RB Keanu Mook-Garcia, but doesn’t pull the ball out immediately. The RB actually takes a step toward the line of scrimmage, the ‘A’ gap on the right side. This gives the illusion of a true handoff and Mariota sells it beautifully.
2. As the two Crusaders hold the ball, Mariota reads the defensive end, who has been pushed back by tight end (40) James Lewis.
3. Athleticism pays off as Mariota then eludes defensive tackle Nicholas Acoba in the backfield.
4. He heads for the edge, jukes the CB, then sprints upfield, where he cuts back and leaves two more defenders behind.
See the video: bit.ly/f1lgwB