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Scout Wagner Thunderbirds: Speed On Display!

Sunday, September 10, 2006
Welcome to “The 265”! Its district play and now the games really count. Madison has given up 1 TD and a FG in two games this year and will take that stellar defense on the road to Judson stadium to take on Wagner in the district opener. Wagner will be playing in their first ever 26-5A game and will be sky high coming into the game. What will Wagner bring to the table? Your guess is as good as ours. Being a new program with a first year head coach the one thing you have to expect is the unexpected.

Panther Offence: Unlike O’Connor who tried to overpower the Mavs, Wagner will look a lot like… Well… Madison! Speed will be the key for Wagner as they are young but very fast. The Thunderbirds offence revolves around QB Joshua Rubio. The young signal caller directs an explosive backfield that can break away at anytime. Wagner will use a stable of speedsters in the backfield and will look to get to the corner and put pressure on the Maverick defense. Wagner will be quick but a bit small upfront; they will try to overcome their size issues by running traps and sweeps to isolate one side of the defense. Being a young team and young program don’t look for the Thunderbirds to pull a bunch of trick plays out of their hat but they will be looking to execute in their Home district opener.

Panther Defense: Wagner defense has been attacked on the ground in the first two weeks by Rock-Fulton and then last week by Clemens. The Buffalo’s last week ran the ball very effectively against Wagner and RB JJ Johnson not only ran for 305 yards, and scored 5 TDs but picked up Offensive player of the week by the Express-News. We should see a healthy dose of Devin Thomas running the ball as the Mavs might have the chance to look like the Mavs of old against this defense.

The Thunderbirds like on offence will be quick and their defense will have a chip on their shoulder in their first district contest. Speed will be the key for the defense as they will try and track down the Maverick runners on the field.

Panther Special Teams: Wagner will bring an untested special teams unit to the field. Expect the unexpected with the kick returns and punt returns as the Thunderbirds will be looking for field position with the speed they will bring to the table.

Panther Coaches and Extras: Wagner head coach Pete Gibbens knows the Mavs well as he was the Judson Rockets defensive coordinator before becoming the Wagner Head Coach. Gibbens is a graduate of MacAthur High School and has been with the Judson Rockets for 23 years before going to Wagner last year. He has 6 State Championship rings all from Judson. He knows the Maverick scheme and will have his kids prepared to play against the electric Madison game plan.



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