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Scouting: Churchill Chargers, The Hurricane and The Husker

Sunday, October 15, 2006
Any team that gets a player invited to the US Army All American Bowl is special, but when a team has two players invited to play in the prestigious classic you have to pay attention. Churchill has two in the big game Nick Fanuzzi and Ian Harris. Churchill’s offence rotates around Fanuzzi who already has accepted a scholarship offer from the Miami Hurricanes. Churchill is not one dimensional as their defense has been above average for most of the season. Churchill looked real good to make the playoffs after beating Judson in overtime. But after loosing to Mac and barley getting by Roosevelt they look like they might be in a dog fight for the last couple of playoff spots. This game means more to Madison then it does to Churchill but it’s still important to the Chargers.

Churchill Offence: Nick Fanuzzi is a three year starter at QB and his freshman year he played RB on the varsity Charger squad. The name may seem foreign to Madison fans because this will be the first time the Mavs have faced Fanuzzi at QB. The past two years Fanuzzi has not made it to the Madison match up before season ending injuries have occurred. In 2004 Fanuzzi blew out a knee, and followed that up the next year with a broken collar bone in 2005. Even with out playing a full season and with out playing in the playoffs, Fanuzzi and his skills have already received offers from several D-1 Universities and has a verbal acceptance to Miami. Fanuzzi brings in a NFL QB Rating of 80.127, and is the only player to throw the ball for the Chargers this year. He has thrown 6TDs this year and has racked up almost 1000 yards in the air. If that’s not enough Fanuzzi can hurt you with his legs as well. Averaging 14 carries per game and averaging 4.67 yards per carry, adding 6 more TDs on the ground Fanuzzi is a complete player. When Fanuzzi does not handle the ball on the ground the Chargers will give it to their small but quick RB Ruben Resendiz. Resendiz averages just over 16 touches per contest and has scored 9 TDs on the year. He is not a breakaway back but a work horse. Fanuzzi and Resendiz between them have carried 95% of the rushing carries for Chargers in 2006 so don’t expect them to bring in a stable of RBs. On the flip side the receiving corp that Fanuzzi has at his disposal is deep and experienced. Leading the way is the Chargers TE Ian Harris. Harris who is also a three year starter has received several offers from D-1 schools as well and has a verbal commitment to play ball at Nebraska next year. Harris is a big TE that complicates coverage assignments; he has 6 receptions with 2 going for TDs. At wide out Churchill will run several sure-handed speedsters; Ryan Thayer and his 23.56 yards per receptions, Sam Mabry and his team high 17 receptions, and six others with receptions the Chargers are not at a loss for receivers.

Churchill Defense: Churchill’s defense started the year looking like they could carry this team alone to the playoffs. That was until they played MacArthur. The Chargers hit a speed bump on the defensive side of the ball when they got into a score fest with Mac, giving up 55 points and almost 600 yards of total offence in that one contest. Churchill settled down last week against Roosevelt, holding the Roos to 7 points. Churchill does not posses a defense full of stand out players but they do play good team defense. They are not an attacking defense but make stands when they need to. Defensive End Even Montelongo is one of the best linemen in the district and keeping him out of the backfield will be key to the Madison game plan. Churchill’s defense has only allowed 2 100 yard rushers in the 6 games they have played this year. Churchill has not caused a lot of turnovers this year as they only have 5 INTs as a team and have only recovered 3 fumbles and none in district play.

Churchill Special Teams: The Chargers will not win games on special teams but they won’t loose many either. They don’t posses enough speed to be a major threat to return kick offs or punts for TDs but they will try and get quick yards to improve their position. They will bring in a sure footed place kicker in Jason Lewis. Lewis who has hit 3 FGs in 2006 with one going for 41 yards. Lewis is also 17-19 in PATs.

Churchill Coaching and Extras: Coach Carl Gustafson has seen the highs and lows of High School Football at Churchill. He has suffered the last two years with his best athlete sitting on the sidelines for most of the year. He has made the playoffs in the past and has taken Charger teams deep in Region IV. He has been a steady figure at Churchill and this year he has one of his best chances to make it back to the playoffs. The Chargers have not made the playoffs in Football since Reagan opened and started playing varsity ball.

Players to Watch –
#12 – Sr. Ryan Thayer WR
#13 – Sr. Nick Fanuzzi QB
#14 – Jr. Sam Mabry WR
#26 – Sr. Rubin Resendiz RB
#28 – Sr. Jason Lewis K
#84 – Sr. Ian Harris TE
#99 – Sr. Evan Montelongo DE


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