Smith, Fairfield Prep score big win over Xavier

FAIRFIELD >> Junior quarterback Colton Smith ran for 299 yards, threw for 128 more, scored three touchdowns and threw for another to lead Fairfield Prep to a 46-27 win over Xavier at Alumni Field on the campus of Fairfield University Saturday night.

With the win, Prep’s first over Xavier since 2008, the Jesuits projected themselves into the Class LL playoff picture.

“It’s euphoria,” Prep linebacker and fullback Nick Crowle said. “I’m at a loss for words. Xavier’s a great team. We came out and played the game of our lives. I’m speechless.”

Three-time defending Class LL champion Xavier is likely out of the postseason with the loss, though it can still squeak into the postseason if several teams lose on Thanksgiving week.

“We’ve had great victories here at Prep,” coach Tom Shea said. “This was one of them. Xavier has been the dominant program for three years, but now we’ve arrived. Our offense was terrific tonight and our defense made plays when it had to.”

Prep took a 6-0 lead at 6:43 of the first quarter on an 8-yard run by Crowle (18 carries, 129 yards), but Xavier bounced back on a 38-yard run by Andrew Meoli (20 carries, 154 yards) for its only lead, 7-6.

Prep added two more first-half scores on a pass from Smith to John Delisanti of 11 yards and a 34-yard run by Crowle. Xavier scored on a 27-yard run by Meoli just before the half to cut Prep’s lead to 18-13 at the break.

The turning point came with 5 minutes left in the third and Prep leading 24-20. On fourth and one at his own 21-yard line, Xavier coach Sean Marinan decided to go for it. The pass from Joe Carbone to Meoli lost two yards. Prep took over and scored and the game spiraled out of control for Xavier.

“I mismanaged the game,” said Marinan. “This is one me. It’s my fault. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I completely outcoached myself.”

After that call by Marinan, Prep exploded for three touchdowns to take a 46-20 lead. Two of the TD runs were by Smith of 40 and 34 yards. Those were in addition to his 80-yard jaunt that opened the second half.

Xavier got an 84-yard kickoff return after Prep took the 26-point lead to account for the Falcons’ final touchdown.

Prep (8-2) had 561 yards offense, 433 on the ground and the 128 in the air on a 7-for-9 performance by Smith.

Xavier (7-3) had 335 yards, 266 on the ground — Carbone had 112 on 12 carries — and 69 in the air on an 11-for-26 performance by Carbone. He also threw an interception in the first half that led to a Prep score.

“We knew their quarterback was a very good runner,” said Marinan. “But we weren’t prepared for him to be their offense. We were over pursuing and we couldn’t stop him. Prep has a very good team. I thought we were coming back, but then I blew it.”

Xavier can now just sit and wait for Thanksgiving results to come in. Prep (vs. West Haven), Staples (vs. Greenwich) and Trumbull (vs. St. Joseph) would all need to lose for Xavier to start believing it can defend its Class LL title again.

Sean Patrick Bowley contributed.


  1. mr potato head says

    congrats to prep. well done. not a surprise to me. and congrats to xavier on 3 great years. and who knows x could still make it to the playoffs.
    stupid call for xavier to go for it on their own 21. however, that was a detail. the quotes from xavier in this article seem to fall into the damning with faint praise category eg ” we werent prepared for him ie the qb to be the offense” ..’this ones on me…i outcoached myself”. you didnt outcoach yourself coach. believe it or not, the coach across the field did that. and xavier got its butt kicked in this game on the field. prep outgained X by 220 yards and beat them by 3 tds. easily could have been more.

  2. The Truth Hurts says

    Prep was way to physical for Xavier and deserved the win.Colton Smith had a game for the ages against a good defense.Although Prep was the better team that night the play call on 4th and inches was about as bad as could have been called and gave Prep a little extra juice to pull away.

  3. UBilly says

    Good solid complete game win by Prep. X seemed to lose heart in second half, maybe too many “must wins” in a row?

    Coach Shay, I don’t know if you “have arrived” yet. First win next game against WHHS to make the playoffs before you can jump into the “dominant program” category you are trying to join.

    Xavier’s fourth and one call looked like the one Berlin made v HH in last year’s M championship game. It really seemed to inspire Prep, much as HH was last year. I think the payoff of making the first down v. the risk must make you play the percentages and kick.

    If Prep can make the playoffs, they certainly can make a deep run as I do not see a dominant team in LL this year. Would love a matchup with Newtown in the first round if I am Prep!

  4. RAY BROWN says

    xavier a top ten team? gimme a break—-ansonia would hang 50 on them—–note to xhs,scc and whoever——xavier—-shelton basketball scrimmage monday——enjoy

  5. justme says

    I think the adults working and attending the prep game should be more than ashamed of themselves for their unsportsmanlike conduct and for teaching your spoiled children to follow suit. Regardless of the score, you are dominant in rude and deplorable behavior, nothing else. Money will never buy you heart or class and the boys and their people from Xavier were the big winners there. Jesuits? I think not. Not even close.

      • justme says

        From beginning to end the people there were the nastiest I have ever had the displeasure of having to come in contact with. I have been attending youth sports for many, many years. That was, by far, one of the absolute worst ever. Open your eyes and your ears. Hats off to the coaches and administrators of Xavier for keeping things in check on their end. Madison game? Same thing. Host team was disgusting. Xavier was honorable, after winning the game on Hand’s turf. Fake. Fake turf, fake people.

        • scc fan says

          wow! in regards to xaviers “honorability”, i have heard & experienced quite the opposite. the chain guys (working the xavier side line) for the hand-xavier game said that they had never heard a more foul mouthed or unsportsman like coaching staff than xaviers– and they have been holding the chains at strong field for 35 years.

          • scc fan says

            next time you see coach marinan, ask him how he behaved at the uconn-michigan game. it was far from honorable. it comes from the top down.

        • PrepPal says

          @JustMe I’m not sure what game you were at but, you seem confused. Of course the Prep fans cheered but, NO ONE was out of line until after the game when the Xavier players completely trashed their locker room. Never before has a visiting team done that. Learning to lose is an important part of the game and clearly Xavier parents haven’t taught their children how to do that.

        • Go SCC says

          @JustMe My friends parents invited me to see their son play the first game of the season at Palmer when xavier played staples. Now I do not attend Xavier but my neighbor does so I went to see my friend play and what not. When I say I’ve never been with a group of parents more trashy,ignorant,rude, and obnoxious then the Xavier parents I’d be lying. No respect. Every time staples scored you’d hear from parents (not kids) all swears saying f bombs towards the staples football team. And it was just. Ugh. Disgusting. Never again will I ever be forced or even go near the parents of xavier. Never. Again.

          Also if your a classy person and your kids attend Xavier and you want you kids to be known as fine and classy young men… your at the wrong school. Send them down to fairfield county or at least a prep school.

  6. jeb says

    Just a few thoughts on the Xavier-Prep game:

    1. How did Newtown let Colton Smith get out of town? If someone from Newtown has any information as to why he left NHS please inform us. This kid could come back to haunt you!

    2. I’m sorry Xavier bloggers but this years Ansonia team would beat you by at least 40 points. Xavier has zero run defense and that is Ansonia’s strength.

    3. Prep will win the class L title if it beats West Haven on Thanksgiving Day. I only saw the Westies against Greenwich so I may be underestimating them. Prep must find a kicker though…Prep was running through Xavier all night but when it came to extra points they passed it. Go figure!!!

    4. Next year the schedule makers in the SCC or the FCIAC should make sure they always have a marquee Saturday night game. The crowd was electric with two very good teams.

    • justme says

      Of course Ansonia can win. They have a 20 year old and a bunch of kids who don’t live in Ansonia on the team. Duh. West Haven? 1, 2, 3……watch them go…….

    • says

      Once again I get dumber reading this blog!!! Ansonia 40 points better than Xavier???? Ok so the last 3 Xavier teams would beat Ansonia by 50-60 each time? There is no chance none that Ansonia beats X by 40!!!!! no chance in hell If you won the game it would be a miracle. Here’s a question for Ansonia fan’s Why is it that every expert that has no affiliation with either school and some not even the state thinks Ansonia is crap. I mean they wouldn’t even win the game never mind win by 40. Just another idiot who doesn’t know the game at all!!!!!!! It’s really embarrassing to our state how uneducated most people are in football

    • Kahona says

      Jeb really if Ansonia played X schedule they would be as beat up as X is.Iam not an X blogger however give them credit 4 there game. And 40 points you may have to think about that

  7. jeb says

    Attention:Just me says,

    I had no dog in the fight but I was sitting on the Prep are way off base in your comments about poor sportsmanship. The only thing I heard was some Prep fathers begging the coach to”do the math and kick the extra point”. That was it.

  8. Sccfan says

    I guess it’s been so long since Xavier’s gotten spanked like that you forget they had such sore losers within their community (justme comments) but hats off to prep. Tremendous pass and run defense and Colton smith and nick crowle is all I need to say about their offense. Very exciting team to watch

    • X Man says

      Please don’t bunch the entire Xavier community with whiners like justme, most of us have accepted defeat silently. Complaining about the fans, regardless of the outcome, is petty and pathetic. I don’t think anyone assumes people from Ansonia are moronic and ignorant just because Ray Brown is. So don’t assume all Xavier fans are cry babys, because at the end of the day most of us are still proud of the team we had this year, championship or not. Peace.

      • JB says

        X Man – I am on your side. We (Staples) played Xavier at Palmer in week 1 and you have a strong team. Your fans were great and the environment was perfect. We lost that game, but it made us better. Probably will be my only time at Palmer and I am fortunate to have had the experience. Hopefully, Staples can provide your fans with a good environment next year and a very competitive game.

        To all those pretenders in the SWC, CCC and NVL … you don’t get it. When you look in the mirror, it will not lie. Good luck in the playoffs. You better strap it on because you are going to find out what real competition is like.

        • RAY BROWN says

          what are you talking about?staples couldnt win last year with”best team in state” bottom line —–both teams stink

        • X Man says

          JB – Glad to hear that, and we’re very much looking forward to the rematch in Westport next year. Always fun to play a program like Staples.

  9. LOL says

    Stop complaining and arguing, you’re all jokes. This is high school football – let the kids play. No need to go online and anonymously fight about it.

  10. SCC/FCIAC>SWC/NVL says

    For all those assuming Colton Smith is the only weapon in Prep’s offense. DID YOU WATCH THE GAME LAST NIGHT?! Nicholas Crowle might be the most impressive power back in the state. Also, they have big play receivers such as Delisanti (jr.) Beiser (So.), Walsh (Sr.) These kids are for real. @Sean Patrick Bowley – your thoughts?

    • Sean Patrick BowleySean Patrick Bowley says

      My thought is, how did Prep lose to Hand the way it did?

      Also: Love the Crowle option up the middle. Linebackers beware.

      It’s the offensive line that makes Prep. When they’re playing well, they’re tough to stop.

      Gotta play D vs. Westies.

      • Tiger Pride says

        Because Hand can lose to or beat anyone on any given night depending on who shows up. When you start 7 sophomores that’s how it is.

        • JB says

          Hand out-coached Prep … Smith had 3 yards rushing. All you have to do is key on Smith and Prep has not much else. Great OL for Prep, but if your LBs and DBs are disciplined like Hand played the game then Prep’s offense is average. Have no idea what film Xavier used to scheme the game, but it wasn’t the Hand tape.

          West Haven has way more speed than Xavier. Prep has no speed, except Smith. Contain Smith and game over.

          • fciac jr says

            JB, so the other 9 teams Prep played couldn’t figure out how to stop one player? Only Hand? Smith did throw for over 300 yards against Hand so maybe he was just throwing himself the ball as they have nobody else on their offense.

  11. Xavier Student says

    Both teams had great seasons. Good luck to Prep in the playoffs. My boys over at X have the most heart out of any team I have ever seen. These past 4 years have been insane, but we can all agree that even the strongest of programs can have a rough year or two.

  12. TheTruth Hurts says

    The SCC in 2013 is the 2nd best conference in the State .I give a slight edge to the FCIAC.That being stated the SCC may put only 1-3 teams in the post season due to the competitive nature of the League.This is why when a SCC team wins a LL or L title with an undefeated or 1 lose record they are without question tops in the poll.Xavier is still a good team that would run threw a league like the NVL without a problem and would be on par with it’s best club.

  13. potato head says

    a few points:
    -credit to how strong Xavier’s program is and the respect it enjoys, that any team considers a win over X such an acomplishment.
    -yes prep has to beat WH to get into the playoffs. if prep does not beat WH the win over X will count for little and prep will not really have “arrived”
    -prep lost to hand because any of the top D1 schools is capable of beating any of the others on any given night. truth is hand is in a bit of a rebuilding year and has done remarkably well in light of that. game was at the surf club which matters. and pprep had a meltdown early. these meltdowns early or late have been a weakness.
    -prep vs WH. will be two top 10 teams. prep is playing at home. and prep needs to win to get in playoffs whereas WH is in. hard to quantify how this plays out. prep’s weaknesses are lousy special teams eg another kick off returned for td vs X like at hand, no extra points etc, suspect tackling at times, no real tailback (but the combination of smith, crowle and some play action may offset). WH has a great tailback of course and a QB who can also run extremely well. this is where prep’s at times suspect tackling may come into play. WH is more physical up fromt than X this year. anyway, interesting game for in effect the SCC D1 to the scc that this is more interesting than the LL playoffs.
    -also great that we are not hearing alot of whining from
    the scc about the LL playoff point system, which clearly does
    not give enough credit to strength of schedule and quality wins.
    -finally, some the comments on this blog are absurd. justme aand ray-get back on the prosac..

    give enough credit to strength of schedule and quality wins.

  14. says

    The SCC without question without any argument just pure fact is the best conference in Connecticut. I don’t care about the SCC/FCIAC challenge big deal so they won a couple more games on the one year the SCC is down. If they had that bs challenge every year the FCIAC would have pulled a Derby/Middletown move and got out of it. Since the formation of the SCC they have the best overall players and the best teams its ignorant to even challenge that. Leagues like the NVL have 3 maybe 4 players in the league that are SCC quality and lets be honest a couple teams in the SCC wouldn’t have a job for the Ansonia RB. If WH didnt run wing T Newsome is a back up. Hes a back up to Cooper at Hillhouse and you can’t Argue that either. Cooper is the fastest player in the state bar none. I don’t want to hear that they don’t run track or any of that BS either because they would get smoked if they did. Most Ansonia kid’s don’t even start and some not play in the New Haven/FField all star game. It’s a joke that there are people that actually believe what comes out of there mouths concerning HS football. Comparing the NVL to the SCC is like comparing Southern CT to Florida St meaning there is no comparison. I dislike myself for even reading this garbage

    • Hannibal Barca says

      Haha, living up to the ignorant namesake of the Williams character, eh? Learning the difference between a fact and an opinion will go a long way for you, sonny. Based on on the field fact, this year FCIAC is the best. The charm of HS football is the rapid change in fortune from year to year, well run programs like Ansonia, Hand, Staples, Xavier, New Canaan, etc notwithstanding. In any event, conferences don’t win anything. Individual teams do. Conferences aid only in providing loose benchmarks.

    • RAY BROWN says

      newsome a backup ? better stop hitting that pipe stan——-the new haven—-ffld all-star game? lol track and field?”lol—–inhale slowly stan

  15. jeb says

    Dear The Truth Hurts,

    I’m not talking about the past two Xavier teams..they were excellent and would beat anybody but this years X team is not in that category. That’s why I think Ansonia would beat them run defense pure and simple. The Prep QB and fullback were running untouched like a touch football saw it so you must agree this is not a vintage X team.

  16. Rob (On Connecticut's East Coast) says

    I wanted to respond regarding the Fans. For those who have posted on this thread that either Team’s fans are unsportsmanlike, I invite you to The Rose City on Connecticut’s East Coast on Thanksgiving for Norwich VS New London. NFA’s bleachers are set up such that fans from both teams sit on the same side of the field. I would assert that you have no freaking idea how bad fans can be until you go to a game like NFA VS NL. To add to the atmosphere this year, NFA is siting 3rd in the LL’s and 2-loss New London will be fighting to get into or improve their Class L playoff position. Add heat and watch this simmer boil over. I truly hope that there are enough experienced police personnel at the field or you might see an European style Soccer Brawl. From experience, at both Norwich and New London, these are simply the worst fans in the state with regard to behaving themselves and providing any sort of reputable example of how to behave for their athletes.

    • ciacfollower says

      aside from the tiny ‘Xavier stands’ @the west end zone, the new Surf Club field is set up the same way, with one large set of bleachers on the north (Hand) side so opposing fans are mostly side by side…only a matter of time.

      If I didnt have family obligations, I would make the trek out to Norwich to experience that scene on Thanksgiving Day.

      • Rob (On Connecticut's East Coast) says

        They genuinely dislike each other and their population base supports unruly behavior, profanity and “Un-Parent-Like” behavior.

        If you are at New London, the area behind the visitors bleachers, up and to your left if you are facing the field, is called the “Dog Pound”. It’s where all the miscreants who refuse to give their school $5 for admittance gather, drink, smoke and act deliriously moronic. They gather there even during youth games to the point that we urged, successfully, for our cheerleaders to just go ahead and leave, yes it’s that bad.

        As for Norwich, until this year I would have just said they were “Boisterous” however one parent took the liberty of the First Amendment to mean that she could engage the Opposing Head Coaches wife with her filth and insults. At one point she even spit at opposing fans who were leaving after NFA had won. Several other fans (either parents or adults) went to the visiting teams bus and chanted over and over go home losers and you suck.

  17. Coach Kay says

    to Potato Head:

    Obviously you didn’t see the X-WH game as X dominated the LOS. Even Coach McCarthy said they got their #*%es kicked all night long. WH won that game because of 4 breakaway plays on O and a great goal-line stand in OT. Prep will dominate WH’s line of scrimmage, they just have to stop the 2-headed monster of Phillips and Gary, then go on and win LL this year.

    As a prelude to 2014, in spite of X losing Meoli and Carbone, they will be much stronger returning 6 starters on O and 7 starters on D, Hand will be tougher and Prep returns a solid team. It should be a fun year in the SCC again, the best conference in the state by far!

  18. X FAN I AM says

    The way I figger it, Xavier can beat Middletown on Tanksgiven and use those 200 playoff points to move up the ranks in class LL. Rootin for ya Birds! I can’t remember who (but it was somebody famous) said it best, “It ain’t over til it’s over”.

    • Not Ray Brown says

      You must be really out of the loop, X doesn’t play Middletown on Thanksgiving anymore and they couldn’t find an opponent to fill that game so barring a Turkey Day Miracle, Xavier’s season is done.

  19. Beano Cook says

    This is an interesting thread, Hand didn’t even play on Saturday Night, and they still get ink. When people speak or write negatively about the Hand program it’s so obvious they envy what those coaches and kids do. When Xavier beat Hand, the X kids dumped a Gatorade bucket on the coaches head, that was their state championship this year. Xavier has been very good the past 3 seasons, good for them. Their fans were deplorable at the Surf Club, you can’t buy yourself an education and get class from it. Madison kids stay in Madison, going to Xavier is a step down educationally, and Palmer field not a stadium atmosphere.

    • Not Ray Brown says

      Umm Hand seems to be talked about on most threads here so get used to it, and after doing a quick scan of this one I don’t see what you’re getting so upset about. X was pumped when they beat Hand this year because Hand ended their winning streak last year and knew it was a win or go home situation, don’t flatter yourself by calling that game their championship. And they didn’t celebrate anymore than Hand did when they ended that winning streak last year. Maybe you should complain to the CIAC that Palmer isn’t a stadium atmosphere, they seem to keep scheduling playoff games there every year for some reason, do you know something the rest of the state doesn’t? And it’s absolutely insane this is even being addressed, but as someone who moved around a lot when I was younger and attended BOTH Hand and Xavier, I can assure you Xavier is not a step down educationally. Please keep your ignorant and unnecessary comments to yourself, unless you have something better to bring to the table.

  20. Hand Fan says

    Times have changed. Xavier is a huge step down from Hand educationally. No Comparison. Hand is a top 10 school district in the state. Where Xavier isn’t even close.

    • Not Ray Brown says

      This really isn’t the place to be discussing this, but I respectfully disagree. I’m not that old (I graduated from college 3 years ago) so times haven’t changed as much as you think. Not arguing that Hand isn’t a great school district, but to say they’re not even close is inaccurate. I’ll take my experience at the two over any statistic out there.

  21. RAY BROWN says

    love reading the SCC cry babies——bottom line—–there isnt a title contender in whole league——thank god for expanded playoffs

  22. CT_YANKEE_IN_NC says

    While I generally agree on several of Stan Kawalski’s assertions, he whines like a petulant child. You speak of the ignorance of CT sports fans on this blog yet are unwilling to ever concede a point to someone with an opposing view. Everyone is a “joke” & “knows nothing about high school football” but the all-knowing Stan Kawalski has all the answers and his positions are final and always correct. This blog is a great forum for people to express their points of view or express an opinion but I hate to break the news to you but you don’t have a monopoly on being correct all the time. Your assertion of the SCC’s dominance is a case in point. You state your opinion that the SCC is league supreme without any specifics to support your position. Generally speaking when one wants to get a point across they provide a little thing called facts. You then quickly pivot and make the proclamation that the results of the SCC-FCIAC Challenge don’t matter in your decision making. Which makes sense; because any reasonable person would acknowledge that the top 10 FCIAC football teams owned the SCC (see below). Below, is my humble opinion on recent topics that have fired you up as of late.
    The Great Ansonia Debate
    No one can argue that Ansonia is the most division specific dominant team in the history of CT. Their record speaks for itself. My personal opinion is that they play in a poor league but they have clearly been the most dominant and talented team year after year in the NVL. Do I think they would be as successful in the SCC or FCIAC? No, I do not. I think the physicality and the grind of the season would wear on them and result in losses. I don’t think 5/6 loss seasons would be the norm for them; nor do I believe they would consistently go undefeated or be a one loss team year after year. They would have good years, average years and occasional down years like most all other teams. The fact is we will never know for sure because they do not play an SCC or FCIAC schedule.
    SCC Football Historically
    Based on recent year’s results I would agree that the SCC has been the best league in the state followed by the FCIAC. I had some time today so I took the opportunity to review the CIAC website and dig around some data. In reviewing the results this is what I found for the past 13 seasons (2000 – 2012):
    Number of teams qualifying for the state tournament in all classes: FCIAC 44 / SCC 43
    Record of the qualifying teams: FCIAC 50-31 (.617) / SCC 56 -22 (.717)
    Head to head tournament results: SCC leads the series 12-9
    Championship Game appearances: FCIAC 26 games & SCC 26 games
    Championship Game Win / Loss Records: FCIAC 14-12 & SCC 20-6
    To me these facts support your position that the SCC has been the best league in the state. However, I do not subscribe to your assertion that the SCC has been dominant. Frankly, the overall body of work for both leagues suggests that there is a fairly slim margin separating the two.
    SCC Football 2013 Season
    No one can argue that head to head matchups are the best way to determine which team is better. After last week’s results here are the results of FCIAC & SCC matchups for the top ten teams in each respective league. I used the most recent standings I could find.
    FCIAC: New Canaan, St. Joe’s, Staples, Trumbull, Darien, Ridgefield, McMahon, Greenwich, Westhill & Ludlowe
    SCC: Xavier, Prep, Shelton, Amity, West Haven, Hand, Notre Dame, Cheshire, Guilford and North Haven
    FCIAC Record 10-2 (.833 winning percentage)
    SCC Record 3-7 (.300 winning percentage)
    SCC Record adding Hillhouse & Foran 4-8 (.333 winning percentage)

    The FCIAC’s winning percentage is more than two and one half times higher than the SCC’s winning percentage. On the bright side, this season’s SCC’s winning percentage against the FCIAC is .050 points higher than the ’62 Mets! Please don’t march out you’re old and tired excuses (Prep fell apart at the end and postponement of WH/Greenwich game in progress). It flies in the face of your omniscient knowledge of high school football. In sports you either win or you lose. This year the SCC teams have lost a lot more than they won against the FCIAC and the FCIAC teams have had the superior winning percentage. Next year the result may be the complete opposite. Who knows? It’s high school football. People have teams they passionately support and it makes high school sports great. However, the key is to not let your support blind or taint your reasoning. A little objectivity never hurts.

    • Sean Patrick BowleySean Patrick Bowley says

      After all the justified yakking after last season’s state championship trifecta, the SCC’s just not dominant this year. These things go in waves.

  23. Coach Kay says

    Most of the SCC’s top JV team’s (Hand, X, WH, Prep) could beat everyone in NVL with the exception of Ansonia, then the varsity teams may have to step in.

  24. potato head says

    Coach Kay-i stand corrected. You are correct. X did dominate the line. WH-Prep-the issue is can prep contain WHs tailback and QB?

  25. potato heasd says

    prep is going to have to do a much better job of tackling and containing the run vs NH than they did against X. simple as that. X had too many easy long runs vs prep. and X does not have the firepower of WH. this is a significant weakness.
    at the same time, WH will see the prep-X film and understand that they have to contain smith in a disciplined way eg smith beat them constantly on cut backs because X overran him. prep has to assume WH will not make the same mistake and do a much better job re smith. consequently, prep has to be ready with some more options on offense. they should be able to grind it out against Wh’s line. but this wont be enough if WH is putting up points on long runs like a pinball machine.

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