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Inside The Huddle: Hopewell Titans at Harding Rams

Hopewell looks to start the season with a big road victory

The Rams look to open the season victorious at home Friday Night

The Rams look to open the season victorious at home Friday Night

Inside The Huddle is where CFI goes deeper into the matchup and shares position breakdowns on both sides of the ball. Please enjoy this breakdown of our Week 1 Game Of The Week between Hopewell and Harding!

Hopewell Offense

The Hopewell Titans on offense definitely have the tools to present problems to teams as they have been developing talent well all offseason.

QB - AJ Simpkins looks to be the leader of the Titan attack in his first year at Hopewell. Under the tutelage of a former very successful college and NFL QB as his OC in Patrick Bonner, Simpkins will look to distribute the football to multiple targets in a variety of ways in the Titans spread attack.

RB - Typically the Titans will look to attack from a one back set, and within in their formations it tends to lighten the box, so if the OL can create some creases in the front 7 of the Rams defense, there may be space to break some yardage. Jaquez Johnson is a guy to watch here.

WR - Hopewell calls their WRs the YACBOYZ, led by assistant coach Jonathan Grice. Julian Gray leads this group in terms of big name recognition, but the Titans have some guys that can go get the football for sure. One to watch is #13 Jacob Polight who stood out a good bit in the preseason scrimmages.

OL - A big key to any team’s success is the big guys up front and that’s no different here. The Titans need to have these guys ready to go as they will need a little time to get the ball to their talented playmakers in space.

Harding Defense

DL - The Rams have some beef in the middle with Barutti Mazangu and some other big guys to hold the middle down. A big key will be if the pass rush of the Rams can influence the Titan passing game and disrupt what they want to do offensively.

LB - Tylon Dunlap is a talented player who is recruited by a good number of schools - expect to see him at both defensive line and linebacker as the Rams will try to maximize his talents in different spots. Tim Willis is another good player in the 2nd level of the defense as well.

DB - Big 22 player Maleik Faust will lead the charge out of the defensive backfield and has a big challenge in front of him this week, however the experience of being a senior and playing in big games will help the Rams a good bit this week.


Harding Offense

QB - The Rams have been led by Junior Amare Harris throughout the preseason, and with new OC LJ Johnson in tow, expect to possibly see some Butler influences as Johnson spent many years under legendary coach Brian Hales.

RB - Dekerius “Skittles” Thompson returns to lead the Rams rushing attack, and Thompson is one of the more dynamic players in the Charlotte Metro Area with the football in his hands. Don’t be surprised to see the Rams give Thompson some breaks as he does fill on defense from time to time.

WR - Jay Houston is a player that looks to have a breakout season at a WR/TE hybrid type of body type and he could be lined up in a lot of different places to try and take advantage of matchups. There is opportunity in this group for someone to become a major threat in this game.

OL - One of the Rams strengths is their size up front, as they should average around 280 pounds across the offensive line. To have success in this game, the Rams have to be able to not let the speed of the Titans disrupt them as they execute their offense.

Hopewell Defense

DL - BIg DT/NT Vy’shonn Lawrence will be a big presence in the middle of the Titans Defense. One of only 4 seniors on this team, Lawrence has to be a leader for a young team here. The Titans posses some speed at the DE position and could use that to throw off the Harding OL.

LB - All-Conference LB Chris Williams returns to lead this unit of LBs who will have to definitely tackle well in space against the number of athletes the Rams intend to feature on their offense.

DB - In playing the Rams, the Titans’ DBs are going to have to be very disciplined and help support in the run game. In their system, this is an absolute must. Jabari Brown and Trevant Richardson are talented kids and must have very good games for the TItans to be successful on this side of the ball.