“We will get Parks and Peters back for Friday’s game,” Lawrence said. “We got Kissinger back two weeks ago so we are getting there as far as getting injured players back on the field. We have half of the guys back that we were missing, and we need to play a good game.”
Last year, Rams quarterback Caleb Acosta had one of his best games against the Lions, completing 10 of 18 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. With a rushing attack averaging more than six yards a carry that has featured receivers Kelly Williams and DaShawn Hicks as running backs – and the emergence of sophomore Tristan Seargeant (7.1 yards per carry over last three games) – Castleberry will have to respect the run which will open the field up for Acosta.
“We expect them to play a 3-3 stack defense and they will switch to a 4-2 every once in awhile,” Lawrence said. “There are things that we see that we can take advantage of, but our offensive line and running backs need to play well, and our receivers are going to have to block well and catch the ball. Caleb has to have a good game, and he will if the other parts of the offense play well in front of him.”
The Lions have not thrown many passes this season, averaging 3-4 a game, and rely mainly on the rushing attack comprised of running backs Alex Scallion and Cody Shelton, quarterback Dakota Wright and slot back Christian Cardona.
Scallion is the workhorse with a team-high 73 carries for 284 yards (3.89 yards per carry average), but Cardona, from the slot, leads the team with 444 yards on just 41 carries for a whopping 10.76 yards per carry average. Wright is the Lions’ third leading rusher with 215 yards.
“They will run a two tight end, ‘nasty’ slot (slot receiver) which looks like a Wing T,” Lawrence explained. “It is a little different version of the Wing T with the ‘nasty’ slot receiver.