Class 4 State Semi- Final: Tuscarora Huskies at Salem Spartans

Discussion in 'Class 4A (Fall)' started by EPJr, Nov 30, 2019.

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Who will win

  1. Salem High School (Salem, VA)

    33 vote(s)
    44.6%
  2. Tuscarora High School

    41 vote(s)
    55.4%
  1. EPJr

    EPJr VaPreps All District
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    plz state why
     
  2. courtlandcougars1987

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    Can't believe saying this, just feel Tusky has a little more to offer. They look and feel like Woodgrove from last year. Bigger school, more depth, was a D5 school. But heck, it's SALEM!
     
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  3. SFUWO

    SFUWO VaPreps Varsity
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    Tusky and Broad Run were my favorites this yr. Both are usually better than Woodgrove and they are tuff. Salem has improved during the course of the season like they usually do. Playing their best ball in the playoffs. This should be a great game.
     
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  4. 24153Sports

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    At this point most of us probably don’t know much about the opponent. In recent history, teams from NOVA haven’t fared well against Salem like Milbrook and John Champ. The style of football that Salem plays isn’t common in NOVA. Tuscarora can sling the ball but the OL doesn’t appear to have much weight on their front hand and appear to be finesse blockers. They played 3 down lineman on defense against Broad Run which may be disasterous against an aggressive trapping OL like Salem(of course they will probably adjust). I think the key for Salem will be defending a good passing offense from Tuscarora. I am interested to see if Tuscarora can stop an aggressive running game. Glass wes as stout as they come on the DL, but couldn’t stop what they knew was coming. Can’t wait for this one. Should be great! I think Salem wins this one much like the Glass game went.
     
    4 24153Sports, Dec 1, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  5. SFUWO

    SFUWO VaPreps Varsity
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    They only had 3 down linemen because BR had 5 WR sets
     
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  6. vamike

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    I haven't followed class 4 as close as 5 until this year, but I have to think BR and Tusky are a notch above those NOVA teams that "haven't fared well." Think about this... if BR/Tusky hadn't moved down this year, it's very possible the 4C champ would be Liberty or Sherando, who Tusky dominated by 30 and 31. Another of those traditional Class 4 NOVA teams is Woodgrove, and Tusky is 9-1 lifetime vs Woodgrove.

    For context, Tusky opened in 2010. The first two years they didn't have a full school. In the 7 years thereafter ('12-'18) they appeared in 2 5C championships and in the other 5 year, their own district rivals Stone Bridge or Briar Woods advanced to the class 5 state championship game, so Tusky was playing some tough teams those years.

    I completely agree that few programs can match Salem's history, tradition, culture and frankly trophy case, just suggesting that some might not appreciate Tusky because they lack a long-standing history and tradition.
     
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  7. southbottomU

    southbottomU VaPreps All District
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    Tuscarora much better than the NOVA teams that have visited Salem in past years.
     
  8. FoxesPride

    FoxesPride VaPreps Rookie
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    In five years of coaching at KG I can tell you that Tuscarora was the best, most complete, team we played...and that includes the best Louisa, EV, and Courtland teams from 2014-2018. I love what Salem does, old school football, and hope for a good game. Tuscarora will probably be the 2nd best team they have played this year.
     
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  9. Unc1ejimmy

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    [QUOTE=" They played 3 down lineman on defense against Broad Run which may be disasterous against an aggressive trapping OL like Salem(of course they will probably adjust). [/QUOTE]

    As stated above, they went 3 down lineman, because Broad Run usually throws 50+ times a game. Griffis has a D1 scholarship offer and can sling it literally everywhere on the field. You won't see any of that next week.
     
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  10. Unc1ejimmy

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    I'll make the argument that Tuscarora will be able to go out and score too much. I expect high tempo passing early and then grinding it out with Duke and Gick in the second half.
     
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  11. SpartanOfYore

    SpartanOfYore VaPreps Honorable Mention
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    How would you rate the Huskies’ special teams, especially the kicking specialists?
     
  12. FoxesPride

    FoxesPride VaPreps Rookie
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    Played them in 17 & 18 and they had no weaknesses in the kicking game aside from a below average long snapper. We tried to exploit that but couldn't get to the punter. They're extremely well coached in all phases...as I am sure Salem is. This should be a very well played game no matter what the score is.
     
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  13. southbottomU

    southbottomU VaPreps All District
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    Game will be determined by a few things
    1. Can Salem control the game with their physical running game? Tuscarora probably hasn't played a team quite like Salem.
    2. Can Salem slow down Tuscarora offense which is fast and skilled? Tuscarora offense a lot like Glass with size and speed but throw the ball better. Lots of athletes all over the field.
    3. Mistakes----penalties and turnovers
     
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  14. vamike

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    I agree with this 100%. Tusky defense has shutdown the run all season. In playoffs so far I think Sherando, Liberty, BR combined had something like 150 yards rushing, but you're right, Salem is the toughest run team they will face so far. Will be a battle for sure.
     
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  15. VAtuffTurf

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    Tuscarora is susceptible to the big play.

    Liberty scored on a 97-yard pass play just before half against them.

    On Sherando’s first offensive snap Jabril Hayes WR dropped what would have been over a 50 yard touchdown pass as he was 5 yards behind the defense.
    Later in the first half Jabril Hayes would this time catch a 63-yard touchdown.

    If Salem has a speedster at receiver I would try the Tusky defense early with a deep ball.
     
  16. SFUWO

    SFUWO VaPreps Varsity
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    Salem has several speedy WR's
     
  17. bceagle47

    bceagle47 VaPreps Rookie
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    It’s always about points not yards. Anyone at this point can win the whole thing. Tuscarora and Salem have both seen the same things this year playing and beating the opponents they have played. Some kids have been faster at certain positions, some kids have been bigger at certain positions BUT at this point the only people left are GREAT teams that are well coached. Ain’t nobody gonna flinch Saturday.
     
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  18. cutnjump

    cutnjump VaPreps Honorable Mention
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    Lots of good and valid points made here. I would add that home field and travel could be a consideration. Not sure whether Tuscarora will travel the day before or the day of but, long bus rides on game day often impact teams. Salem also enjoys the home field advantage. Another consideration is the crew assigned to the game. No this is not a "home cooking" comment but, whether the crew is more or less familiar with either team. That can(not always) be an advantage with players and staff having a feel for how a crew views the game and where that line is that you can play up to but, not cross. I think the game is a very competitive pairing(maybe one of the best across all the classifications) and the keys will be to get off to a quick start and take care of the ball. Both are too good to help them out with the gifts of multiple turnovers.
     
  19. SpartanOfYore

    SpartanOfYore VaPreps Honorable Mention
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    “...and take care of the ball. Both are too good to help them out with the gifts of multiple turnovers.”

    Your last sentence underscores the most critical aspect of the game for Salem, IMHO. This might be a Captain Obvious observation, but the one thing the Spartans absolutely cannot afford to do in this game is turn the ball over on their own side of the field. That happened twice at Pulaski; the offense-challenged Cougars happily converted both gifts into field goals (their only points of the game), and what could have been a fairly comfortable victory became a down-to-the-wire nail biter. Last week, Salem once again handed the other team the ball twice, inside its own 30. Glass converted those two opportunities into ten points. The Hilltoppers might have gotten points on those drives anyway, but I would have preferred that they had to drive longer than twenty-five yards to do it.

    From a post in another thread, it would appear from the ratings websites that Salem is about a ten-point underdog against Tuscarora. Even before reading that post, I got the sense that the Huskies are at least a touchdown better. If the Spartans are going to have any chance to pull this one off, they absolutely must play turnover-free football. Tuscarora might be able to get away with one or two giveaways; Salem won’t have that luxury this week.
     
    19 SpartanOfYore, Dec 4, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  20. Shabutie

    Shabutie VaPreps Hall of Famer
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    Much different type of challenge for Salem this week. Tuscarora uses way more unique and varied formations, motions and passing concepts than any of these teams they have played this season. They catch a lot of teams off-guard with big shifts into unbalanced (or just come out in it) and get the ball snapped quickly before the defense can adjust. The offense is very diverse and has had games where they use a lot of heavier sets with double tight ends but they also are comfortable having four wide receivers on the field. There is a ton to prepare for mentally to be able to identify all of the different looks that Salem will see.

    Also, they are good up front on both sides of the ball and have some speed and ability at receiver (two very good ones) and DB. They also have a very effective quarterback that is accurate and a good running threat and a couple of quality running backs. The defense takes good angles and rallies to the ball well and they have a few big-time players on the defensive line. This is a very quality and balanced football team that is good in so many different areas and they are extremely well coached.
     
  21. SpartanOfYore

    SpartanOfYore VaPreps Honorable Mention
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    In what facets of the game, if any, do you see Salem having the potential to challenge Tuscarora?

    BTW - as one who never played the game, I always enjoy and appreciate the knowledgeable, detailed analyses provided by yourself, RKE Fan, one man, and others.
     
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  22. SalemFTB

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    Having watched the Tusky vs Broad Run game from last week it seems to me Broad Run could not line up correctly to Tusky offensive formations. Tuscarora has not faced a team as physical as Salem. Remember, football is 80 percent physical and 40 percent mental. As long as Salem plays smash mouth football and scores more points I think they have shot
     
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  23. MaroonDude

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    Also, I have heard several JV players have been giving good looks on the scout team. JD Hann, especially. Could make the difference. Tusky does have a good football and athletics website.
     
  24. RKE Fan

    RKE Fan VaPreps Rookie
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    There isn't a whole lot I can come up with to add to what's already been said. I watched what I could on YouTube and Hudl and agree with the main points others have mentioned. In some ways, Tuscarora reminds me of classic Salem teams. They execute extremely well, rarely making mistakes. They don't panic when the game is tight and are methodical about "righting the ship" when there is a slip up on either side of the ball. They have a great blend of size and speed. They're balanced offensively and can run and throw. They seem to have a "defense first" mentality and look physical. They're patient with their game plan and are confident it will work out by game's end. Sounds to me exactly like Salem's own state championship teams.
    Like I said, I've only seen some highlights and YouTube film, so not sure any of what I have to say holds merit. However, it seems defensively Tuscarora is susceptible at times in the secondary. If I'm Salem, I'd run some 4 to 6 yard hitch routes and hope Chaney is on point. That might allow for some bigger hitch and go plays later in the game. A skinny post might also be open from what I saw at times and Collins has the speed to get behind them. I also love Salem throwing to Wood and Leftwich out of the backfield and hope to see a few attempts with that too. However, at the end of the day, the "Three Headed Monster" referenced in the Roanoke Times article is still the Spartans best option, especially with the way the O-line has been blocking. It would also open up those routes mentioned above from play-action. Salem will be Salem and Tuscarora will be Tuscarora. This is a heavyweight slug-fest and I for one am glad the game is at Salem Stadium so I can attend.
     
  25. BR_24

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    Martinsburg beat Sherando (without their starting QB) 37-0, Tuscarora beat Sherando (with their starting QB) 47-17. Martinsburg beat Salem 49-14... no disrespect to Salem, but I think Tuscarora takes this one by 2 or 3 scores. Too many weapons and not enough time to prepare for the Huskies dynamic offense. I don't see Salem having a viable Plan B if the Huskies stop their run game. If Tuscarora's D has trouble... it'll be a dogfight.
     
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  26. SFUWO

    SFUWO VaPreps Varsity
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    If we use this method of thinking. Tuscarora doesn't beat Broad Run 30-7 last week. How do you explain Tuscarora beating Musselman WV 35-0 and Woodgrove losing to Musselman 48-28 but Tuscarora only beat Woodgrove 13-12?
     
    26 SFUWO, Dec 6, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  27. vamike

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    I agree the transitive property can be misleading bc every match up is different (as evidenced by your Tusky/Woodgrove/Musselman ex.). That said, not sure I understand why you specifically state this method would not predict a Tusky win over BR. If you look at Tusky's late season dominant wins vs. Loudoun Valley, Sherando, & Liberty and look at BR's narrower wins vs. Loudoun Valley & Millbrook, this method actually would suggest Tuscarora could beat BR and potentially by multiple scores.
     
    27 vamike, Dec 6, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  28. SFUWO

    SFUWO VaPreps Varsity
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    Didn't say that Tuscarora couldn't win but nobody exspected 30-7
     
  29. mike salem

    mike salem Moderator
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    I think Broad Run with a healthy experienced QB would have made a huge difference. He was hurt for most of the playoffs.
     
  30. vamike

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    I agree no one expected a 3 score win and agree this whole line of reasoning is generally silly. However, when you said this line of reasoning doesn't support the Tusky/BR result, I just thought it was ironic (or coincidental) that recent results actually did support a multi-score win...i.e. Tusky beats LV by 35 while BR beats LV by 14, suggesting Tusky is 3 scores better than BR. Sure enough, Tusky then beats BR by 3 scores.
     
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  31. SFUWO

    SFUWO VaPreps Varsity
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    Did you see where I mentioned Musselman and Woodgrove scores?
     
  32. SFUWO

    SFUWO VaPreps Varsity
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    Each game is different. I've seen team A beat B, B beat C, and C beat A too many times to trust transitive scores. Now sometimes they just work out like the Loudoun games
     
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  33. vamike

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    Yes I was just suggesting a better transitive comparison for Tusky/BR outcome is Tusky/BR/LV and it does support the Tusky/BR outcome. But you're right, the Tusky/Woodgrove/Musselman results shows you can't trust these transitive comparisons. I think we agree such comparisons don't work.
     
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  34. southbottomU

    southbottomU VaPreps All District
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    Tuscarora favored in this game. Salem playing with house money since they beat a very good Glass team. It will be interesting to see how Tuscarora reacts to long road trip, and atmosphere at Salem Stadium. Also how they respond to a smash mouth team they've never seen. They probably will handle it well. Salem should be better next year if they can find some linemen. One thing you can be certain of , if Salem loses tomorrow, they'll be back.
     
  35. vamike

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    BR QB is a difference maker for sure. Would him being 100% made a difference in that game's final outcome? I tend to say no. Tusky dominated all aspects of the game. Their 3 man DL and DB sets were designed to stop the QB dink and dunk game (which beat Tusky in week 1 and everyone else all year). Tusky basically said you have to beat us with the run, and BR couldn't.
     
  36. vamike

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    My quick take:

    Advantage Salem:
    • Home field/no travel
    • Strength, grit, unity of OL
    • Depth/Versatility of RBs
    • "Been here before" (9 state championships to Tusky's 0)
    Advantage Tuscarora
    • Receivers
    • Versatile, explosive offense that is difficult to prepare for
    • Speed, pursuit of D
    • Underdog mentality (see championship comparison above)
    Even
    • Well coached, well prepared
    • Battle tested
    • Improvement every week of the season
     
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  37. 1MoreHokie

    1MoreHokie VaPreps Hall of Famer
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    The transitive property has to be the worst way to make an argument in sports. Just say what you're saying without thinking the outcome of another game means something in another one (beyond intangibles we have no way of measuring like "momentum").
     
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  38. VAtuffTurf

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    From my understanding Woodgrove was missing quite a few starters for this game including their stud RB. Might help explain the score on this one.
     
  39. WHI

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    Everyone has great points but - all of this started with questions about scores of games where each team had significant injury or player not playing issues - I am privledged to know coaches at Martinsburg woodgrove Sherando Broad run etc along with most of the div 4 5 and 6 Teams remaining - just means I’m old not special - each of these game were played with extenuating circumstances so attempting to make
    Predictions on those games is dumb - Tuscarora at full strength beats Salem and then LT - sorry PHA only way you beat LT is defense is lights out QB doesn’t read well or Newton quits in 3rd quarter like he did in EV game last year cause the ILB and DE abused him - If #1 for LT goes down like he did in final EV is playing for ring-

    PHA will needs insane defensive effort to win

    Salem will need ghosts of Christmas past to intervene

    that’s why we play the game
     
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  40. VAtuffTurf

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    Is there really a ring awarded by VHSL or is this incumbent upon the winning school if they choose to do so?
     

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