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Offensive firepower on display

Published November 18, 2005

CLEARWATER - Go ahead, Mike Jalazo dares you.

Thinking about putting eight in the box to stop the running game led by shifty tailback Ronnie Harris?

"Then we'll just go up top," CCC coach Jalazo said.

What about bringing in five, maybe six, defensive backs to shut down CCC's spread formations and its talented receiving corps of Riley Cooper and Colin McCarthy

"Well, then we'll beat you with the run," Jalazo said.

Sounds like a headache for defensive coordinators.

"That's what we want to try and do," Jalazo said. "Our offensive philosophy is predicated on balance."

Jalazo hopes CCC's balanced offense stays on track when the Marauders (9-2) host Cardinal Mooney (7-4) in the region final tonight at 7:30. CCC beat the Cougars 21-16 three weeks ago to lock up the district title, but the stakes in tonight's game are higher.

"We are confident because we beat (Cardinal Mooney) already," quarterback Andrew Nowels said. "And we spent a lot of time watching film this week to correct the mistakes we made last time."

The Marauders are riding a nine-game win streak thanks in large part to their diverse offense. Not only does CCC have weapons through the air and on the ground for the big play, but the Marauders are mastering the art of ball control.

In CCC's 35-7 win over Crescent City last week, the offense was on the field almost the entire fourth quarter. Crescent ran just one offensive play in the quarter and only seven for the entire second half.

"As far as tempo is concerned, we know when to burn clock," Nowels said. "Plus, we have the athletes at every position to score on any play."

Jalazo credits offensive coordinator Bill Capanna with much of the team's balance. They have worked together since Jalazo's days at Admiral Farragut and have honed their pro-style, multiple-formation attack ever since.

"Bill is truly an offensive genius," Jalazo said. "He has a brilliant football mind and is the best in the business."

So, with explosive talent and balanced philosophy driving CCC's offense, how would Jalazo stop it if he were on the other side of the field?

"That's a good question," Jalazo said. "I guess just try a base defense and hope for the best."

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