WARREN — Through the first three games of the 2012 season, the Warren Mott football team has yielded just 13 points. That 4.3 points allowed average gives the Marauders the third stingiest defense in the entire Macomb Area Conference.
Mott allowed 17 points per game in going 7-4 last season.
“We worked out hard in the weight room in the offseason, and our coaches have us watch a lot of film on different teams, and that helps us a lot,” senior inside linebacker Jack Steel said. “We’ve got a lot of players back from last year too, so we knew what to do coming into camp.”
Marauders coach Tom Milanov said his defensive unit’s overall speed has played a big role in Mott’s 3-0 start, which included a 2-0 mark in the MAC White Division at press time. The Marauders’ offense is no slouch either, putting up 45.7 points at press time.
Mott’s Sept. 14 matchup with Utica High took place after press time.
Milanov, in his 13th year with the Marauders, said he searches out players with speed to utilize in his 3-4 defensive set.
“There’s that old adage that speed kills. If I have a kid with speed, I want him on my defense, because playing fast and getting to the ball is a big part of what we do,” Milanov said.
“If a kid runs a 4.4 (second 40-yard dash) but doesn’t have the vision, that can turn into a 4.7 really quickly. So we like to have kids who are fast, but who run with a purpose.”
Milanov said each level of the Mott defense — defensive line, linebackers and secondary — has contributed to the unit’s success. He cited Steel, junior defensive lineman LeVonte Perdue, senior defensive lineman Matt Debski, junior cornerback DeShawn Burley and junior safety Angelo Prolux as defensive standouts.
“Our defense is really stable,” Milanov said. “I feel that if our defense plays well, it can cover for our offense if it has any issues. You’re just looking for the opponent to have one breakdown.”
Perdue said he sees the defense making improvements game by game. He added that he thinks opposing offenses will be hard-pressed to break the Marauders’ defense down.
“But we still see things we need to improve on,” Steel said. “Our coaches find mistakes in video that we need to fix. But I think we’re getting better.
“It’s for sure important to have a sound defense,” Milanov said. “I always feel that when you have a solid defense, your team has a sense of security.”
Mott next hits the field for a road tilt at Fraser, set for 7 p.m. Sept. 21.