By the numbers: Romeo at Utica Eisenhower

Dominant defenses meet in regular season finale

By: Thomas Franz | Shelby - Utica News | Published October 21, 2015

 Eisenhower quarterback Max Wittwer hands off to Kadari Johnson during a game against Warren Mott on Oct. 16.

Eisenhower quarterback Max Wittwer hands off to Kadari Johnson during a game against Warren Mott on Oct. 16.

Photo by Sean Work

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Utica Eisenhower and Romeo will meet in a Week 9 matchup with plenty to play for on each side.

For Romeo (8-0), it’s a chance to complete a perfect regular season. For Eisenhower (5-3), it’s a chance to earn an automatic berth into the postseason and possibly a home game in the pre-district round.

While Romeo’s defense has dominated all season, giving up a total of 34 points and pitching four shutouts, Eisenhower’s defense has come into its own over the past three weeks, having given up a total of just 20 points in that span.

On offense for Romeo, senior quarterback Paul Hurley has complete 72.8 percent of his passes to go along with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. Brad Tanner leads a host of Romeo running backs with nine touchdowns. As a team, Romeo has rushed for 1,583 yards for an average of 6.7 yards per carry.

Eisenhower’s Andrew Szalkowski has rushed for more than 100 yards in four games. Eisenhower has scored 20.8 points per game.

Against common opponents, Romeo defeated Macomb Dakota 26-14 and Grosse Pointe South 28-0. Eisenhower lost to both opponents, 48-21 to Dakota and 8-2 to South.

Eisenhower holds a 16-11 advantage all-time against Romeo, including a 6-3 mark since 2008. The games have typically been close, low-scoring affairs, with the average score of those nine games being 15.4-14.3 in favor of Eisenhower.

Romeo secured its postseason berth two weeks ago and will likely have home-field advantage for at least the first round of the playoffs. Eisenhower can clinch an automatic berth with a win, but with a loss, would have to wait to learn its playoff fate until the playoff brackets are announced during the MHSAA selection show at 7 p.m. Oct. 25.

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