The No. 6 seeded Live Oak Acorns face a tough challenge as they
head to San Jose to face the No. 3 seed Independence 76ers in the
first round of the Central Coast Section playoffs tonight at
By Leann Shea
Morgan Hill Sports Editor
Morgan Hill – The No. 6 seeded Live Oak Acorns face a tough challenge as they head to San Jose to face the No. 3 seed Independence 76ers in the first round of the Central Coast Section playoffs tonight at 7pm.
The Acorns are ready to rise to that challenge and are happy to be playing a team besides Oak Grove in the first round of the playoffs. The last two times Live Oak made the post season they were seeded No. 8 and had to play the No. 1 seed.
“Independence is in the upper half of their league,” said Live Oak’s head coach Rick Booth. “I believe they finished third and really beat Piedmont Hills. It’s going to be a great challenge.”
The Acorns have been studying film on the 76ers and know they are a big, strong, fast and physical team. On offense they use a lot of different formations, so it will be important for Live Oak defense to keep containment on the Independence running backs and receivers.
Live Oak’s biggest test on defense will be stopping the run as Independence boasts two tremendous running backs in their back field according to Booth.
“Our biggest challenge on offense will be being consistent and moving the ball,” said the Acorns’ offensive coordinator Dave Snap. “It’s important to keep our defense off the field.”
Live Oak’s running backs Dustin Muhn and Kevin Abbott, along with the offensive line, will be key in the Acorns’ success. Muhn and Abbott each ran for more than 1,000 yards this season, combining for more than 2,500 yards and 28 touchdowns rushing.
“Both running backs have run well all year long and hopefully we can continue that,” said Booth. “Both boys are really unselfish and block as equally well as they run.”
To defeat the 76ers Live Oak needs a complete team effort and everybody needs to step up according to Booth.
“They hit you in the mouth,” said Booth. “You can never match an opponents’ speed in practice and you can never match an opponents’ strength in practice. We need to not turn the ball over and we need to be very good on special teams.”
Live Oak at Independence
Both teams have two powerful running backs lined up in the back field. Dustin Muhn and Kevin Abbott have amassed more than 2,500 yards and 28 touchdowns for the Acorns’ this season behind a tough offensive line that creates holes in defenses. The 76ers will counter with two strong RBs of their own in Jaleel MacKey and Robert Phillips. The team that wins the battle of the offensive lines will come out on top. EDGE: Live Oak.
Independence will challenge the Acorns’ defense with a variety of offensive formations designed to catch defenses off guard. Live Oak’s defense needs to get to the quarterback and push people back at the line if they want to be successful against the 76ers offense. The Acorns’ have just one sack and one interception this season. EDGE: Independence.
Live Oak is coming off two emotional wins in the last weeks of the season and are excited to have earned the No. 6 seed in the playoffs. The Acorns’ have done their homework and are ready for the 76ers. Independence, the No. 3 seed, are a top team in the BVAL and have home field advantage. EDGE: Live Oak