Gang-tackling will be prime part of the plan as Windsor prepares for top football seed Denver South, Lindsay | MyWindsorNow.com

Gang-tackling will be prime part of the plan as Windsor prepares for top football seed Denver South, Lindsay

Bobby Fernandez
bfernandez@greeleytribune.com

One may not do it.

Even a mere two or three is playing with fire.

During Saturday's Class 4A Football Championships' quarterfinals game, the plan for eighth-seeded Windsor is to send whole fleets of tacklers at standout senior running back Marcus Lindsay, who anchors high-powered Denver South's steamroller offense.

"What really stands out with (Lindsay) on film is he has great speed, and he's able to 'bounce' certain plays and get it to the edge," Wizards coach Skylar Brower said.

"So, yeah, the game plan is definitely going to be to try to contain him, keep him inside, trying to funnel him in to the rest of the defense. Get 11 hats to the ball. If we can get a lot of guys around him, it's going to improve our chances of bringing him down."

The top-seeded, unbeaten Rebels (11-0) play host to Windsor (8-3) at 1 p.m. Saturday at All-City Stadium in Denver.

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Denver South averages a respectable 114.2 passing yards and a gaudy 298.4 rushing yards per game on an offense that puts up 45 points per game.

A large chunk of that offense comes from Lindsay, who averages 159.7, 9.2 yards per carry and has accounted for 22 of his team's 48 touchdowns on the ground.

He's first in 4A and fifth among all classifications with 1,757 total rushing yards.

Coming off a dominant defensive performance in a 13-0 home win against No. 9 Pueblo South last week, the plan for the Wizards is to gang-tackle with regularity, knowing it may take more than just one or two defensive players to bring down the hard-running 5-foot-10, 200 pound Lindsay.

Lindsay comes from an extensive lineage of standout running backs.

One of his older brothers, Phillip, leads the University of Colorado's run game. Another older brother, Zachary, is a sophomore running back at the University of Northern Colorado.

His father, Troy, was a fullback for Colorado State in the early 1980s.

He also has cousins who have played at the Division I level, and his uncle, Tony Lindsay Sr. — Denver South's coach — ran for the University of Utah.

This isn't the first elite running back the Windsor defense has encountered. In fact, as recently as last week, the Wizards shut down Cyclones junior Devyn Morgan, who is one spot behind Lindsay among the 4A and all-classification rushing leaders.

However, Brower said Lindsay poses a different challenge than what his squad has seen before.

"He's definitely more of a physical runner," Brower said. "He runs with heart, runs hard, runs with great energy. He's definitely hard to bring down."

By and large, this Denver South team presents a different challenge than perhaps any the defending 4A champion Wizards have seen this season.

The Rebels have a pulverizing defense of their own, allowing just 13 points per game and shutting out their past five opponents.

Their passing game is capable of big plays, as are their secondary runners.

However, even though a lot will have to go right in order for Windsor to walk out of All-City Stadium with a ticket to the semifinals in hand, Brower said his players aren't daunted.

"We're excited and confident," he said. "Going back to last year — I realize it's still a different team this year, but a lot of these guys have that experience of going four weeks in the playoffs. And, they put their confidence in that, plus the work that we've put in together this season."

Gametime

» Who: No. 8 Windsor Wizards (8-3) at No. 1 Denver South Rebels (11-0)

» What: Class 4A Football Championships, quarterfinals

» When: 1 p.m. Saturday

» Where: All-City Stadium, 1500 S. Franklin St., Denver

» Last week: Windsor scored a defensively dominant first-round win at home against No. 9 Pueblo West 13-0. Senior quarterback/wingback Brad Peeples ran for a game-high 129 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. The Wizards held the Cyclones to just 141 total yards of offense. Denver South topped No. 16 Vista Ridge 14-0 this past Saturday. The Rebels held the Wolves to 97 total yards offense, including minus-15 on the ground.

» Who to watch: Windsor — QB/WB/DB Brad Peeples, sr. (828 rush yards, 353 pass yards, 16 total TDs); WB/KR/K Brandon Ramirez, jr. (748 rush yards, 8 TDs); ILB/DE/TE Corte Tapia, sr. (81 tackles, 6 sacks); DE/C Storm Fox, sr. (5 sacks, 56 tackles); ILB/FB Joel Kopcow, jr. (84 tackles, 32 solo). Denver South — RB/MLB Marcus Lindsay, sr. (1,757 rush yards, 22 TDs); QB/LB/DE Amon Wright, sr. (78 for 148 passing, 1,256 pass yards, 13 TDs, 7 Int.); OLB Esaias Gandy, sr. (119 tackles, 59 solo, 7 sacks).

» Semifinals opponent: The winner takes on the winner of a 1 p.m. Saturday game between No. 4 Ponderosa (10-1) and No. 5 Broomfield (9-2) at Echo Park Stadium in Parker.

» Score predictor: Denver South will edge Windsor 21-16 , according to USA Today’s High School Football Score Predictor — which uses the Massey Ratings, as well as season statistics.