Whittier Wildcats Football '07

Thanksgiving Day Preview: Cathedral at Whittier

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Date: Thursday, Nov. 22

Time: 10 a.m.

Coach: Kevin Bradley

Quarterback: Dillon Ryan

Parking: Most parking is in the rear of the school, on the left as you enter the school grounds by the guard house. There is usually plenty of room and it requires only a short walk to the field.

Insider Tip: There is usually plenty of seating available, even on Thanksgiving, so there is no need to rush for a good seat. Plus, the elevated stands provide one of the better venues to watch a football game in the Merrimack Valley. Series record: Whittier leads the series 6-0 with four of the wins by at least 20 points. Last year's win completed the school's first undefeated regular season.

Whittier has always controlled Cathedral, which plays in the Catholic Central Small Conference, with superior experience, depth (one year had 11 players!) and talent, but that may not be the case this year.

Cathedral, which is located in Boston, usually boasts one or two breakaway threats, which is again the case. But it also boasts its best defense in years. While winning four of their first seven games, the Panthers were second in the league in total defense.

The Wildcats, meanwhile, have not been quite as explosive as in past years, which makes one think that this year's game could be the lowest scoring in the series. Whittier will rely primarily on its running game, led by impressive junior Bryan Trickett and senior Craig Eaton. Quarterback Dillon Ryan has improved his passing during the season, but the Wildcats cannot succeed unless their offensive line is providing some running room for Trickett and Eaton.

Defensively, the Wildcats have been inconsistent with mental mistakes hurting at times. Whittier must play relatively mistake-free in order to keep its streak alive. "We're such a young team, but we've been learning and making strides," said coach Kevin Bradley.

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