The Lions were ravaged by injuries in 2016; the plague has continued this season.
Jackson Lenthall, a junior defensive lineman, missed the past two weeks with a knee injury. He’s out this week.
Josh Calvert, a junior who also starts at linebacker and has played well at quarterback, got a concussion in a 30-21 win against Paraclete last weekend. He will not play against Alemany.
Members of the offensive line missed practice earlier this week while battling minor illnesses.
Put in an all-too-familiar position, Oaks Christian head coach Jim Benkert will count on his bench to fill important roles during a non-league road test.
Marco Siderman, a sophomore, will start at quarterback. Benkert tabbed sophomore Mister Williams, a junior varsity starter, to fill in at linebacker.
“He was only suited up on the sideline just in case somebody got hurt,” Benkert said of Williams. “Josh got hurt on the second play, so, ‘Hey, Mister, welcome to the big time.’”
Williams, who suited up the first two games but played sparingly against Chaminade in Week 0, admitted his heart was racing against Paraclete. He said he was glad fellow linebacker Seif Awad, a junior, helped calm his nerves.
“He said, ‘Relax. You got this,’” Williams said of Awad. “‘You know what to do. It’s all you. Go make it happen.’”
Williams, who is 5-foot- 11, 205 pounds, recovered a fumble and tallied seven tackles, including a sack during last weekend’s victory.
Awad said he was confident the youngster was ready to thrive for Oaks Christian.
It’s a situation every Lion should be ready for while the team tries to put a lid on the injuries.
“Everyone has to be ready and everyone has to step up,” Awad said. “I think we’re doing a pretty good job of that so far.”
Oaks Christian notched backto back wins against Edison and Paraclete after a setback to Chaminade in the Aug. 25 season opener.
Zach Charbonnet had his best performance of the season against Paraclete, racking up 201 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries. He had a 65-yard touchdown run called back on a penalty.
“He’s a guy that has to carry us offensively until our quarterback’s matured,” the coach said of Charbonnet.
Lenthall’s brother, Nathan, a junior free safety, is playing very well. He snagged interceptions the past two outings.
“He has to continue to have those big games,” Benkert said of Nathan Lenthall.
Sophomore Ty Ely, a 6-foot, 235-pound nose guard, also needs to continue playing well while Jackson Lenthall recovers from his injury. The Lions will need to play well on defense.
Kayvon Thibodeaux, a defensive end, is the engine of Oaks Christian’s defense. He had three sacks and a touchdown catch against Paraclete, and he must continue playing like the top-ranked junior prospect in the nation by ESPN that he is.
“They like to throw the football, but they’re equally dynamic in running the ball,” Benkert said of Alemany. “They’re a good, solid, athletic football team that hasn’t been playing well the past two weeks. They’ll play their A-game against us.”
Williams said he’s looking forward to helping his team chase a third straight victory.
“I just hope to contribute my best effort,” Williams said. “That’s all I can give to the team, and I owe it to the team. We just have to give it our best for each other.”
Players to Watch
Oaks ChristianLB Mister Williams
LB Seif Awad
QB Marco SidermanDT Ty Ely
FS Nathan Lenthall
RB William Camacho
WR Jacob Perez
QB Tripp Mitchell
LB Christian Moore
SS Steve McIntosh