County coaches pick the Rams

Published 10:01 pm Friday, February 11, 2022

Beaufort County’s high school football coaches think Sunday’s big game should be entertaining and fairly close, but chose the home-standing Los Angeles Rams over the slight underdog Cincinnati Bengals. Before we get to the predictions and comments, here are a few things you might not know about the teams and their players:

Opposing quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford were the first player chosen in the NFL draft. Peyton Manning’s Broncos defeated Cam Newton’s Panthers in the only Super Bowl meeting between quarterbacks drafted first overall.

Burrow can become the first quarterback to win a Heisman Trophy, a national championship and a Super Bowl. Running backs Tony Dorsett (Pitt & Dallas) and Reggie Bush (USC & New Orleans) and defensive back Charles Woodson (Michigan & Green Bay) have also done it.

Stafford’s 13-year wait for the Super Bowl is the longest by a top overall pick who eventually made it and a win would mark the second-longest wait by a quarterback to win his first title. John Elway collected his first in his 15th season.

Now to the local predictions.

Keith Boyd-Northside: 35-17 Rams. “I think the Rams defensive line has the advantage over the Bengals O-Line. Aaron Donald, Von Miller and the rest of those guys on the line could easily overpower the offensive line and make it a very long day for Burrow. I would like to see Mathew Stafford win in all after the pounding he took. In Detroit all those years. It would be fine if the Bengals win, but I think the Rams defense will be too much for them.”

Jeff Carrow-Southside: 24-17 Bengals: “There is no hotter quarterback than Joe Burrow right now. They have a good mix of run-pass option and things are going their way right now. They also have an outstanding kicker who has put them in this position. Stafford is a good game manager and I’d love to see him get a ring, but I’m going with the hot team right now.”

Stacey Keech-Pungo Christian Academy: 34-27 Rams. “I am split 50-50 on who I want to win, so I hope it’s entertaining. I’ve really enjoyed watching the playoffs this year since every game has gone down to the last play or overtime. I hope this one is the same. Joe Burrow is fun to watch and can come back from any deficit, but the Rams defense is just a little better. Both quarterbacks are smart and have great arms, but I think the Rams will get more pressure on Burrow and maybe force the extra turnover that it might take to win. Based on the other playoff games, I think whoever is leading at halftime will probably lose.”

Perry Owens-Washington: 31-21 Rams. “I have one of my former players at Thomasville HS, Akeem Davis-Gaither on the Bengals, but he’s on injured reserve. Sunday is Akeem Davis-Gaither day in Thomasville, so that’s pretty cool. He’s on the trip and I hope he has a great experience.

Burrow is fun to watch, but I think the better Rams defensive stops the flashy Bengals offense enough to win. They have a great front seven and how many hits can Burrow take and keep playing? I think it will be a really good game and I’m rooting for the Bengals, but I’m going with the Rams to win.”