Berkeley Prep has a high-profile out-of-state matchup tonight.

Berkeley Preparatory @ Isidore Newman

The undefeated Buccaneers hit the road for a 668 mile and 9 and a half hour trip to New Orleans to take on the Isidore Newman Greenies. Newman has been receiving a ton of national attention due to their quarterback being the number one quarterback in the 2023 class, Arch Manning. Manning’s team is 4-1 and will be looking to bounce back from a 12-7 loss to St. Charles Catholic. Manning’s offense was averaging a staggering 51.5 points per game until St. Charles held them to 7 last week. Berkeley Prep’s defense has shut out four opponents and is only allowing 7.7 points per game, and they will be looking to replicate St. Charles’ success. Tonight’s game between the two private schools will be nationally televised on ESPNU. This is a massive opportunity for the Bucs to gain some respect and exposure.

One vital thing to watch for tonight is Berkeley Prep’s ability to establish the run game. They run an extremely run-heavy offense in which they keep the ball on the ground 82% of the time at an average of 237 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns per game. If they can establish successful drives and keep Manning on the sideline, they should be in great shape. Berkeley Prep is likely the most talented team on Newman’s schedule. The Bucs are loaded with many talented prospects, but we are going to take a look at their statistical leaders who should give them the advantage tonight.

First off, the offensive line deserves a shout-out. The big guys up front make things happen and can never get enough credit. This seems to be the starting group. As a unit, they get off the ball really well and control the line of scrimmage. You can see how well-coached they are on film. 

LT Chad Staley (6’3” 260 lbs) – LG Chase Gerstner (6’2” 245 lbs) – C James Kavouklis (6’2” 265 lbs)

RG Nikhil Jefferson (6’2” 270 lbs) – RT Speros Gapsas (6’4” 265 lbs) – TE CJ Hawkins (6’7” 220 lbs) 

2022 RB Travis Bates – 5’11” 200 lbs

Bates has been a monster this season. He has compiled 826 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 69 carries. He averages 12 yards per carry and 118 yards per game. He has had at least 100 yards in 6 out of their 7 games this season. His best game was a 170 yard and 2 touchdown effort against a very good CCC team. He is a very well-rounded back. He is a smooth runner with great quickness and vision. He breaks tackles and maintains balances really well. The offensive line does a great job getting push and creating running lanes for him. Newman will have to slow him down tonight. He also sees time at outside linebacker. He has 8 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. On special teams, Bates has returned 4 kickoffs for 120 yards. He is such an underrated prospect who has some great film. Check him out.

Travis Bates – Hudl

2022 RB Xavier Townsend – 5’11” 180 lbs

Townsend is Berkeley Prep’s Swiss Army Knife. He is their second leading rusher with 45 carries for 406 yards and 9 touchdowns. He averages 9 yards per carry. He is also the team’s leading receiver. He has 10 receptions for 247 yards and 4 touchdowns. Lastly, he is their most dangerous return man. He has returned 2 punts for touchdowns and has 363 total return yards. Overall, he has over 1,000 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns. The Iowa State commit is such a gifted all-around athlete. He is shifty and can stop on a dime and accelerate immediately and has the speed to break away for a TD on every touch.

Xavier Townsend – Hudl

2022 LB Tre Reader – 6’2” 205 lbs

Reader is Berkeley Prep’s leading tackler. Over the first 7 games, he averages 9.4 tackles per game with 66 total tackles, 26 solo, 15 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble. He reads plays well and finds the football quickly. He is a solid tackler who finishes plays.

Tre Reader – Hudl

2023 DE Keon Keeley – 6’6” 235 lbs 

This underclassman is already committed to Notre Dame for a reason. He is basically someone’s created player from Madden. He has an incredible build and a relentless motor. He is physical and plays nasty. He has 44 total tackles including 30 solo, 22 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 13 hurries. He will be bringing pressure from Manning’s blind side all night.

Keon Keeley – Hudl

2023 DT Brice Stevenson – 6’2” 270 lbs

We featured Stevenson earlier this season and he has continued to show why. He does such a nice job on the interior defensive line. He gets off the ball well, and does a great job using his hands to gain leverage and defeat blocks. He brings great energy and effort every snap and it allows him to make a lot of plays. On the season, he has 31 total tackles, 17 solo, 8 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks.

Brice Stevenson – Hudl