September 2, 2008

Loften leads Nimitz to first win in two years

When you scout a team coming off of a season in which they have not won a game, you usually don't know what to expect in terms of Division I talent. However, Irving Nimitz turned out to be a surprise in more ways than just the fact that they beat Haltom, 20-12, for their first win since the 2006 season.

For one thing, Nimitz is a very young team. A scan of their roster indicates that the Vikings have only 15 seniors on their varsity versus 13 sophomores. Normally, that would be considered a recipe for disaster. Nimitz, however, not only has youngsters all through their starting lineup, they have some serious talent among their underclassmen.

The biggest name of all was safety Eddrick Loften. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Loften had a long run in the first quarter of the game to set up a touchdown, but the district Sophomore of the Year really made his presence felt when he started playing strong safety in the second quarter.

Although he gave up a touchdown reception on a fourth down play, that was his only mistake of the night. Loften showed an ability to play man coverage against slot receivers both short and deep as he can turn his hips and run with the best of them. He has a very good ability to break on the ball and got his hands on two or three passes the other night with his acceleration. Most importantly, he's a very physical player. He was in double digits in tackles and displayed an innate ability to lower his shoulder and really crunch a ballcarrier even when he didn't build up a head of steam. He just lowers his shoulder and explodes into people. He was at his best in run support and in the short zones and he's one of the better strong safety prospects you will ever see.

Loften had 36 yards rushing, two pass breakups and an interception in the end zone on Haltom's last drive into Nimitz territory that helped seal the win.

However, Loften was just one of many impact players for Nimitz.

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