Ahead of Sunday's showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, two high school football coaches from the Greater Olean area weighed in on what they think the keys to the Big Game will be.
Josh Brooks, head coach at Portville Central School, said that San Francisco’s ability to run the ball will be important to its success.
“As a coach, we always talk about being able to run the ball and play defense,” Brooks said. “If (San Francisco running back) Raheem Mostert runs for over 100 yards, I think the 49ers have a good shot at winning.”
In San Francisco's conference championship game win over Green Bay, Mostert ran for a whopping 220 yards and four touchdowns on 29 rushing attempts.
“Kansas City is kind of the ‘public’s pick’ because they’re young, flashy and have a great offense,” Brooks said. “However, I think San Francisco is going to be able to control the Chiefs’ offense. I think the 49ers are the better overall team.”
Brooks predicts that San Francisco will win the game, 27-24.
Olean High School head coach Phil Vecchio had a similar outlook, saying that San Francisco’s ability to control the ball will serve the team well.
“Everybody is in love with the Chiefs and how explosive their offense can be, but I think the 49ers have a ball-control offense that can beat them,” Vecchio said. “(Quarterback) Jimmy Garoppolo’s record as their starting quarterback is very good, and they have good weapons on the outside.”
Since Garoppolo was traded to San Francisco in 2017, the team is 21-5 in games that he starts.
Vecchio predicts the 49ers will win, 31-27.
“San Francisco will control the ball and score efficiently, and its defensive line has the ability to get after (Chiefs quarterback) Patrick Mahomes to make it hard on him,” Vecchio said.
The 49ers and Chiefs will do battle at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
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