EasternPAFootball.com Notebook: WV field general quickly learns new system; D4 senior receiver’s milestone; La Salle makes USA-Today’s Super 25 pollWritten by: Josh Funk on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
I’ve always enjoyed talking to football players who not only love the game, but get it and immerse themselves in it.
Talk for any length of time with Williams Valley’s Stephen Sedesse and you’ll learn quickly that he’s one of those players.
Sedesse, a junior quarterback, had to learn a new offensive system with first-year head coach Tim Savage – the multiple-I. Williams Valley ran a Wing-T offense in the past.
“I’ve been studying it and working with it since the spring,” Sedesse told me following his Vikings’ 35-28 victory over District 4 rep and Tri-Valley League traditional power Line Mountain Saturday night. “Then we got our guys back who played baseball during the summer months and we’ve kind of gone from there.”
Williams Valley is 4-0 – averaging 144.5 passing yards and 39.3 points per game in its new-look offense. And Owen Daniel, an 1,100-yard rusher in his junior season, still gets his carries, but leads WV with 26 receptions for 412 yards and seven touchdowns. Daniel has also returned a kickoff for a touchdown and scored on an 89-yard touchdown run for his only rush attempt of the season before Saturday night.
Daniel recorded his second 40+-yard carry of the season in the second half of Saturday’s game, a 46-yard run on a toss sweep which, on the surface, looked eerily similar to a play straight out of a Wing-T scheme. Sedesse, who’s spent lots of time in learning the system, noted it wasn’t.
“It does look like a Wing-T play,” Sedesse said. “But if it was, Owen would have been up much closer to the line.”
Sedesse’s immersion in the game goes beyond his own team – “Hey, how about what Schuylkill Haven did to North Schuylkill last night?” Sedesse asked as our postgame conversation veered into talking potential players in the District 11 A playoffs.
Just a guess – and nothing more than that – Schuylkill Haven and Williams Valley might just get a chance to tango in the D11 A tournament this year.
Just in case you were wondering, Williams Valley’s Savage isn’t the only first-year head coach who is undefeated thus far in 2012. West Chester Henderson’s Steve Mitten, Lansdale Catholic’s Tom Kirk and Imhotep Charter’s Albie Crosby are also off to undefeated starts in their initial seasons.
In fact, the Williams Valley-Line Mountain game pitted a pair of undefeated first-year head coaches. Rodney Knock is the new head coach at Line Mountain.
Philadelphia Catholic League AAAA rep La Salle College High School has found its way into the USA-Today’s Super 25 high school football national rankings. The Explorers are No. 24 in the latest poll, which is compiled by USA-Today sportswriter Jim Halley. The No. 24 national ranking matches the Explorers’ best-ever rating in the poll – La Salle’s 2009 PIAA championship team finished with the same ranking after defeating State College, 24-7. La Salle was 14-1 that season.
Central Dauphin, the defending PIAA AAAA champion, was listed in the Super 25 preseason poll (No. 25), but the Rams slipped out following a 24-7 loss to Bishop McDevitt in Week 2.
Bloomsburg senior wide receiver John Klingerman eclipsed a milestone in his career – surpassing the 3,000-yard plateau in receiving. Klingerman entered the Panthers’ Week 4 game against Jersey Shore needing just 12 yards to reach the mark. He finished the night with 72, on six receptions and scored two touchdowns, to bring his career total to 3,060 yards and 42 touchdowns. Bloomsburg is 3-1 overall, and Klingerman has eight touchdown receptions to his credit, which ranks among the top totals in the state.
Central Columbia is off to a 4-0 start, and the Blue Jays have showed marked improvements offensively.
I remember talking with Jason Hippenstiel following his team’s 35-7 victory over Warrior Run last October, a game where Central Columbia rushed for more than 300 yards as a team. Hippenstiel was tickled pink over that. Central’s leading rusher from 2011, Dain Kowalski, finished with 215 yards for the Jays – in 10 games. Central averaged only 80 yards rushing and 16.5 points per game last season.
But now fast-forward to 2012 – Central is averaging 28.8 points and 186 yards rushing per game. And Kowalski has already surpassed his 2011 rushing total in just four games – he’s up to 221 yards and four touchdowns and is on pace to more than triple his 2011 rushing output (try a 737-yard, 10-touchdown pace for Mr. Kowalski). In fact, the Blue Jays are on pace to end the 2012 regular season with four backs with 250+ rushing yards each.
I promise this is the last District 4 note in this suddenly District 4-centric notebook, but why not save a first for last? Make sense? Loyalsock Township defeated Mount Carmel, 32-29, for the Lancers’ first-ever victory against the Red Tornadoes in program history. Loyalsock is 2-2 overall, with losses to Danville and Central Columbia, who are a combined 8-0 overall.
Speaking of improved rushing totals, Cedar Cliff senior Xavier Baney is on track to establish a new career-high in rushing yardage this week when the Colts take on West Shore rival Red Land Friday night. Baney, who rushed for 89 yards in the Colts’ 41-27 victory over Hershey Saturday, is up to 309 yards through four games. His career high for rushing yardage in a single season is 334 – established last year. While the headlines and ink go toward Cedar Cliff’s prolific passing attack and field general Andrew Ford (and deservedly so), Baney has quietly scored 20 rushing touchdowns for the Colts since the start of the 2010 season.
Cardinal O’Hara has only scored 32 points through its first three games of the 2012 season. Then, Saturday, the Lions nearly doubled that season total in one game, a dominating 56-20 victory over Archbishop Carroll. Thadd Smith, an O’Hara junior, nearly outdid the Lions’ three-game scoring output by himself, scoring 30 of the Lions’ points in the win.
Three Eastern Pennsylvania teams – Archbishop Wood (12), Lampeter-Strasburg (3) and Council Rock North (1) are starting freshman quarterbacks. Tom Garlick has taken over the reins of Wood’s offense the last two games; Bear Shank is piloting L-S’ ship; and Brandon McIlwain is a dual-threat at CRN’s offensive controls.
When Wyoming Area senior Nick O’Brien scores his next rushing touchdown, it will be the 60th of his career.
Since a season-opening loss to Berwick, Crestwood is undefeated and has outscored its opposition by a combined margin of 68-38.
Trinity senior running back Adam Geiger has scored nine rushing touchdowns over the Shamrocks’ last two games – five against Columbia and four more against Steelton-Highspire. Geiger has run for 616 yards and 10 touchdowns through four games and has 3,145 yards and 45 rushing touchdowns for his career. Trinity is 3-1 overall.
Follow Josh Funk on Twitter @Funk_pafb
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