REGION 3 PREVIEW

2013 CHAMPION: Greenville

OTHER PLAYOFF QUALIFIERS: Hickory*, Sharon and Grove City

 

PREVIOUS CHAMPIONS

2012: Grove City, *Hickory and Wilmington

2011: *Hickory

2010: *Sharon

2009: *Wilmington

2008: #Wilmington

2007: *Wilmington

2006: *Wilmington

2005: Wilmington

2004: Greenville and ^Grove City

*=also won district title, ^=also won district title and reached PIAA Championship game, # also won district title and PIAA Championship

 

1. HICKORY HORNETS

HEAD COACH: Bill Brest

2013 RECORD: 6-1 region (first), 12-2 overall (lost 20-23 to South Fayette in PIAA Semifinals)

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 5 YEARS: 48-13

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 10 YEARS: 70-39

PLAYOFF APPEARANCES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 5 (2005 and 2010-2013)

DISTRICT TITLES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 3 (2011-2013)

PIAA FINALS APPEARANCES: 1

1989: beat Montoursville 30-22

 

 

OFFENSE

Averaged 48.2 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst eight teams in region: 1

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in district: 1

 

In each of its four seasons under coach Brest Hickory has increased its point production and three all-region players return in hopes of continuing that trend. One key contributor who is not back is quarterback Matt Voytik, who earned Region 3 player of the year honors last season by completing 125 of 203 pass attempts for 2108 yards, 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions and added another 765 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing the ball. Junior Nick Cannone (7-for-10, 124, two, zero interceptions) is the new quarterback and will have many weapons at his disposal, including junior wide receiver Andrew Pryts, who caught 39 passes for 852 yards and eight touchdowns to earn second team all-region honors last year. Senior Noah Bianco and junior Joey DeJulia are the other receivers and senior Zach Cirillo is back as the starting tight end. Senior fullback Lou Derloni, who rushed for 979 yards and 12 touchdowns on 129 carries and was a second team all-region selection last season, and sophomore tailback Chuck Carr (59 carries, 577 yards, eight touchdowns) give Hickory a nice combination of speed and power in the backfield and leading the way for that duo is a line that features four returning starters, including senior tackle Austin Aikins, who was a first team all-region pick in 2013. Juniors Nate Aikins (center), Laron Allen (guard) and Anthony Nardone (guard) are the other returning starters up front and junior Dylan Mitchell is in his first year as the other starting tackle.

 

 

DEFENSE

Allowed 9.1 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst eight teams in region: 1

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in district: 2

 

Just like on offense, Hickory's scoring defense has improved in each of its four seasons under coach Brest and the 2013 team was one of only three District 10 teams, regardless of classification, to hold regular season opponents to an average of fewer than 10 points per game. Seven Hornet defenders earned some form of all-region recognition last year and all three all-region performers from the offense achieved the same honor on defense with Austin Aikins (52 tackles, seven sacks) a first team defensive tackle and both linebacker Derloni (60 tackles) and safety Pryts (82 tackles, five interceptions) second team choices. Even with the loss of first team all-region tack Tyler Reardon (55 tackles, 2.5 sacks) the line should be strong with ends Cirillo (77 tackles, eight sacks) and senior Jordan Wombacker (52 tackles, six sacks) both returning starters and Allen and Nardone splitting time at the defensive tackle spot opposite of Austin Aikins. Nate Aikins (59 tackles, one sack) and junior Logan Stoots join Derloni as starting linebackers and Carr (40 tackles) also sees time, with Pryts joined the secondary by new starting cornerbacks Bianco and senior Dante' Wallace.       

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Along with all that it has on offense and defense, Hickory also has a great special teams unit as Wombacker was a first team all-region kicker both of the past two seasons and added the honor of first team all-region punter last year, while Pryts is one of most dangerous return men in the district and joined deep on kicks by DeJulia.

 

OUTLOOK

While Slippery Rock and a few other teams will have something to say about it, Hickory still enters this season as a strong favorite to win a fourth consecutive district crown. 

 

 

2. SLIPPERY ROCK ROCKETS

HEAD COACH: Brendan Hathaway

2013 RECORD: 6-0 Region 5 (first), 10-1 overall (lost 15-35 to General McLane in Class AAA district quarterfinals)

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 5 YEARS: 28-25

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 10 YEARS: 53-52

PLAYOFF APPEARANCES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 5 (2007-2008* and 2011-2013)

DISTRICT TITLES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 0

PIAA FINALS APPEARANCES: 0

*Team was Class AA in 2008

 

 

OFFENSE

Averaged 48.1 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst seven teams in region: 1

Amongst 14 Class AAA-AAAA teams that competed in District 10 regions: 2

 

Last year was the fourth straight season that Slippery Rock increased its point production and the 2013 Rockets were one of only three District 10 teams, regardless of classification, to average more than 45 points per game. Four of seven all-region performers from last year's offense are back and included in that list of returnees is first team quarterback Jake Whitmer, who passed for 523 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for another 602 yards and 10 scores as a junior in 2013. First team all-region running back Frank Conlon, who was a second team all-region choice in 2012 and rushed for 1854 yards and 19 touchdowns over the past two seasons, is no longer around, but with Whitmer as well as junior second team all-region all purpose back Ryan Lauster (38 carries, 670 yards, seven touchdowns) and seniors Travis Lauster (64 carries, 480 yards, eight touchdowns) and Jared McDowell (21 carries, 262 yards, four touchdowns) the rushing game should again be a strength for the Rockets. Ken Anderson and Brandon McKnight are other running backs that figure to see time, while the duo's senior classmate Brady Kadlubek (six receptions, 202 yards, four touchdowns) and junior Gunner Coleman are the top two split ends and sophomore Ryan Dutton is the tight end. Seniors Colten Raabe (6'3, 275) and Cameron Neal are returning starters on the offensive line and Raabe joined Whitmer as a first team all-region pick last year. Senior Blake Heller was a second team all-region choice at tight end last season, but moves to the line with Zane Wolf, also a senior, and junior Shane Slater completing the list of starters up front.

 

 

DEFENSE

Allowed 11.7 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst seven teams in region: 1

Amongst 14 Class AAA-AAAA teams that competed in District 10 regions: 2

 

Like on offense, Slippery Rock's defense has gotten progressively better in recent years and the 2013 team included eight all-region selections. Raabe and Neal were both first team picks last year and are joined as starters by Slater and Dutton on this season's defensive line. McDowell (first team) and Travis Lauster (second team) give the team a two returning all-region linebackers with Heller a third returning starter there and McKnight completing the group. The secondary is led by second team all-region selection Kadlubek, with Whitmer also a returning starter and Ryan Lauster the other starter.

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Senior Mark Cessar was a second team all-region kicker last season and is also the punter and the kick/punt returners Kadlubek and both Lausters.

 

 

OUTLOOK

Although it dropped in classification, the quality of opponent that Slippery Rock will play week in and week out has probably been upped a notch with 2013 postseason qualifiers Greenville, Hickory, Sharon, Grove City and Warren all now region mates. That said, the Rockets look to be up for the challenge and might be the biggest obstacle standing between Hickory and a fourth straight District 10 Class AA crown.

 

 

 

3. SHARON TIGERS

HEAD COACH: Jim Wildman

2013 RECORD: 5-2 region (third), 6-5 overall (lost 19-22 to Girard in district quarterfinals)

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 5 YEARS: 30-28

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 10 YEARS: 61-50

PLAYOFF APPEARANCES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 6 (2006-2010 and 2013)

DISTRICT TITLES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 1 (2010)

PIAA FINALS APPEARANCES: 2

1994: lost 7-27 to Berwick

1995: lost 7-27 to Berwick

 

 

OFFENSE

Averaged 27.5 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst eight teams in region: 5

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in region: 7

 

Sharon averaged over 10 points per game more last season than it did in 2012, but to repeat that success it much replace each of its three all-region selections, including first team running back Carnell Hawkins, who rushed for 1617 yards and 19 touchdowns, while averaging nearly a first down per carry (9.98 yards) and adding 14 receptions for 224 yards and four more scores. At least at the onset of this season the team will employ a tailback by committee approach with juniors Tim Thompson and Gary Brewton, freshman Jeremiah Norris and seniors Wes Van Pelt and Gary Brewton all seeing time. Da'mon Rudolph is back as the fullback, after rushing for 131 yards and four touchdowns in 2013 and his his junior classmate Andrew Tomko also enters his second season as the starting quarterback and completed over 56 percent of his passes (61 of 108) for 977 yards, nine touchdowns and only four interceptions last season. Dan Vanderslice (13 receptions, 144 yards, two touchdowns) joined Hawkins as a first team all-region selection on the Tiger offense last season and his replacement is senior A'royal Ali with juniors Zach Meszaros, Jonathon Williams and Carmen Schuville and senior Isiah Pinckney all see time at the wide receiver positions. Junior Tucker Winner is the only returning starter on the offensive line and he's joined at guard by sophomore Dante Dellibovi with either senior Shane Young or junior Giovanni Volpe the starting center and seniors Cam McCarthy and Derrick Forrest and junior Antoine Williams all options to fill the two tackle spots.

 

 

DEFENSE

Allowed 14.7 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst eight teams in region: 3

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in region: 5

 

As much as the Sharon offense improved last year, the defense showed an even greater improvement after allowing more than 30 points per game in both 2012 and 2013, but even that leap in production the Tigers only had two all-region selections (both first team) and of that duo, junior defensive tackle Jeff Price is back. Junior Tyler Wilson is the other starting defensive tackle with Forrest and senior Connor Harry competing for one the defensive end spots and Brewton and sophomore Jaquan Waller doing the same at the other. Rudolph is back as one of the starting linebackers, Antoine Williams holds one of the other starting spots and the third is between sophomore Pep Keeler and junior Evan Hawkins, who is the younger brother of Carnell Hawkins. Speaking of Carnell Hawkins, he matched his first all-region pick on offense with the same honor on defense as the team's free safety last year and either Meszaros or Van Pelt will take his old spot with Ali the strong safety, Pinckney one of the starting cornerbacks and both Norris and freshman Ziyon Strickland options to be the other.

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Price is the new punter, junior Chris Hartnagle is the kicker and Thompson, Schuville, Van Pelt and Brewton could see some time deep on kick and/or punt returns.

 

 

OUTLOOK

After having a combined record of 3-17 the previous two seasons, Sharon returned to prominence in Wildman's first year back by reaching the postseason and coming seconds away from advancing to the district semifinals. With many of the starting position on this year's team being held by underclassmen, many of whom are also first year starters, the Tigers might be a season away from being legitimate contender for both region and district crowns, but that doesn't mean they won't be in the hunt for a second straight postseason berth.    

 

 

 

 

4. GREENVILLE TROJANS

HEAD COACH: Brian Herrick

2013 RECORD: 7-0 region (first), 11-1 overall (lost 24-26 to Girard in district semifinals)

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 5 YEARS: 33-23

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 10 YEARS: 61-46

PLAYOFF APPEARANCES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 9 (2004 and 2006-2013)

DISTRICT TITLES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 0

PIAA FINALS APPEARANCES: 0

 

 

OFFENSE

Averaged 30.1 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst eight teams in region: 3

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in region: 5

 

The 2013 Greenville offense included nine all-region selections, but of that group, only second team linemen Alex Gentile (guard) and Lou Emmett (tackle) return. Including the afore mentioned duo, this year's line will be made up of all seniors with T.J. Fisher joining Gentile at guard, Tom Christman filling the other tackle spot and Stephen Herrick the starting center. Even with the loss of first team all-region running back Trey VanAken (111 carries, 829 yards, seven touchdowns) and second team all-region all purpose back Tyler Fattman (313 carries, 1606 yards, 11 touchdowns - 47 receptions, 607 yards, eight touchdowns over the past three seasons) the Trojans still have some experience at running back with senior Nick Black (107 carries, 504 yards, 14 touchdowns last year) and Cody Nellis (132 carries, 632 yards seven touchdowns over the past two seasons). Matt Crawford is the other primary running back and his junior classmate Gade Gladysz replaces second team all-region pick Matt Jones (1163 yards passing, 14 touchdowns, nine interceptions) as the starting quarterback. Senior Ben Reiser is the starting split end and caught only one pass last year, although it went for a 70 yard touchdown, and the tight end spot is shared between senior Andy Jones, who led all returning players in all receiving stats (nine catches, 308 yards, two touchdowns) and junior Aaron Emmett.

 

 

DEFENSE

Allowed 10.8 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst eight teams in region: 2

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in region: 3

 

Last year was the first time since 2004 that Greenville held opponents to fewer than 14 points per game and it was rewarded with six all-region selections, half of whom were first team picks. Inside linebacker Zach Miller is the only one of the first team choices that's back and he led the 2013 squad with 112 tackles and adding 5.5 sacks, after finishing the 2012 campaign with 139 stops. Crawford (32 tackles, two sacks) is the other starting inside linebacker, while Black (54 tackles, three sacks) gives the linebacker unit a second returning all-region pick (second team) and he's joined on the outside by senior Garrett Oberle. Even with the loss of second team all-region defensive end Justin Reynolds (94 tackles, 8.5 sacks), the Trojan defensive line should again be strong with Gentile (44 tackles, four sacks) and Andy Jones (45 tackles, two sacks) this year's ends and Lou Emmett (31 tackles, one sack) and senior Jacob Morgan (31 tackles, one sack) the defensive tackles. Senior Devin Sulick (63 tackles, one interception) and junior Haunter Hause are the cornerbacks and Reiser (20 tackles, two interceptions) is the free safety.

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Junior Casey Eels enters his third season as the kicker (49-54 PATs, 2-2 FGs in that time), Gladysz replaces second team all-region pick Fattman as the punter and potential kick/punt returners are Eels, Hause, Sulick, Black and Nellis.

 

 

OUTLOOK

With all that it lost to graduation Greenville could have a hard time repeating last year's success, but the Trojans still figure to be a playoff team and will be looking to advance past the first round for a third straight year.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

5. GROVE CITY EAGLES

HEAD COACH: Sam Mowrey (first year)

2013 RECORD: 4-3 region (fourth), 5-5 overall (lost 7-28 to Northwestern in district quarterfinals)

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 5 YEARS: 43-13

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 10 YEARS: 83-28

PLAYOFF APPEARANCES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 9 *(2004 and 2006-2013)

DISTRICT TITLES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 2 (2004 and 2011)

PIAA FINALS APPEARANCES: 1

2004: lost 17-40 to Lansdale Catholic

*=2008-2011 playoff appearances were as Class AAA team

 

 

OFFENSE

Averaged 30.4 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst eight teams in region: 4

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in district: 2

 

The fact that Grove City averaged over 30 points per game during the 2013 regular season was at least somewhat misleading as it scored 34 or more or in four of its five wins, including an 82 point output against Saegertown, but was held no more than 21 in its other six games, including the playoff loss, and failed to score more than two touchdowns four times. Under coach Mowrey the Eagles will switch from a Wing-T offense to more of a spread look and for the third straight year, now senior, Jared Graham is the one behind center. Graham has had a hand in over 2194 yards of offense (1473 passing, 721 rushing) and 28 touchdowns (17-11) over past two years, but actually had a more productive year throwing ball as sophomore (44-for-72, 880 yards, 10 touchdowns, two interceptions) than as a junior (31-69-593-7-5). First team all-region all purpose back Foster Reznor led Grove City in all rushing (145 carries, 913 yards, 12 touchdowns) and receiving stats (13 receptions, 229 yards, four touchdowns) last season and after Graham, who had 412 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, the top returning rusher is senior fullback Tanner Lucido (51 carries, 250 yards, two touchdowns). Junior D'Andre Byers and sophomore Kordell Stewart also see time at fullback and the slot backs are seniors Jesse Hodge (17 carries, 124 yards three touchdowns) and Donny Sevin (nine carries, 134 yards, one touchdown) and juniors Peter Chuzie and Jamie Hall. Unlike years past, Grove City will always have at least two wide receivers on the field and the top four options are senior Jared Burk, juniors Justin Orlowski and Kaiden Young and sophomore Nick Davies. Senior Brett Snyder and sophomore Kyle Barger both see time at tight end, while the line is young and inexperienced and must replace three all-region members, including first team picks Grant Craig and Shawn Smoker. About halfway through the second week of camp, senior Evan Bice was the best bet to be the starting center, although fellow sophomores Zach Herndon and Jared Reppart were still in the mix, with the tackle and guard positions being filled by some combination of seniors Ian Craig and Boone Lyons, junior Brandon Dennis and sophomore Tyler Locktosh.

 

 

DEFENSE

Allowed 24.8 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst eight teams in region: 6

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in district: 12

 

Last year was the first time since 2001 that Grove City allowed opponents to average at least 20 points per game and to improve on that stat the team must replace five of its six all-region selections, with second team linebacker Lucido (team-high, 71 tackles) the only one returning. Byers (35 tackles), Sanders and Reppart, who could also see time on the line, are the other main middle linebackers in the team's 3-5 stack defense, with Graham and Dennis the starting outside linebackers and both Snyder and Young in the mix there as well. Hodge led last year's team with five interceptions, adding 40 tackles and is again the starting safety with Sevin (32 tackles, one interception, one sack), Orlowski, Barger, Davies and Chuzie all vying for time at the cornerback spots. Just like on the offensive line, the defensive line must replace three all-region members and the list of players who could see time is pretty much the same as well, with Reppart joined by Ian Craig, Bice, Herndon and Locktosh.

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Now senior, Dylan Nelson was a second team all-region pick last year and is back as the kicker, with Graham the punter and Hodge, Young and Davies the top kick/punt returners.

 

OUTLOOK

Considering that last year was the 12th straight season that Grove City won at least five games, it's hard to imagine the team not at least being in the hunt for a postseason berth, but in a tough region, with a new system and a lot of new faces the goal is to get better week by week and take it from there.

 

 

 

 

 

6. WARREN DRAGONS

HEAD COACH: Greg Latimer

2013 RECORD: 3-3 region (fourth), 7-3 overall (lost 25-55 to General McLane in district quarterfinals)

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 5 YEARS: 26-25

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 10 YEARS: 42-60

PLAYOFF APPEARANCES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 5 (2005-2006, 2010 and 2012-2013)

DISTRICT TITLES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 0

PIAA FINALS APPEARANCES: 0

 

 

OFFENSE

Averaged 28.3 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst seven teams in Region 5: 4

Amongst 14 Class AAA-AAAA teams that competed in District 10 regions: 7

 

With the loss of two-year starting quarterback Austin Jerman as well as its top five rushers and top six pass receivers, many people didn't know what to expect out of the 2013 Warren offense and while it dropped off a little (as far as point production) the result was still better than most thought it would be and enough to get the Dragons into the postseason for a second consecutive year. This year's unit looks to be more of a known commodity and is led by senior quarterback D.J. Fehlman, who completed 109 of 191 pass attempts for 2078 yards, 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last year. Senior Ryan Shattuck (29 receptions, 668 yards, nine touchdowns) figures to be Fehlman's top target with seniors Bailey Pratt and Alex Sherman and junior Devin Nowacki the other primary wide receivers. Seniors Kyle Kulka (83 carries, 612 yards, six touchdowns), Ryan Gorgacz (14-104-1) and Collin Delattre and sophomore Solomon Wilcox are the top four running backs and the tight end is junior Evan Suppa (six receptions, 75 yards, one touchdown). Seven players will share time on the offensive line and each of that group could see time at any of the five positions, although in most cases senior Mitch Labesky, who is a returning starter, will be the center. Evan Striech is a second returning starter up front with his senior classmate Eric Cecco and juniors Eric Shaffer, Hayden Salapek, Matt Jimerson and Tony Citro the others in the rotation.

 

 

DEFENSE

Allowed 27.6 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst seven teams in Region 5: 4

Amongst 14 Class AAA-AAAA teams that competed in District 10 regions: 9

 

Warren allowed more points per game than any other District 10 playoff qualifier, regardless of classification, last season and that included giving up 41 or more in all four of its losses. Fehlman was the only all-region player on last year's defense (first team) and is joined as a starting safety by both Shattuck and Sherman in the team's five man secondary with Delattre and Kulka the cornerbacks. The line includes defensive tackle Streich and defensive end Nowacki as well as Jimerson and Labesky, both of whom can play either nose or defensive tackle. Linebackers Gross and Suppa complete the list of defensive starters in the team' 4-2-5 scheme.

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Shattuck and Suppa could both see time as the kicker and/or the punter and the three kick/punt returners are Fehlman, Gorgacz and Kulka.

 

 

OUTLOOK

Although it has dropped in the classification Warren might find that in Region 3 it will actually face tougher competition on a week-to-week basis for the majority of its region road games the team will have to make the three hour journey to Mercer County.

 

 

 

7. CORRY BEAVERS

HEAD COACH: Adam Walstrom (first year)

2013 RECORD: 2-5 Region 4 (tied sixth), 3-7 overall

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 5 YEARS: 33-22

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 10 YEARS: 52-54

PLAYOFF APPEARANCES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 3 (2006 and *2009-2012)

DISTRICT TITLES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 0

PIAA FINALS APPEARANCES: 0

*2009-2011 appearances were as Class AAA team

 

OFFENSE

Averaged 23.2 points per game last season (not including playoffs)

RANK

Amongst eight teams in Region 4: 4

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in district: 10

 

Although it averaged more than a touchdown and field goal less per game than it did it in 2012, the Corry offense still produced more than 21 points per contest for a sixth straight and brings back quite a bit. The biggest loss is that of Nathan Smith, who was the starting quarterback each of the last years and passed for 3847 yards, 36 touchdowns and 37 interceptions, while rushing for another 1173 yards and 14 scores in that time. Junior Liam Cragg is the new starting quarterback and finished behind only Smith with 271 yards and five touchdowns on 36 carries last year. Cragg also led last year's team 26 receptions for 418 yards and five touchdowns and the starting receivers this season are senior Collyn Frontera (25-408-2), junior Amir Amos and sophomore Brady Davis. Fellow juniors Tagen Drayer and Dale Tharpe are the running backs and senior Taylor Bloom (12 receptions, 171 yards, one touchdown) is the H-back. Junior center Walker Gray was the only all-region player on the 2013 Beaver offense (second team) and is one of three returning starters on the line with left guard Caleb Zimmerman and right tackle Justin Shirey, both of whom are seniors, the others. Sophomore Mark Brady is the left tackle and senior Tag Fuller is the right guard.            

 

 

DEFFENSE

Allowed 27.7 points per game last season

RANK

Amongst eight teams in region: 7

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in district: 13

 

Quite possibly the biggest shoes to fill on either side of the ball are those of Ryan Morris, who was a three year starter and first team all-region selection at linebacker both of the past two seasons. Drayer led all returning linebackers with 48 tackles, adding a sack, in 2013 and is joined on the outside by junior Reese James with Zimmerman (16 tackles) in the middle. Cragg finished last season with 54 tackles and five interceptions to earn second team all-region honors and starts in the secondary along with fellow safety Davis and cornerbacks Jared Fisher (sophomore) and Jon Hammond (junior). On the line, junior Austin Wilcox is the nose tackle, Grey (53 tackles, one sack) and Fuller (31 tackles) rotate as the defensive tackle and Bloom (37 tackles, one interception), Frontera (13 tackles, one sack) and Amos all see time at the two defensive end spots.  

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Senior Zack Shelly is the kicker, while Cragg is the punter and also likely to be deep on kick and punt returns along with Drayer and Davis.

 

 

OUTLOOK

Corry might be better than it was last season, but with the move to a region that now includes six 2013 playoff qualifiers the improvement might not show up in the win-loss column.

 

 

 

 

8. TITUSVILLE ROCKETS

HEAD COACH: Tom Hancock

2013 RECORD: 1-6 region (seventh), 1-9 overall

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 5 YEARS: 9-41

CUMULATIVE RECORD IN LAST 10 YEARS: 38-62

PLAYOFF APPEARANCES IN LAST 10 YEARS: *3 (2005-2007)

DISTRICT TITLES IN LAST 10 YEARS: 0

PIAA FINALS APPEARANCES: 0

*all playoff appearances were as Class AAA team

 

 

OFFENSE

Averaged 13.0 points per game season

RANK

Amongst eight teams in region: 7

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in district: 13

 

2013 was a struggle for the Rocket offense as it scored a total of 49 in the first eight games (6.1 per) and shutout on four occasions during that stretch. Looking on the bright side of things, the team did total 56 points in its final two contests and that included a, season-high, 35 point outing in a week nine victory over Saegertown. Many of last year's key contributors are back and that includes senior quarterback Todd Brown, who completed 33 of 81 passes for 496 yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions in 2013. Wingbacks Cody Sines and Chase Ackerman and halfbacks Easton Hogue and Dan Stearns are other returning senior starters, while sophomore Brady Corklin was also a main cog in last year plays both halfback and receiver. Junior Skylar McIntyre is a third experienced wingback and joining Corklin as the primary receivers are seniors Rick Brown, Cooper Lamey and, North East transfer, Tom Rust. Senior guard Jason Oakes and junior center Matt Kerr give the line two returning starters, while sophomore Jason Downing is the other guard and the tackles are senior Scott Fry and junior Logan Nosko. Senior Tristan Nadolny started up front last year, but will miss the early part of the season due to injury.

 

 

DEFENSE

Allowed 42.0 points per game last season

RANK

Amongst eight teams in region: 7

Amongst 16 Class AA teams in district: 15

 

The Titusville defense allowed 35 points or more eight times last season and gave up, a season-worst, 70 in a week five loss at Hickory. Most of the starters on offense will go both ways, including defensive end Sines, who is a fourth year starter. Downing is the other defensive end and, in the team's 46 defense, Stearns and Nosko are the defensive tackles and Oakes is the nose. Hogue is back as the starting middle linebacker with Rust and McIntyre the two outside backers and the secondary including some combination of safeties Ackerman, Corklin and Todd Brown and cornerbacks Lamey, Rick Brown and sophomore Mike Watkins.

 

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Todd Brown is the kicker, while Corklin is the punter and also a possible kick/punt returner with Rust, McIntyre and Rick Brown also options to be deep.

 

 

OUTLOOK

In an eight team region that includes six 2013 playoff qualifiers, Titusville could have a tough time finding victories.