Share This Page

KO, Sto-Rox try to break tie for second

Sto-Rox likes to pass. Keystone Oaks likes to run.

The offenses and their playmakers will figure out which is better Friday night when No. 5-ranked Sto-Rox visits No. 7 Keystone Oaks for a 7:30 p.m. Century Conference game.

Keystone Oaks (6-1) is second in the conference standings, while Sto-Rox (6-1, 6-1) is third. Another victory will be critical for seeding and momentum heading into the playoffs.

But don't expect any surprises.

"We've definitely had some success running the ball," Keystone Oaks coach Nick Kamberis said. "It's no secret what we're going to try to do. We're pretty big up front, and we feel pretty good about our two backs."

They are juniors Jordan Maddox and Matt McCann, the most productive running back tandem in the WPIAL. If you combine their season statistics through seven games, they've rushed for 1,836 yards and 25 touchdowns.

"They do a very nice job running the ball," Sto-Rox coach Jason Ruscitto said. "They execute their game plan. They'll load up their backs behind that line and run behind those kids. They just make plays in the running game, but that's a credit to coach Kamberis."

Sto-Rox, of course, also has a pair of high-profile athletes, and they are what makes the Vikings' passing game as dangerous as it is. Quarterback Paul Jones, in five games since coming back from a broken ankle, has thrown for 1,125 yards and 11 touchdowns, five of which have been to 6-foot-5 Pitt recruit Andrew Carswell.

"Obviously, going against a team like Sto-Rox, we need to do a real good job in the secondary with our checks, coverages and disgusing things," Kamberis said. "We've been getting away with some things the last couple weeks, but when you have two great players like Sto-Rox has, they can expose the little mistakes."

Defending Jones and the Sto-Rox passing game doesn't start in the secondary, however. Kamberis said the key to limiting any good quarterback begins up front.

"The more you can harass him, the better odds you have," Kamberis said. "But to do that you have to weaken yourself in the secondary, and you open yourself up to big plays. We have to make him as uncomfortable as we can in the pocket and do the best we can to limit big plays in the secondary."

Jones' mobility might be an issue. Ruscitto said his Penn State-recruit quarterback still isn't quite at 100 percent with his ankle, but that Jones has performed well under the circumstances, specifically during last week's game at South Park on a rain-soaked field.

Meanwhile, Keystone Oaks has had issues the past two weeks with players getting the flu, but a victory would be a big part of the cure.

"Obviously, you want to be hitting on all cylinders going into the playoffs," Kamberis said. "It can have the adverse affect as well if you don't win. We just need to approach it like any other week, whether or not there's a packed house."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.