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Southmoreland gridiron stats display positive traits

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 9:03 p.m.
Tony Hunter | For The Independent-Observer
Jalke Pisula (15) rushed for 1,609 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

The Southmoreland Scotties wrapped up the 2013 high school football season Halloween night with a very convincing 50-7 win over the Derry area Trojans. With the win, the Scotties closed out the campaign with an overall 4-6 record, 3-5 in the Class AA Interstate Conference.

Before head coach Mark Adams and his staff begin working on the 2014 edition of Southmoreland varsity football, they will pour over every conceivable stat associated with this year's squad and try and come up with areas of improvement for next years team, as well as recognize positive trends and stats left over from this years performance.

At a glance, there were many positive things that happened for the Scotties on the field in 2013. Here are just a few.

Junior tailback Jake Pisula became just the fourth running back in Southmoreland history to go over the 1,000-yard mark. Pisula rushed for 1,609 yards and scored 11 touchdowns for the Scotties this season. Pisula toted the pigskin 280 times and caught three passes for 38 yards.

Aaron Bailey ran for 714 yards on 83 attempts and scored eight rushing touchdowns.

Brennan Bunner rushed for 35 yards on 62 attempts and scored two touchdowns, while fellow quarterback Brennan Coles gained 13 yards on 20 attempts and scored three touchdowns.

Other running backs gaining yardage were Kyle Cohen, 21 yards on nine attempts, Justin Livengood 24 yards on eight attempts, while Ryan Francis and Ben Brooks each carried the ball once for two and seven yards respectively.

As a team, the Scotties rushed for 2,352 yards on 470 carries and scored 24 rushing touchdowns. They averaged 235.2 yards per game on the ground while averaging five yards per carry.

Southmoreland quarterbacks Brennan Bunner and Brennan Coles split time calling the signals this season. Bunner was 10 for 33 for 191 yards and threw three touchdown passes, while being picked off three times. Coles finished the season 8 of 21 for 57 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. Scottie quarterbacks attempted 56 passes, completing 18 of them for 248 yards and three scores. Southmoreland averaged 24.8 yards passing per game.

The Scotties were so good in the run game that the receivers did not see many chances to catch the ball this season. Livengood led Southmoreland in receiving, catching five passes for 135 yards and three touchdowns. Chas King also hauled in five passes for 43 yards and no touchdowns. Other receivers catching passes for the Scotties were Pisula (3-38), Coles (3-37), Cohen (1-2) and Bailey (1-3).

Southmoreland receivers caught 18 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns and averaged 13.8 yards per catch.

One very telling statistic that stands out for the Scotties was their proficiency for converting third and fourth down attempts into first downs. Southmoreland converted 33 of 88 third-down attempts into first downs, or 37.5 percent. When going for it on fourth down, Southmoreland converted 14 of 23 attempts for a 60.8 percent effective rating.

When it comes to putting points on the board, the Southmoreland offense did very well in 2013. The Scotties were shut out only once, and that was by Interstate Conference champion Mt. Pleasant. The Scotties averaged 19.7 points per game on offense. Southmoreland was strong in the first and fourth quarters scoring 59 first-quarter points and 61 fourth-quarter points. The Scotties struggled to score in the second and third quarters, averaging only 7.7 points per game in the middle frames.

With only seven seniors exiting the program this season, Adams and the rest of his staff can see a bright light at the end of a long tunnel. Offensively, the Scotties will see the return of their leading rusher and their quarterback will have a year of experience under his belt. Also, the offensive line will lose only one key cog in the machinery and will have a full offseason of weight training to become even more powerful and physical.

Mark King is a contributing writer.