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Thomas Jefferson linemen instrumental to Hill's rushing success

| Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, 5:34 p.m.

Quinton Hill has had a sensational football career at Thomas Jefferson.

Hill, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior running back, this season became the first player to attain 4,000 career rushing yards in TJ football history.

Hill ended up with 4,432 yards and 63 touchdowns on 576 carries in his four-year varsity career.

The bulk of his rushing yardage was amassed over the Jaguars' past two WPIAL championship seasons, as Hill totaled more than 3,500 yards and scored 52 touchdowns in 2015 and 2016.

TJ blanked New Castle, 42-0, in this year's WPIAL Class 4A finals.

“Quinton is the full package as a running back,” Bill Cherpak, TJ's coach, said. “He has great size and balance; he can run with speed and power. He also has great vision and instincts.”

There are several reasons for Hill's tremendous achievement, none moreso than the unheralded workman-like performance of the TJ offensive line.

The Jaguars finished with 3,331 yards rushing as a team this season, mainly behind the tenacious blocking of tackles Devin Danielson, a junior, and A.J. Putignano, a senior; Jimbo Nassida and Dustin Lanning, both senior guards; and sophomore center Dom Serapiglia.

The 6-3, 295-pound Danielson, a third-year starter and major college prospect, anchored both lines for the Jaguars.

“Devin Danielson may be the best interior lineman the WPIAL has had since Aaron Donald, except he is bigger than Donald but explosive like AD,” Joe Cowart, New Castle's coach, said.

Hill has been quick throughout his career to acknowledge the blocking of his teammates on the offensive line.

“It's a great honor to hold the record,” he said after breaking the career rushing mark. “I couldn't have done it without the outstanding blocking I get up front every week.”

The Jaguars' linemen were complemented by senior Jake Giegerich and junior Noah Palmer at the tight end position.

Ray Fisher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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