Connellsville looks to regain confidence against Norwin
TribLIVE Sports Videos
With one win through four weeks of the high school football season, the Connellsville Falcons aren't exactly where they had hoped to be, but they are definitely a team in the playoff hunt as the season approaches the halfway point.
And with games against Gateway and Seneca Valley in the rearview mirror, the Falcons (1-3, 1-2) now can look ahead in hopes of making a strong second-half push, beginning with Friday's Quad East Conference game at Norwin.
“If you look at the standings in our section, Penn-Trafford is 3-0 (in the section), but the rest of the teams we play are all one-win teams,” Connellsville coach Dave McDonald said. “We're playing teams the next five weeks where we could easily win every game or lose every game. The next five games will determine a lot.”
The Falcons have to be thankful that last week's 64-14 loss to Seneca Valley was a nonconference defeat that doesn't impact their conference standing — Connellsville is in the fifth and final playoff position in the Quad East.
“We picked a really bad week to play poor football,” McDonald said. “We moved the ball and Jade (Maher) was throwing well, but on defense, we decided not to tackle. Part of the hump we have to get over is that when we play elite teams, we have to have the confidence to play at that level. It's a lack of confidence and it is very obvious to me, but two years ago, every game was a Seneca Valley game. I've got to do a better job of instilling confidence.”
McDonald believes his team will play with a lot more swagger this week against the Knights (1-3, 1-3).
“I think our approach is going to be much better because the kids have confidence that they can compete with Norwin,” McDonald said.
Make no mistake, the Falcons aren't taking the Knights lightly.
Norwin lost its first three games, but the Knights are coming off a 27-14 win over Latrobe. Nick Amendola and Casey Rebosky each rushed for more than 100 yards in Norwin's first win of the season.
“Art (coach Tragesser) is doing a great job with them,” McDonald said. “Norwin is 1-3, but they could easily be 3-1. Turnovers have cost them. They are very aggressive on defense. Their linebackers bring pressure and they create problems. Offensively, they've moved the ball, but they have kind of shot themselves in the foot.”
Connellsville's offense has also been able to move the ball. Even in last week's lopsided loss, the Falcons' James Stevenson and Jordan McCrae each had touchdown runs. And while the defense struggled last week, there have been signs of improvement, especially in Connellsville's win over Hempfield in Week 3.
“We just have to put both (offense and defense) sides of the ball together,” McDonald said.
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-626-3534.
Show commenting policy
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.