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Workhorse sets pace for Southmoreland

Kelly Vernon | The Independent-Observer.
Tyler Ramsey scampers for yardage earlier this season.

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Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 9:30 p.m.

Coming into the 2012 high school football season, Southmoreland coach Dominic Pecora felt there were two certainties about his team.

Quarterback Dakota Datz being one after leading WPIAL Class AA passers in yardage in 2011. The other, running back Tyler Ramsey.

The senior has not disappointed this season, rushing for 500 yards on 100 carries.

“He's doing a great job,” Pecora said. “We spent literally the entire offseason focusing on the running game. I never leave the game Friday wondering if he gave me his all, because he has always done that.”

That was definitely evident in back-to-back weeks against Mt. Pleasant and Ford City, where Ramsey carried the ball 60 times.

Ramsey who checks in at 5 feet, 8 inches and 175 pounds, is enjoying the work

“That's what I worked all offseason for,” Ramsey said. “I didn't think he thought I could do it. I felt I had something to prove. I think I'm doing an alright job.”

Pecora would agree, probably thinking his running back is doing more than alright.

“Right now, the greatest part of our team is our run game,” the coach said. “I think his number-one strength is that he knows our system, He knows where the holes will be. When he gets in the open field, he's fast.”

Yes, it is safe to say Ramsey is fast. He's a sprinter on the Southmoreland track team, who placed sixth in the WPIAL in the 200-meter run.

Ramsey is quick to credit his offensive line for the success he's been having, players such as Jacob McNeice, Josh Thomas, Jake Beistel, Joe Espey, Jordan Pawlikowsky, Doug Leighty and tight end Chas King.

Ramsey admitted the start of the season has been tough for him and his teammates with four losses to begin the season, albeit against rugged competition that included some of the top programs in Class AA such as Jeannette, Washington and Mt. Pleasant.

“It was tough having to go to practice when you get pounded,” Ramsey admitted. “The only thing that kept us going was knowing more even competition was coming up.”

Ramsey does have his sights on playing football in college. He recently visited Duquesne and came away impressed with the Dukes football program.

“It's going to be a big adjustment,” Ramsey said. “Once you get there, it's a little more of a mind set (that's needed). Everybody's good.”

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101.

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