Southmoreland prepares for showdown with GCC
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After recording its first win of the season Sept. 28 against Waynesburg, the Southmoreland football team heads to Greensburg Central Catholic with high hopes of continuing to build upon the momentum coming off of a 37-13 win over the Raiders.
Southmoreland (1-4) (1-3) will be facing a Centurion team still in a bit of turmoil since cutting ties with legendary head coach Muzzy Colosimo shortly before the start of the season.
Greensburg Central Catholic, which comes into the Class AA Interstate Conference match-up with the Scotties at 2-2 in the conference, 3-2 overall, has a one-game lead over Southmoreland for the fourth and final playoff position from the Interstate Conference.
The Centurions dropped their first two games of the season to Washington and Mt. Pleasant, before reeling off three wins in a row against Kittanning, Waynesburg and Brownsville.
The Scotties were winless in their first four games before notching their first win
G.C.C. is coached by assistants Dan Mahoney and Matt Federico. The pair took over shortly before training camp began in August, and it has taken the players a little bit of time to adjust to life without the flamboyant Colosimo.
The Centurions pride themselves on having a strong offensive line and a great defense.
Last season, the Centurions made it to the WPIAL semifinals, before falling in the semifinal round to Aliquippa, 35-0.
In 2009, Colosimo led the Centurions to the PIAA championship game in Hershey, where they lost a heartbreaking decision to Lancaster Catholic, 21-14.
Greensburg Central Catholic is lead by senior running back Zach Guiser. Guiser also will double as the team's strong safety on defense.
Chase Keller, a 6-foot, 3-inch junior quarterback, will be the signal caller for the Centurions. Keller was 10-12 for 188 yards and four touchdowns last week against Brownsville.
Keller has a stable of receivers at his disposal including P.J. Biros who hauled in two scores last week, along with Zach Herman and Nate Stone.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Centurions rely on a talented group of linebackers to control the game.
Seth Warburton, Mark Rodrguez, Stone, and J.T. Astalos are as talented a group of linebackers as there is in the Interstate Conference.
For the Scotties to be successful and put together a two-game win streak, they will have to control the clock against the Centurions.
In order to do this, they will rely heavily upon the running game against one of the better run stopping teams in the WPIAL.
Greensburg Central held the Brownsville Falcons to less than 100 yards rushing last week and did not surrender a touchdown until late in the contest when many of the starters were on the sidelines.
It is not impossible to think that the Scotties can not win this game and improve their chances of solidifying that final playoff berth.
Southmoreland can put itself in the driver's seat with a win, with their next three opponents already behind them in the standings.
And remember, the Centurions have not played once-beaten Jeannette yet.
Mark King is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
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