Carroll, Schademan have record-breaking seasons for Jaguars
Thomas Jefferson's varsity football team fell one game short of playing for the WPIAL Class AAA championship in 2012.
The Jaguars, who won the Big Nine Conference title with a perfect 8-0 slate, ended up 11-1 overall after falling to West Allegheny, 24-7, in the WPIAL semifinals.
The local squad has advanced to the semifinal round in 15 of the past 16 years.
Nonetheless, it was a record-breaking season for the local squad, in particular in the passing department.
Senior quarterback Joe Carroll, in his first year as a varsity starter, set team records for touchdown passes in a season, touchdown passes in a game, and pass completions in a game.
“He's a dropback passer; he has a cannon for an arm,” said Bill Cherpak, the Jaguars' head coach, about Carroll. I (felt) comfortable with him running things. If you want him to put the ball on the spot, he'll put it there.”
Caroll connected for 38 touchdown passes this season to eclipse the previous mark (33) set by Tyler Wehner in 2008.
TJ's signal caller threw six touchdown passes in a 40-7 win against Trinity, breaking the old mark of five, established by Wehner versus West York in the PIAA playoffs in 2008.
Carroll tied the old record of five touchdown passes in a game three times this season, against Ringgold, Hollidaysburg and Belle Vernon.
Carroll completed 23 of 30 passes for 376 yards and five touchdowns versus Belle Vernon, shattering the previous team record of 18 completions set by Pete Winovich against Keystone Oaks in 2003.
Senior wideout Zach Schademan broke team records for touchdown receptions in a season and touchdown receptions in a game.
Schademan reeled in 21 touchdown receptions in 2012, breaking the old mark of 13 set by Dan Virgin in 2008.
“Zach is not the fastest player on the team, but he plays fast on the field,” Cherpak said. “He knows how to use his body, has excellant hands, and catches everything.”
It took Schademan six games to tie Virgin's record.
Schademan broke the record for touchdown receptions in a game twice in 2012 with five against both Trinity and Belle Vernon.
The old record was three, established by Tom McCafferty against Elizabeth Forward in 2003, and tied by Jim Giansante against West York in 2008.
Schademan also owns the record for receptions in a game with 14 for 183 yards against Knoch in the 2011 WPIAL playoffs.
He had 13 catches for 247 yards and five TDs against Belle Vernon this year.
On the season, Schademan finished with 48 receptions covering 1,005 yards, an average of 20.9 yards per catch.
He had 49 receptions for 807 yards and eight scores in 2011, and for his career, nabbed 105 receptions for 1,989 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Thomas Jefferson was well-represented on this year's all-conference squad, led by Schademan, a first team selection on both offense (WR) and defense (DB) for the second consecutive year.
Three other TJ players were first-team picks on offense — Carroll (QB), senior Pat Hall, at center, and senior Evon Danscak, at the kicker position.
Chase Winovich, a junior linebacker, joined Schademan on the first-team all-conference defense.
“Chase can cover the whole field. He's aggressive, he can run, and he has good size,” Cherpak said.
Second-team selections for the Jaguars were junior Cole Costy, at offensive tackle; sophomore Jacob Guinn and junior Matt Nagy, on the defensive line, and junior Austin Boyd, at linebacker.
Senior Jake Mascaro (wide receiver) and junior Dalton Dietrich (defensive back) received honorable mention nods.
Mascaro tied the previous team record for touchdown receptions in a game twice with his three-touchdown performances versus Ringgold and Hollidaysburg.
Mascaro finished with 40 receptions for 753 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. He averaged 18.8 yards per reception.
Two other leading receivers for the Jaguars were Dietrich, who had 12 catches for 181 yards and one touchdown; and Colton Booher, a senior with 11 catches for 217 yards and four touchdowns.
Booher averaged 19.7 yards per catch; Dietrich averaged 15.1 yards per catch.
Senior tight end Derek Toboz made four receptions covering 43 yards and scored once, while four others rounded out the Jaguars' receiving corps — junior Byron Minous (2-19), junior Zach Talley (1-13), senior Shane Lotis (1-11) and sophomore Frankie Langan (1-1).
Jake Farrell, a junior running back, led the team in rushing with 802 yards and 11 touchdowns on 126 carries.
Farrell was complemented overland by junior Luke Deanovich (19-266), sophomore Kyle Senich (39-237), Minous (60-214), and sophomore Jamison Opfar (18-210), who combined for 927 yards.
The Jaguars' leading scorer was Schademan, with 22 touchdowns and 132 points, followed by Mascaro and Farrell, with 66 points apiece, and Danscak, who converted 51 PAT kicks and one field goal (64 points).
Next in line were Booher, with 32 points (five touchdowns, one safety); Minous (24), Senich (18), Dietrich (12), Talley (12), Deanovich (12) and Opfar (12).
Rounding out the scoring were Toboz, Winovich, freshman Braden Pahanish and junior Anthony Sestito, with one touchdown apiece; along with sophomore Russell Siess and Boyd, who were credited with one safety apiece.
The local squad registered four safeties on the season.
Thomas Jefferson outscored the opposition, 480-152, averaging 40 ppg offensively and 12.7 ppg defensively.
Winovich and Boyd, both inside linebackers, led the squad defensively with 69 and 53 tackles, respectively.
Winovich had 60 unassisted tackles, 8 sacks, recovered four fumbles, and caused 3 fumbles.
Boyd finished with 44 unassisted stops, 4 sacks and 2 fumble recoveries.
They were complemented by Toboz (41 tackles, 1 sack, 1 caused fumble, 1 fumble recovery), Guinn (40 tackles, 2 sacks), and Nagy (35 tackles, 1 sack, 2 caused fumbles).
Other defensive standouts included Siess (29 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 caused fumble), Booher (27 tackles, 1 interception, 1 fumble recovery, 1 sack), Talley (19 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries), Minous, Schademan and Mascaro.
And, in more limited roles, defensive stoppers included the likes of junior Christian Breisinger, Senich, sophomore Corey Payne, freshman Lance Reaghard, Deanovich, Lotis and Opfar.
The Jaguars intercepted eight passes this year, paced by Schademan, Dietrich and Talley with two apiece. Booher and Mascaro had one.
Booher and Sestito scored touchdowns on fumble recoveries.
Schademan and Talley scored on long punt returns; Talley also scored on a 70-yard kickoff return.
Danscak, a senior midfielder on the Jaguars' soccer team in 2012, punted 26 times, averaging 31.9 yards per punt. His longest punt traveled 51 yards.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.