Burrell set to showcase speed on offense this season
By Bill West
Published: Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:56 p.m.
To get Burrell senior Cody Wolfe to smile wide these days, ask him about the new offense the Bucs will unveil this fall.
“It's a little San Francisco 49er action,” he said. “It's going to be fun.”
Third-year coach Kevin Horwatt said Burrell's schemes will be reliant on speed and surprises. Gone is the pound-the-ground offense that helped bruiser Cole Bush gain almost 1,800 yards and allowed the Bucs to go 8-2 and share the Allegheny Conference title.
“With the guys we have now, it's a little different,” Horwatt said. “We're not focusing on one key individual. We're going to be pulling it together.”
Bush, an all-conference running back and linebacker, and 10 other players, including quarterback James Liput, graduated. Seven starters are back on each side of the ball.
“Burrell is known for the power stuff,” said Wolfe, who will start at quarterback. “But we have some athletes, and we're going to use them. Instead of just toughness, it'll be speed and toughness.”
Wolfe started one game at quarterback last season while Liput recovered from concussion symptoms. He led the Bucs to a 17-10 win over Ford City.
“For a quarterback, this (offense) is great,” said Horwatt, a former Bucs signal caller. “You make all the decisions. It's based off what you do.
“These kids are very mature. They're willing to take that pressure on their shoulders.”
Many players will handle the ball, but junior Ryan Sowol and senior Mitch Pollino will see the most carries at running back. Pollino rushed 37 times for 284 yards and three touchdowns last season, and Sowol gained 186 yards on 26 carries.
Senior receiver Nick Pattock returns after leading the team with 24 catches and 387 yards.
The revamped offense forced Burrell's offensive linemen to learn new blocking techniques. Seniors Chad Tonks and Tyler Horwatt, the team's returning starters, must make sure their less experienced cohorts stay up to speed.
“We're still going to battle,” Tonks said. “It's going to be a physical game every week.”
Burrell averaged 34.5 points per game last season. Only four Class AA teams had higher averages.
“There's a lot more key pieces to this puzzle now,” Horwatt said. “They need to be on the same page, and they really need to buy into this.
“I think it's going to be exciting to watch. You're going to see a variety of names in the paper.”
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.