| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Skill players return for Beaver Falls

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Beaver Falls senior Brock Boxen works out with teammates during the team's final practice Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, before heading to camp.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.


Coach: Ryan Matsook

2012 record: 8-3, 5-2

Date Opponent Time

8.30 at Riverside* 7

9.6 Mohawk* 7:30

9.13 at Ellwood City* 7

9.20 Beaver* 7:30

9.27 at Keystone Oaks 7

10.4 New Brighton* 7:30

10.11 at Freedom* 7

10.18 Aliquippa* 7:30

10.25 at Central Valley 7

*conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing Dan Stratton

68-143, 1,454 yards, 18 TDs

Rushing Damian Rawl

153-1,163 yards, 11 TDs

Receiving Elijah Cottrill

26-519 yards, 7 TDs


Top high school sports
By Chuck Curti
Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Ryan Matsook isn't one to get caught up in postseason accolades. But when the Midwestern Conference's Top 22 all-star team for 2012 was released, the Beaver Falls coach was taken aback by one omission.

Damian Rawl, who rushed for 1,163 yards and 11 touchdowns a year ago, was not among the chosen running backs.

“Probably the kid with the least amount of accolades is one of the most important,” Matsook said. “The offense is going to go through him.”

Rawl and the ground game figure to be an integral part of the Tigers' attack despite the return of quarterback Dan Stratton, who threw for 1,454 yards and 18 TDs last year.

Matsook still plans on having Stratton sling the ball around a bit — leading receiver Elijah Cottrill (26 catches, seven TDs) also returns — but when the weather turns sour at playoff time, teams that run the ball effectively can have an edge.

“In Western Pennsylvania, when the wind starts blowing and the snow starts flying … you better be able to run the ball,” Matsook said.

Matsook plans on having Sage Curry, who was moved to tight end a year ago, get a number of carries.

Curry, a West Virginia recruit who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 200 pounds, was a game-changer as a receiver in 2012, averaging more than 38 yards per catch. But with his speed — he finished second in the 200-meter dash and seventh in the 100-meter dash at the WPIAL track and field finals — and previous experience at running back, he figures to make the Beaver Falls offense even more dangerous.

Of course, having someone like Akron recruit Brock Boxen to anchor the offensive line doesn't hurt, either. He's the only player in Matsook's seven-year tenure at Beaver Falls to start since his freshman year. With him and the rest of the talented cast of returnees, the Tigers — who have made six straight playoff appearances — figure to be among the top contenders in Class AA again.

“We feel pretty confident about the crew we have coming back,” Matsook said. “We just need to play smart football and take care of the football.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Football

  1. Clairton among greatest WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette close
  2. WPIAL Class AAAA final preview: Penn-Trafford looking to reverse trend of playoff losses to Central Catholic
  3. WPIAL Class A final preview: Jeannette proved it was up to challenge of facing Clairton during Eastern Conference matchup
  4. WPIAL Class AAA final preview: Big-play passing attack paying off for defending WPIAL champion Central Valley
  5. WPIAL history full of football dynasties
  6. WPIAL Class AA final preview: Rivals South Fayette, Aliquippa to play for title for record 3rd straight season
  7. Karns City tops Bedford in state football playoffs
  8. Central Catholic senior Jones plays key role in all phases for Vikings
  9. Strong run game lifts Thomas Jefferson into WPIAL AAA title game
  10. TJ-Central Valley football powers to clash at Heinz Field
  11. High school notebook: Knoch CF Bucko commits to Kent State