Hempfield quarterbacks locked in preseason battle
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Hempfield football coach Rich Bowen called Monday's opening practice one of the best he's seen in 21 years.
Bowen said he liked the work his team put in on a muggy August day.
There will be interesting battles brewing on the practice field the next few weeks. Hempfield finished 4-6 in 2012 after starting the season 3-1. Injuries to key players derailed the season.
One battle to be decided in camp is at quarterback. Seniors Tyler George and De'Lorian Day are set to compete for that job. Both started games in 2012.
Trying to find capable receivers to throw to is the next problem.
Hempfield also is unveiling a different defensive scheme.
“We'll use both of them at quarterback,” Hempfield coach Rich Bowen said. “Both bring different things to the game. They are two excellent quarterbacks and we feel both can move the football team.
“When one isn't lining up behind center, the other could be on the field somewhere. We did that some last year.”
George is more of a drop back quarterback, who can run if needed. Day is a scrambler capable of hurting opponents with his arm and legs.
George completed 78 of 164 passes for 1,001 yards and four touchdowns last year. He rushed 88 times for 423 yards and six touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 36 yards.
“De'Lorian is a great quarterback, too,” George said. “We're both going to be used. I want to be on the field as much as possible. I'll do whatever it takes to start.”
Day led the team in rushing with 548 yards on 53 carries and six touchdowns. He completed 32 of 48 passes for 352 yards and three TDs. He also intercepted two passes.
“Ty manages the offense and can run too,” Bowen said. “De'Lorian is more of a runner, but he knows the passing game, too. Both offer the same things, just a little change up here and there.”
Day made it a point to say he was a quarterback first.
“I'm just not a runner, I can throw too,” Day said. “At practice, Ty and I are getting multiple reps and trying to work with new receivers.”
Some of the receivers the quarterbacks talked about included Dante Luther, Jay Flock, Logan Swan, Ross Welshons, Joey Hoffner, Jimmy Vaccare and Chase Logan.
Both agreed that keeping running back Joey DeFloria healthy will be key. DeFloria rushed for 418 yards and five TDs in four games a year ago. On defense, Day will play free safety and George cornerback.
Day said there is a competition with other players for most tackles, most interceptions and most plays. Junior middle linebacker Josh Kempka, who is the captain of the defense, had the most tackles in 2013. Hempfield is switching from a four-front on defense to a three.
“We're trying to get more athletes on the field,” Bowen said.
Kempka likes the switch and said the pass defense wasn't as strong last year because so many teams like to throw.
“It's going to take a few practices to learn the defense,” Kempka said. “Once we get it down, we're going to be good.”
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.
- Transfer Ross powers Greensburg Central Catholic past Monessen
- Montour kicker comes through in win over Central Valley
- Ringgold topples Thomas Jefferson
- Gateway gets off to good start with win over Greensburg Salem
- Armstrong football wins inaugural game
- Mars’ offensive stars shine in 35-6 win over Indiana
- Connellsville football starts strong before succumbing to McKeesport
- Upper St. Clair upends Penn Hills, 17-0
- Apollo-Ridge edges Keystone Oaks behind Brown’s five touchdowns
- Highlands scores 42 straight points, rallies to victory
- Big 2nd half gives Franklin Regional win over Knoch, 35-2