Connellsville football faces another tough test
By Jason Black
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 11:21 p.m.
Connellsville has not been afforded the opportunity to ease into the 2013 season.
Through three games, the Falcons have played three strong opponents and are about to meet their fourth when they host No. 5 Seneca Valley, the Quad North leader, in their lone nonconference game of the season.
“Including this week, our first four opponents are (a combined) 10-2,” Connellsville coach Dave McDonald said. “We're playing quality opponents and I'm excited about it because it will prepare us for the back half of the schedule.”
Connellsville (0-3) has shown flashes of promise in each of its games. In their past two games, the Falcons have combined for over 900 yards of total offense, yet they have hurt themselves with turnovers and penalties.
Last week, a critical fumble resulted in a Hempfield touchdown in the Spartans' 42-28 Quad East victory.
“A lot of our wounds are self-inflicted,” McDonald said. “When you watch us on film, you see great things, but our mistakes have been huge. We have to walk that tight rope and our margin for error for winning games is very small.”
The Falcons have developed the habit of starting games poorly. Last week, they fell behind 21-0 in the opening minutes, and despite rallying to make it a one-score game in the second half, the Falcons couldn't overcome a sloppy first quarter.
McDonald said he and his staff have been emphasizing better ball protection, which could go a long way in the team achieving some success as the season draws nearer to the halfway point.
“We need to continue the process of getting better,” McDonald said. “Being out of conference or in conference doesn't matter to me. We just have to play better. We had 511 total yards of offense against Hempfield and 400 yards of offense against Gateway. We're executing and we're balanced and we're playing well up front. I'm happy with the way the offensive line is coming together.”
Connellsville, which featured strong performances from quarterback Jade Maher (24 of 36, 228 yards, 2 TDs), running back Christopher Russell (26 carries, 166 yards, 1 TD) and wide receiver Darrell Ross (15 receptions, 155 yards) against Hempfield, will be tested against a stout Seneca Valley defense.
“Defensively they have two standout linemen (Steven Gaviglia and Dan Miller),” McDonald said. “They are very good and well-coached. They are strong on defense and we'll have to drive the ball to beat them.”
The Raiders are led by quarterback T.J. Holl, son of Seneca Valley coach Don Holl. The younger Holl threw a touchdown pass in last week's 20-6 win over North Allegheny.
“He is a heck of an athlete,” McDonald said of Holl. “He played wide receiver for them last year and from Week 1 to Week 3, he has gotten better. T.J. kind of makes them go. Their offense runs through him.”
For the Falcons, it will be another tough test, but one McDonald hopes will pay dividends.
“If we can get through this week healthy, I think the level of competition we have been facing will help us later in the year,” he said.
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.
- Review: ‘Once’ charms as it breaks rules of musical theater
- Obama budget puts more money into nuclear cleanup, not locks and dams
- Rural Ridge residents question NRG’s plans for landfill
- Fields set for primary elections on May 20
- Forward supervisors OK park funding proposal
- Printing delinquent tax list pays off for Highlands
- Obamacare dramatically increases costs for some small businesses
- Panthers free agent safety headed to Steelers
- Men’s Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank agree to merger
- Chamber event targets small business, health care
- Orpik rises to occasion as Penguins take down Capitals once again