Knoch players, community hoping for return trip to Heinz Field
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Last month, Knoch returned to Heinz Field, the site of its last football game, for WPXI's media day event.
The experience wasn't as enormous and pressure-packed as its previous trip to the WPIAL Class AAA championship game in November. The Knights didn't need a tour of the place where they lost to Montour, 42-14, on that same Steelers sod.
But the bad taste of that loss — more bitter than a straight shot of Heinz mustard — came rushing back.
Knoch finished 12-1 after reaching the WPIAL title game for the first time since 1992.
“It was great to get there, but after losing in somewhat of an embarrassing fashion, we took a week off and hit the weight room again,” Knoch senior quarterback Dakota Bruggeman said. “We wrote on the wall we're getting back to Heinz Field — but we're going there to win.”
Knoch may just have the talent for another postseason surge, as Saxonburg chants for an encore. Last year's bunch broke team records for wins and points (476) in a season.
A major key will be the play of an experienced offensive line, which returns tackles Eric Kelin (6-5, 270) and Nathan Anuskiewicz (6-1, 200), and tight end Luke Kroneberg, all seniors.
“The starters played 13 games last year, and we have some juniors coming up,” coach Mike King said. “I think we'll be pretty competitive (on the line). There's a hunger there. Some kids got a taste of it last year.”
Senior Travis Fogel and Matt Miller and juniors Kraig King and Spencer Kale also are seeking playing time up front.
Like 2011, King expects several players to get in on the act offensively.
“The evolution of the offense last year kind of started a process where we started to think of things differently, in terms of how we can utilize kids,” King said. “That allows us to be creative with our gameplan. The spread allows you to do that. And that's important these days.”
Bruggeman (6-5, 200) will move from receiver, and wideout Ben Tackett will slide over to running back, replacing two other playmakers.
Graduates Ky Kenyon and Andrew Rumburg-Goodlin were two of Class AAA's best at quarterback and tailback last year.
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.
- Rossi: Blount brings back Steelers’ swagger
- Steelers re-sign Keisel to bolster depth on defensive line
- Run game not primary focal point for Steelers
- Steelers are hoping to mirror Eagles’ full-bore, no-huddle offense
- Pitt, Penn State face competition for ticket sales
- CF McCutchen returns to lineup, but Braves blast fast-fading Pirates
- Steelers sign tackle Gilbert to $30 million deal
- ALS ice challenge personal for Harrison patrolman
- Pittsburgh restaurants vie for title at Taste of the Championships
- Pitt notebook: No surprises as Panthers settle on starting O-line
- Rural Valley man jailed on charges of breaking into house twice