With size, strength up front, Montour in no hurry this season
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Used little by Montour in recent years, the Spartans have added a familiar formation to the playbook: It's called a huddle.
No longer does Montour have the record-setting passer or 4,000-yard rusher ideal for running a hurry-up offense, but it does have an oversized offensive line with two Division I recruits.
So, why hurry?
“Last year we just went,” said right tackle Ty Haddock, a 300-pound Temple recruit. “This year we're going to grind people, huddle up every play and run it down their throats. Every play. It's going to be a great year.”
That's not your typical Montour football. A year ago, quarterback Dillon Buechel and tailback Julian Durden led the high-scoring Spartans to a WPIAL title. They return senior Devin Wilson, the league's receptions leader in 2011, but inexperience in the backfield will change Montour's approach.
“We're going to be a different type of team,” coach Lou Cerro said, “a mashing-type of team that runs up the middle.”
Montour's strength is its strength. Haddock and center Matt Barone (6-foot-3, 265 pounds) anchor an offensive line that averages almost 260 pounds. The others are left guard Christian Balaski (6-3, 260), left tackle Nick Arnold (6-3, 210) and right guard Matt Martin (6-0, 225). All five are seniors.
“I don't think anyone realizes what our offensive and defensive lines have this year,” said Barone, who started at guard in 2011. “I think a lot of people are going to realize after the first couple of games.”
Haddock summed it up simply: “We've got a lot of beef this year.”
They'll block for junior Cole Macek (6-0, 185) and senior Kevin Klemmer (6-0, 180), who both have little varsity experience at running back. They combined a year ago for just nine carries and 42 yards, all by Macek. Klemmer started on defense.
There's also uncertainty at quarterback; seniors Ryan Mihelcic and Max Rosinsky and junior Tynen Greer entered camp competing for the job.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Pirates will play NL wild-card game at PNC Park after shutting out Reds
- Nothing normal about Steelers’ standard as backups fill vital roles
- Pirates notebook: Huntington weighs whether wild-card round should be expanded
- Penguins notebook: Farnham relishes making opening-night roster
- Power plants challenged by carbon capture and storage
- Pittsburgh Police Department to expand use of body cameras for officers
- Pittsburgh’s bike sharing service starts off healthy
- Manor festival will help animal shelters, rescues
- NFL notebook: RB Murray unhappy with role in Philly
- Energy efficiency goes mainstream
- Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s 125th anniversary bash raises stunning $11.9 million