Connellsville hoping for strong start against Kiski Area
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For many years, the Connellsville football team has had the luxury of starting the season with at least a couple of exhibition games, which can be used to refine techniques and work on flaws in preparation for the more important conference games.
This year, no such luxury exists for the Falcons as they will open the season on the road with a Quad East match-up against Kiski.
“This one is for real,” Connellsville coach Dave McDonald said. “We know how important it is to get off to a good start. It's critical for us to come out and play well.”
The Falcons will be trying to build on last year's campaign that saw Connellsville finish 5-5 and advance to the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since 2005.
However, an improvement is far from guaranteed considering the Falcons will have many new faces take the field.
“We've got eight new starters on offense and seven on defense,” McDonald said.
Despite the changes, McDonald is pleased with the way his team has prepared for the start of the season.
“I think we are right where we need to be, and maybe even a little ahead,” McDonald said.
Against Kiski, the Falcons will attempt to control the game on the ground. A stable of running backs — including halfbacks Jordan McCrae and James Stevenson as well as fullbacks Dylan Miller, Chris Russell and Zachary Cree — should get plenty of work. Connellsville still is trying to put together a cohesive offensive line, but that doesn't seem to bother junior quarterback Jade Maher, who is beginning his second season in McDonald's wing-T offense.
“I love the offense,” Maher said. “This year, it's like second nature for me. I'm more confident with it now.”
The Falcons will be staring across the field at a Kiski team that is trying to build confidence of its own, particularly after grabbing just one victory a season ago.
“They have a new head coach (Dave Heavner), and they look like a different team than the one we scrimmaged last season,” McDonald said. “They are physical up front, and they have a couple of skilled kids.”
The Cavaliers will be led by senior quarterback Ricky Carter, a transfer from Gateway. Junior Joe Brungo is a top receiving threat.
McDonald noted that his program is in a growing process, as is Kiski's.
“I think both of the programs are paralleling each other from that standpoint,” McDonald said.
The Connellsville coach expects a tight game to start the season, meaning that a mistake or two could be the difference between a win and a loss.
“We can't turn the ball over, and we have to play well on special teams,” McDonald said. “The team that turns the ball over the most is going to lose.”
McDonald expects his team to be ready to play at a high level from the start.
“The expectations have changed,” McDonald said. “It's not just nice if we win, we expect to win. We put those expectations on ourselves.”
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-626-3534.
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.
- Wolf says he’ll work with state legislature to deal with pension woes
- Pittsburgh mayor promotes 3 officers, 2 firefighters
- Officials to limit tailgating before Jason Aldean concert at PNC Park
- Green Tree company’s complaint ends with settlement of false claims lawsuit
- Federal appeals court deals blow to Affordable Care Act
- Rossi: Liriano no ace, but he’s Bucs’ key
- Strong demand drives East End apartment developers to expedite next project
- UPMC McKeesport president reiterates hospital will remain open
- McCandless residents voice opposition to Wal-Mart plan
- Moody’s downgrades Pa. rating; Corbett ponders pension reform session
- Derry Township assault suspect arrested