Connellsville looking for fast start against unbeaten Hempfield
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Although the Connellsville football team hasn't gotten off to a great start, coach Dave McDonald has plenty of reasons to be positive. McDonald, his staff and his team are in a building mode.
But it appears to be moving in the right direction.
“The more we play, the better we get,” McDonald said. “We just have to play more. I don't think we lack confidence.”
The Falcons (0-2, 0-2) got off to a slow start in a 46-16 loss to Gateway last week, but seemed to steady themselves after a rough first quarter.
This week, Connellsville will hope to avoid another slow start as it prepares for a big Quad East Conference showdown with visiting Hempfield (2-0, 2-0), a team that has earned two conference wins to start the season, including last week's 43-7 pasting of Latrobe.
“They are 2-0 and we're where we are, so it's an important game against an opponent we feel like we can be competitive with,” McDonald said. “If we do the things we need to do, it should be a great game on Friday night.”
The Spartans have talent on offense, including quarterback Ty George as well as running backs Joey DeFloria and DeLorian Day. DeFloria leads the team with 158 rushing yards and two scores.
“They move the ball really well and coach (Rich) Bowen has done a great job,” McDonald said. “They are good up front. DeFloria is a very good high school running back, and their quarterback has done a nice job. They've played well against McKeesport and Latrobe.”
While McDonald and his players are mindful of the abilities of the Spartans, the focus continues to be on how the team can continue to improve.
“We understand that it is a big game, but we talk about the importance of ourselves,” McDonald said. “We talk about the importance of doing a job to make the team successful. It's still a process.”
Offensively, Connellsville continues to develop the running and passing game.
The offensive line is still a work in progress with sophomores Dylan McCrae and Kevin Koontz starting.
Quarterback Jade Maher's numbers have been steady. In two games, he has completed eight passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
Last week, his target of choice was Michael Parlak, who caught a 23-yard touchdown pass. Maher also ran for a 41-yard touchdown.
While Connellsville's offense is capable of moving the ball, consistency has been a bit of a problem. The same holds true for the defense.
“Defensively, we have to play better as a unit,” said McDonald, citing a few breakdowns that have cost the Falcons some big plays which have contributed to the first two losses. “We haven't consistently put everything together with our front seven and our secondary. But they are a young unit that is playing better. Again, we just have to play more.”
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
- Man dies in jump from Route 130 overpass onto passing tractor-trailer in Hempfield
- NFL players Fitzgerald, Donald to lead Pitt in Blue-Gold spring game
- Starkey: Penguins’ season impressive so far
- Pennsylvania religious freedom law does not extend to for-profits
- Penguins a love affair for Evancho sisters
- Pitt football team working to fatten up QB sack total on defense
- Firefighter hurt in 3-alarm fire at Jefferson Hills restaurant
- Hornqvist’s net-front presence with Penguins could be valuable asset
- Pirates again approach Polanco about contract extension
- Chick’s Bar in McKeesport catches fire
- Police investigate pair of fatal rush hour incidents in Shaler, Marshall