ShareThis Page
High School Sports

GCC receivers deliver in more ways than one

Chris Harlan
| Friday, Nov. 20, 2009

Ask Evan Marshall about his season highlights and the Greensburg Central Catholic receiver will tell you about his two-touchdown game against Washington.

His coaches will tell you about his blocks.

Marshall cleared the way for a long touchdown run against Freeport with a block that drew praise. In that same game, teammate and fellow wideout Ross DeGlau smacked into a Freeport defensive end on three consecutive plays, leaving the defender a little more agitated each time.

"That's part of your job when you're a wide receiver here," DeGlau said. "You spend half of practice working on blocking drills. They expect us to block like linemen."

The two seniors are key parts of a Greensburg Central Catholic passing game that has often been overlooked because the Centurions can run the football like few other teams in the area. Standout running back David Miller, a senior, has rushed for 1,723 yards and leads the WPIAL with 33 touchdowns.

So, despite talented receivers, passing at times has been Plan B.

"If the run stalls, we're able to throw the ball," coach Muzzy Colosimo said.

The Centurions (9-2) will likely lean a little more heavily upon their multiple-receiver formations during tonight's WPIAL Class AA semifinal against a strong Keystone Oaks defense at Elizabeth-Forward. An offensive formation with double tight ends and three running backs might be followed by one with five receivers and no running backs.

It's a variation the team has used with increasing frequency to keep defenses unprepared.

"For us to be successful this week, we have to be able to spread those guys out and put (the defense) where we want them on the field," Colosimo said. "You can never put nine guys in the box because these guys can catch the ball."

Senior quarterback Trent Hurley, a Bowling Green recruit, has completed 82 of 158 passes for 1,474 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Marshall, the team's leading receiver, has caught 35 passes for 670 yards and seven touchdowns. The 6-foot, 180-pound senior has the group's best hands and takes dropped passes personally, his coach said.

DeGlau has 14 catches for 224 yards and a touchdown. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior provides the biggest target and has excellent speed when running after the catch.

They're joined by senior Ed Day (6-2, 190), sophomore Justin Kempka (6-2, 195) and junior Andy Biros (5-9, 160). Miller, who sometimes lines up at receiver, has added another 17 catches and 291 yards.

"We have a lot of depth and a lot of kids who are big, strong and physical," Marshall said. "From top to bottom, we have a pretty good group of receivers."

The Centurions showcased just enough of their passing game in victories over Jeannette and Charleroi to make others worry about stopping it, Colosimo said. DeGlau caught his touchdown pass against South Allegheny. Marshall had his two-touchdown game against Washington. Against Mt. Pleasant, the quick-strike offense nearly helped them rally for a victory in what was a one-point loss.

"That has opened up our offense a lot more," DeGlau said. "We have the opportunity to surprise teams with our passing attack because Trent is an awesome quarterback. He can do a lot of things. We have trust in him and his arm."

Hurley needed to complete only five passes in Greensburg Central Catholic's quarterfinal victory over Center, 30-0. By comparison, Miller ran the football 27 times for 209 yards. Among Hurley's completions, though, were gains of 18, 28 and 48 yards.

"We don't pass much," DeGlau said, "but when we do it works."

But for the receivers, practice hasn't changed: they were back hitting the one-man blocking sled.

"If you can't block," Marshall said, "you don't get on the field."

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.

click me