Coach: Damian Poalucci (14-17 in three seasons) // YAIAA Division I // District 3 // Class AAAA
Brandon Stoneburg / GameTimePA.com
Some media members and head coaches around the division have already crowned the Mustangs as the team to beat in 2015.
The Mustangs won four of their last five games last season with the one loss being a one-point heartbreaker to Dallastown and bring back eight offensive starters, including their quarterback, top receiver, and top four rushers.
"Teams are going to have the target on us now, which is the position you want to be in," coach Damian Poalucci said. "We do have a lot coming back and the expectations are high, so it's a matter of making sure we don't let the highs get too high and the lows get too low. My biggest thing is that no one is going to give you anything."
The seniors on Poalucci's squad are doing their part to keep their teammates level-headed despite lofty expectations.
"We haven't earned anything yet," quarterback Brock Geiman said. "We went .500 last year, so we have to prove something before anything else matters."
Quarterback >> Geiman returns under center after finishing top five in the league in passing yards (1,489) and touchdowns (14). With the weapons he has around him, Geiman could be in for an even more prolific season.
Running backs >> The Mustangs top four rushers are all back, led by junior Drew Hartlaub, who dazzled defenses in 2014 with 1,303 all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns. Senior Robby Harbison, who ran for 629 yards and four touchdowns, is the thunder to Hartlaub's lightning.
Receivers >> Noah Staub, who recently committed to Towson University, will return as Geiman's top target and arguably the leagues' top wideout. The coaching staff is also high on Noah Langenfeld, Brady Tyman and Kurt Eichhorn to replace Brady Thayer.
Offensive line >> Three starters return in the trenches at center and on the left side of the line. Two new starters will have to emerge at right guard and right tackle.
Defensive line >> Nearly everyone returns except for Seth Janney, who led the team in sacks, but transferred to Malvern Prep.
Replacing his pass-rush ability will be a key priority on the defensive side.
Linebacker >> Skylar Bowman could be a huge boost for the Mustangs defense after missing nearly the entire 2014 season with an injury.
Secondary >> Poalucci will be looking for two new cornerbacks to replace Thayer and Hunter Palmer. Nate VanCampen will be roaming the secondary again after missing the majority of last season with an injury.
Hartlaub will resume his return duties after averaging nearly 30 yards per return as a sophomore. Geiman could be asked to handle kicking duties.
Save the date >> Nov. 6 at Spring Grove. Not only is this matchup arguably the league's most-heated rivalry, this particular game could determine if the Mustangs clinch a division title. The Rockets, meanwhile, would love nothing more than to play spoiler.
Bottom line >> This high-powered offense will be able to score at ease. If the defense can improve, then there's no reason the Mustangs won't be in postseason contention.
Date/Result // Opponent // Time/Score
W // @ Gettysburg // 38-13
L // Cedar Cliff // 14-42
W // Carlisle // 17-14
W // @ New Oxford // 21-6
*W // Central York // 35-14
W // @ Red Lion // 31-14
L // Dallastown // 21-29
W // @ William Penn // 46-0
W // Northeastern // 24-7
L // @ Spring Grove // 21-28
District 3 Class AAAA
- First round // L // Hempfield //21-23
Result // Opponent // Score
L // Gettysburg // 41-44
L // Cedar Cliff // 33-55
L // Carlisle 23-34
W // New Oxford // 34-27
L // Central York // 13-20 (OT)
W // Red Lion // 20-0
L // Dallastown // 27-28
W // William Penn // 41-29
W // Northeastern // 16-7
W // Spring Grove // 28-10