Coach: Chad Weaver (26-21 in four seasons) // Mid Penn Keystone Division // District 3 // Class AAA
Steve Navaroli / GameTimePA.com
Entering the 2015 season, many wonder how Red Land will make up for the graduation of do-it-all running back Phil Overton, who led the team with 31 overall touchdowns, including 24 on the ground, to go along with his 1,834 yards and 7.1 average per carry.
However, that is familiar territory for the Patriots, who had to do the exact same thing in 2014.
"We were in that boat last year when we were replacing John Ford. Phil came out of nowhere and exceeded expectations," Red Land coach Chad Weaver said.
The same could be said for the entire Patriots team last season. After going 3-3 in the Mid Penn Keystone Division, Red Land caught fire in the postseason, winning a pair of games before falling to eventual District 3 champ Bishop McDevitt in the Class AAA semifinals.
Quarterback >> All signs point to junior Jake Radic getting the nod. At 6-foot-2, Radic gives Weaver a different physical look then he has had the past few seasons. The Pats could be looking to throw the ball more after Garrett Scott (1,158 yards, 13 TDs passing) led the way a year ago.
Running backs >> Justin Johnson (5-7, 193) ran for 514 yards as a sophomore last season, good for third on the team, behind Overton and Scott.
"We have a couple of backs we feel can fill (Overton's) job, one of which is really talented in Justin Johnson," Weaver said."After that we have some other kids that look like they can do the job."
Receivers >> Hunter Briner (6-1, 195), who led the team with 24 catches for 438 yards, is back for his junior season.
Offensive line >> When you have stats like the ones posted by Patriots running backs the past few seasons, one thing is apparent: The O-line is the under appreciated cog that makes the vaunted running game go.
"That is a huge part of it that goes unmentioned more than it should," said Weaver, who mentioned Weston Brantner (6-1, 230), Brayden Coe (6-1, 260), and Ricky Tamanosky (5-9, 235) as key contributors up front.
Defensive line >> Brantner made 38 tackles last season. The senior, along with Coe and Tamanosky, will be heavily relied upon on this side of the ball.
Linebacker >> Two of the three starters return, including Derek Cline, who made 78 tackles, and Joe Crocenzi, who had 34 stops as a freshman in 2014.
Secondary >> Another position of strength, three starters return: Briner at strong safety, Jake Rollman at free safety and Kyle Campbell at one corner.
Chad Stough, an all-state soccer player as a sophomore, ended the 2014 season as the kicker after an injury to Jeremy Fisher. The team is still determining who will return kicks, another area in which Overton was a standout last season.
Save the date >> Nov. 6 vs. Cedar Cliff. As always, the end of the season West Shore Stadium clash with the Colts is what everyone looks forward to.
Bottom line >> Can the Patriots catch lightning in a bottle two straight years? Weaver thinks so.
"Last year we had a great senior class, and I thought our team chemistry in general was really good," he said. "This group seems to have a lot of bonding. One kid said our goal is to prove last year wasn't a fluke."
Date/Result // Opponent // Time/Score
W // York Suburban // 17-7
L // @ Carlisle // 49-54
W // Dover // 38-21
L // Hershey // 7-34
L // @ Susquehanna Township // 14-50
L // Lower Dauphin // 0-35
L // @ Big Spring // 7-21
W // Mechanicsburg // 48-16
L // @ Bishop McDevitt // 14-41
L // @ Cedar Cliff // 34-56
Result // Opponent // Score
W // York Suburban // 25-0
W // Carlisle // 19-18
W // Dover // 27-7
W // Hershey // 41-9
W // Susquehanna Township // 46-42
L // Lower Dauphin // 14-23
W // Big Spring // 41-0
W // Mechanicsburg // 28-18
L // Bishop McDevitt // 31-53
L // Cedar Cliff // 13-42
District 3 class AAA
- First round // W // Solanco // 40-14
- Quarterfinals // W // Conrad Weiser // 42-21
- Semifinals // L // Bishop McDevitt // 0-44