Wolves kick veer into high gear From Staff Reports It looked like it was going to be a long season for West Shamokin following a 45-0 loss to Karns City, a game in which the Wolves' offense managed only 110 total yards, in the opening week of the season. But after that first week, the Wolves' veer offense finally kicked into gear, posting just under 900 yards and 72 points in the last two games. Most of those yards have come off the arm of junior quarterback Trevor Henderson. After completing just two passes for 11 yards in the opener, Henderson has gone on a tear, completing 37 of 62 passes for 662 yards and eight touchdowns. "We finally made the commitment to spread things out and open it up a lot more," said West Shamokin coach Randy Tira. "We've always had mat capability. We've got some pretty good athletes in the skill positions." Jerry Wilson leads the Wolves' receivers with 297 yards on 13 receptions. Logan Kaplon has 15 receptions for 208 yards, and Todd Cessna has piled up 126 yards on six receptions. Wilson is also tied for the area lead in scoring with touchdowns, after catching four last week. While the Wolves boast a talented receiver corps, their size on the offensive line is also a major factor in Tira's decision to spread the ball around. "We're really thin at line," said Tira. "We've been running the option, which is supposed to leave two people unblocked. This year, we've taken that option offense and just kind of expanded it." Unfortunately, it seems that with West Shamokin's offense marching up and down the field, the defense is too tired to put up much resistance. The defense ranks last in the area, allowing an average of 392 yards i per game. What's even more frustrating to \ Tira is that there isn't anything glaringly \ wrong on the field. \ "It's been hard to pinpoint," he said. "I'm not really sure what the problem is. I think j, that, right now, we're just not finishing plays. I Guys are relying on other people to do the job and not moving to the ball until the ,' whistle. It's frustrating to be scoring that ! many points and then just turning around and giving them up." The Wolves' offense will receive its toughest test to date at Clarion-Limestone, which ; allowed just 81 yards in last week's shutout of St. Marys, on Friday. i "They're a good ball club," Tira said. "They're not that big, but they're really fast. No one's really thrown the ball at them yet, though, so we'll see what we can do." The total 'O' Standout quarterbacks Trevor Henderson of West Shamokin and Jason Shirey of Indiana are in competition with each other, even though their teams plays in different leagues and classifications. Each player is a threat to run as well as throw the ball, and each is a major part of his team's offensive attack. Henderson has accounted for 819 of his ••» team's 1,008 yards of total offense this season, while Shirey has gained 654 of Indiana's Notebook WISNIESKI 1,037 yards. Henderson has accounted for 10 touchdowns, and Shirey has posted seven. Not surprisingly, the Indians lead the area in total offense, and the Wolves are close behind in second place. Injured Indian Indiana had been blessed with little adversity in scoring wins over Rnoch and Norwin to open the season at 2-0 for the first time in 10 years. But the Indians were not as fortunate during last week's 19-17 loss to Latrobe. Junior inside linebacker Brandon Balint suffered a torn ACL late in the first half with Indiana holding a 10-3 lead. He will miss the remainder of the season after having registered three sacks and three other tackles for loss. The Indians will move outside linebacker Derek Wisnieski to Balint's spot and transition strong safety Mike Jack to outside linebacker. Ironically, Wisnieski had a season- ending hand injury following the second game last year. Mike Drew moves from free safety to replace Jack, and Jason Shirey will take Drew's former spot. "Balint's injury was a difference in that game, no question about it," said Indiana coach Mark Zilinskas. "Looking at the film and seeing the plays he makes and seeing how Latrobe does on those plays later in the game is different You are also talking about someone that was emerging as a leader. "The other concern is that we had been able to keep Jason Shirey and Chad Blystone off the field on defense more, and we won't be able to do that as much now." Senior fullback Josh Brennan will remain the starter as senior Josh King, who had missed the Latrobe game due to a concussion, sits out again this week for violating a team rule. Brennan gained 46 yards on 11 carries last week. On the bright side, Zilinskas welcomes back junior receiver Roger Briscoe (hand) and fullback Zack Smith (shoulder) from the injured ranks. "It's a real plus to get those guys back because we have the injuries," said Zilinskas. "It's a big lift, and both those guys can help." Around the Quad South WPIAL Quad South powerhouse Gateway opens its conference schedule this week by playing host to Plum. The Gators (2-1) are coming off a 47-0 demolition of Ringgold, while the Mustangs are also a surprising 2-1 following a 20-0 win over Franklin Regional. However, wins over the rebuilding Panthers and Fox Chapel (30-7) are a far cry from knocking off Gateway as the Gators are ranked fourth in the state. Penn-Trafford (3-0) has made the most impressive turnaround in the section thus far and will be a prohibitive favorite to im- : J;;; - Player of the Week '/ -f v *• -~f j">v '(- .*". I"** ~" - Trevor Henderson . ~ West Shamokin , i.. , Junior quarterback " Th'ere'are big games, and then there are huge games.. - ,-^ '~- . - ' Trevor Henderson has been huge for the* West Shamokin Wolves. , •'.Henderson; the qua'rterback ,tn West Shamokin's" veer offense, accounted for 450 total yards-as the Wolves raced past Allegheny-Ctanon Valley^ 38-34, on Friday for their.first vyirf in three garnes.this season.- -. >.; _, . ^ A 6-foot-1 ,.189-pound junior, Henderson "threw for*313'yards-on 17 of'35 passing 3nd rushed for-137 yards on-15:carries. He threw-four touchdowh passes'to Jerry Wit* son, "a 6-4, 198-pound junior' receiver; and also rusr^'for-a.touiiMlovyn^ancI a.two- - point conversion, Wilson ^teamed, with Logan Kaptonratso' a junior; to catch 14 of . Henderson', threw five* touchdowns the - previous'week in a 54-34 loss to Redbank Wiley. He finished 2Wop£7 for 343 yards. On the season,, Henderson has thrown • for 673 yards on .39-f6f-73 "passing,"with -ftine touchdowns and six interceptions. In his third year as a starter,- Henderson 'has accumulated'1,953 passing yards and 650'rushing yards in his career. He has thrown for more; touchdowns this year than in his'firsf two seasons combined, when he tossed four each season. -. Here's a took at Trevor Henderson, this week's Indiana Gazette Player of the Week;- - :- ,.-''-'•• Parents: Greg and Sherri Henderson Sister Meghan, lb» '*- .->'.• • • Favorite subject in school: Welding Hobbies: Hunting and playing sports "' ' rVvoritefood.- Pizza-,'„•""• . * ,'- '•' HENDERSON favorite football teams: Atlanta Falcons, Kansas State ' ••>-,' ' Favorite sport: Football;- because of rKW.mucheriergysthWeisin'theair •* What do you do to get ready for a game?" Sit there and think !about what I, have-to do. • - ,-•-*• The three things I lifce about Coach Tim are: His emotion; his love for the garrie; and the,way he makes the game fun. ' •> '' '•'•., What is the hardest part about playing quarterback in your team's offense? Making sure our running backs know what to do, "'' > •„ - • • , f ' / '-, '_;: •" If you could play any position other than the one you play, what would it be? Running-back,' because I,Jove to run . the ball. '•; ^ : -- ^-v •„. , „ " . Who is the one player you would hate to face on the oltiher: side of the baH? - l^athan Hayes; becausd yvhetf njerurV'tTO Tball he's like^frymg to facfe'^bdwjing 'ball.; »" prove to 4-0 on Friday when it faces Franklin Regional. The Warriors have outscored the opposition 74-21, while the hapless Panthers have been whipped by a combined 110-14 score. Latrobe (3-0) visits Canon-McMillan in a non-conference game. Conference confusion Though members of the WPIAL Class AA Allegheny Conference have played just one conference game, it's clear parity has set it. The four teams that earned playoff berths last season —- Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Mars and Freeport -— are a combined 3-9 overall. No team in the conference is undefeated, with Apollo-Ridge, Ford City and Shady Side Academy posting 2-1 records. Mars, which advanced to the WPIAL championship game last season, lost 7-6 last week to perennially weak Shady Side Academy. Ford City, a playoff team two years ago, pounded Freeport 37-7 last Friday, a year after the \fellow Jackets ran roughshod through the conference. Things might begin to take shape this week, when Mars (0-3) visits Freeport (0-3), with the loser likely eliminated from any postseason hopes, and Ford City (2-1) looking to knock out BurrelJ (1-2) Apollo-Ridge, coming off a 14-7 win over Deer Lakes, takes on North Catholic (1-2) Friday night North Catholic can't afford another loss if it hopes to earn its first playoff berth in two years. The Vikings, who have been to the playoffs the Jast three years, can keep their postseason hopes alive with a win. Storm warning Indiana, Apollo-Ridge, Punxsutawney and West Shamokin might have to wait until Friday morning to find out if their games will be moved to Saturday. Three of the schools were waiting for a decision from the home teams on the possibility of moving the games from Friday to Saturday to avoid playing while Hurricane Isabel pounds the area. The storm was forecast to bring torrential rain and high wind to the area, arriving late tonight and remaining until mid-day Friday. Indiana plays at Kiski Area, Apollo-Ridge visits North Catholic, West Shamokin travels to Clarion-limestone, and Punxsutawney plays host to Clearfield. Heritage Conference teams scheduled to play Friday moved their games up a day, to tonight, while United kept its game with ligonier Valley on Saturday afternoon.
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