Thursday, October 4, 2012

First Half Surprises in the Coal Region

Going into the 2012 football season.  There were some high expectations for Shamokin and Mount Carmel, while Southern Columbia was hoping to overcome huge graduation losses.  Going into the 2nd half of the season, the Indians and Red Tornadoes have combined for just 3 wins, while the Tigers are undefeated heading into a showdown with Selinsgrove.

What happened in the first half the season? Here is a team-by-team breakdown:


The Indians came into the season expecting to run the football and score points.  However, the Shamokin running game seemed to take a jolt when center Brody Young broke is ankle in the 2nd scrimmage against Williamsport. With the Indians passing game depending on the success of the running game, the offense has suffered as a whole.

Injuries have also taken their toll.  In addition to Young, Kevin Carsto is out for the season along with Andrew Hasuga and Draven Miller missing some significant time.
With a rushing offense averaging under 3 yards/carry.  The Indians must improve this stat to put W's in the win column.  The defense has carried Shamokin all season.
Mount Carmel
In the last three games for the Red Tornadoes (all losses), the Big Red has given up yardage, big plays and point totals that would rival some great defensive season totals.  What happened to "Red Death."
Southern Columbia
After making it back to Hershey for the first time since the days of Hyno, the Tigers were expected to stumble a bit out of the gate due to heavy graduation losses.  People wonder why and how Southern are able to reload every season.  From my observation, the staff at Southern want their players to develop as athletes by speed training and weight lifting.  A player (athlete) will eventually get their chance and get plugged in where the need arises. 
This was most evident when in 2011 when Tyrell Thomas and over 2000 yards from scrimmage goes down in the first minutes of preseason.  Plug in Matt Moore and follow him to Hershey.  Plain and simple, the more athletes you develop, the more options you have as a team.
Going forward, after seeing the Tigers in Week 1 and Line Mountain in Week 4, I am not sure if there is a team that could challenge the Southern Area in District IV.  A possible showdown with Old Forge would be a marquee opening round game in the PIAA "A" playoffs.

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