The Bearcat preview: @BearcatFB_HAHS vs @MUTrojansFB
Written by: Chad States on Friday, August 24th, 2018
It is rivalry week and the start of the high school football season in Pennsylvania. Tonight, cross-county rivals Huntingdon and Mt. Union will square off for the 96th time since 1919. Last year, Huntingdon dominated all phases of the game in route to a 57-0 victory. Mt. Union was held to -47yards rushing and only 57 yards of total offense in the contest while Huntingdon racked up 404 yards.
The Offense: Gone to graduation is Huntingdon’s dynamic duo of Ian Border and Jonathan Price, but not all is lost on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Andrew Hudy returns for his senior year to lead the Bearcat attack. Last year Hudy threw for 1679 yards and 19 TDs while completing nearly 60% of his passes. His top returning target is Jake Wagner who caught 16 passes for 324 yards and 2 TD’s. Andrew Miller also returns after tallying 7 grabs for 137 yards and 2TD’s last season. The big question for the Bearcats is who will carry the load in the backfield? Will it be Senior Andrew Finkle who carried the ball a mere 14 times for 50 yards? Will it be Senior Ryder Kocik who has been hampered by injuries the past couple of seasons? Will it be a newcomer that nobody is expecting and where does Jr Nick Troha fit into all of this? Stay tuned as these questions should be answered on Friday night. As for the offensive line, back is a contingent of players that will make this unit strong in Sr Ryan Querry and Jr’s Isiah Reed and Zack Peck. This unit has the ability to make this a strong offensive unit for the ‘Cats and aid an emerging running back candidate.
The Defense: This unit has a chance to be a real force this season. On the defensive line, Huntingdon returns two Jr’s that made a significant impact in last year’s 10-2 season. Isiah Reed tallied 47 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks during his stellar sophomore campaign and line mate Zack Peck with his 11 tackles, 4 for loss, and 1 sack was a force as well. The linebacking corps will be headed by a pair of speedy guys in Ryan Querry and Draven Zook. Querry led the Bearcats with 114 tackles last season and Zook tallied 42 and 4 sacks. The strongest unit of them all may be the secondary. Senior Andrew Finkle returns to lead a unit that saw him accumulate 88 tackles and 5 breakups. Joining him will be Seniors Jake Wagner at corner and Andrew Hudy at safety. This Bearcat squad has the makings of something special.
Special Teams: This also figures to be another strong suit for Huntingdon this year. Wagner is as dangerous of a return man as you are going to find in the area. Last season he averaged 30.9 yards on kick returns and 13.2 on punts. Hudy was an All-State selection as a punter last season averaging 38.6 yards per punt. Junior Giovann Scaccia will look to handle the kicking duties for Huntingdon again this year after posting 68 points last year including 6 field goals.
The Opponent: Mt.Union is no stranger to Huntingdon despite being having a new head coach. They will be led this season by quarterback Quinton Posey. Posey is dual-threat QB running for over 300 yards and throwing for over 700 more last season. How the Cat’s contain him could prove how the game is decided. Running back Klayton Willoughby appears to be the heir apparent to Duante Martin’s throne in the Trojan backfield. Defensively Mt Union will sport a good run defense that Huntingdon will quickly need to find holes in.
Game Notes: Huntingdon has won 3 straight and leads the series 69-22-4. Last season was record breaking one for the Cat’s This year might see some of the same as Hudy need 982 yards, 65 completions and 22 TD passes to become the all-time leader in those categories.
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