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2017 PIAA Class 1A Title Game Preview: Jeannette (7) 13-1

Written by: on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Class 1A State Championship: Thursday, Dec 7, 1 pm at Hershey Park Stadium

Head Coach: Roy Hall

How they got here:

2017 Schedule and Results

When the season began, the Jayhawks started in the number 4 slot of the WesternPAFootball.net Rankings, then all through the season they began to rise, eventually landing in the #1 spot a few weeks ago. With guys like Imani Sanders, Robert Kennedy, Jalen Jones and Marcus Barnes it isn’t a surprise to us that they are in Hershey.

Their season began with Kennedy at QB as Howard didn’t join the team until the second week of the season. The first game was a close match with highly touted East Allegheny, a 28-26 decision. Later in the schedule, their game with up and comer Imani Christian turned into a shoot out that Jeannette pulled away to a 54-36 win. Their biggest stumble was to Clairton. For 6 straight games the Bears have bested the Jayhawks, and they trounced them this time 40-6. But something happened that day. Coach Hall said his team “became determined.”

Winning their first playoff game easily, Jeannette then entered a juggernaut of Rochester, Clairton, Imani and Farrell. All close games, but the most important one was the Clairton rematch, which for the first time, saw the Jayhawks victorious.

Coaches comments:

 

What would it mean for Jeannette to win the game:

This would mean everything for our community, fans and team. Nobody expected us to be here. This was to be Clairtons crown. We have a chance to become the only Westmoreland County team with 2 State Titles.

What was your teams defining moment this year:

This one’s easy. Clairton beat us in the regular season. We took on a lot of heat from losing to them yet again. But our kids found a sort of resolve. Once we beat them in the playoffs, they gained the utmost in confidence. 

Keys to winning the game on offense:

We’ve got to score. Score when we’re in the red zone. We have to minimize the mistakes and turnovers and most importantly we have to control the tempo

Keys to winning the game on defense:

They’re big up front and run that double tight very well. We will have to use our speed to contain the edges and try to fill the holes and stop them in the middle

Here’s a breakdown of Homer Center’s projected starters in the Class 1A PIAA State Championship game with coaches quotes:

Offense Starters:

Quarterbacks:

3 QB Robert Kennedy 5’10” 175 Sr

8 QB Seth Howard 6’1″ 165 Jr

We’ll use both guys here. Kennedy has lots of positives back there and he’ll see time. Howard, he didn’t come out till the second week but he has come along nicely

Running Backs:

9 RB Imani Sanders 5’5″ 148 Soph

7 RB Melik Gordon 6′ 165 Jr

Sanders is a bit undersized but he plays with the heart of a big guy. He’s not afraid to take it to them. Melik is our speedster 

Wide Receivers:

22 Slot Zack Berginc 5’5″ 148 Jr

15 Slot Jackson Pruitt 6′ 170 Soph

1 Slot Isaiah Winters 6′ 180 Jr

6 WR Tre Cunningham 6’3″ 165 Sr

2 WR Marcus Barnes 6’4″ 180 Jr

Our receivers are our strength of the offense. In my 32 years coaching and 9 as a head coach I’m confident in saying Barnes has the best hands I’ve ever seen. Tre is also a great receiver for us. 

Offensive Line:

51 RT Dominic Myers 6′ 205 Sr

53 RG Cameron Felbaum 6’1″ 212 Soph

60 LG Drake Petrillo 6′ 180 Jr or

55 LG Zander Malik 5’8″ 185 Jr

58 LT Jalen Jones 6’1″ 208 Sr

This is a specialty here, only one guy starting was there at the beginning of the year. We’ve lost one or two to injuries, and changed some things around, but they are pests. We tell them be pests. Get in guys faces.

DEFENSIVE STARTERS:

Defensive Line:

80 DE Anthony Johnson 6’5″ 205 Jr

54 NG Cameron Felbaum 6’1″ 212 Soph or

65 NG Oakley Tyger 6’2″ 240 Sr

58 DE Jalen Jones 6’1″ 208 Sr

AJ is the strength of that groupl He’s got a motor that just doesn’t stop. Sometime I’d like to weigh him before and after a game. I bet he loses 5-10 pounds. Cam does a great job as well as Jalen

Linebackers:

6 OLB Tre Cunningham 6’3″ 165 Sr

1 OLB Isaiah Winters 6′ 180 Jr or

7 OLB Melik Gordon 6′ 165 Jr

51 LB Ian Smith 6-2 190 Sr

22 LB Zack Berginc 5’5″ 145 Jr

52 LB Hunter Yates 5’10” 180 Sr

36 LB Justin Cramer 6′ 190 Soph

We sub a lot, but Justin Cramer, he’s the key to our defense. He’s a wrestler so he’s strong and gets after it. Ian, he’s good enough to be one of our skill guys. He’s fast and gets to the play quick

Defensive Backs

15 CB Jackson Pruitt 6′ 170 Soph

3 CB Robert Kennedy 5’10” 175 Sr

2 S Marcus Barnes 6’4″ 180 Jr

I mean, Kennedy has like 12 or 13 interceptions so he knows where to find the ball. Barnes I feel is one of our best defensive players out there.

Kicker Tre Cunningham


FOR A PREVIEW OF THE HOMER-CENTER WILDCATS, CLICK ON HELMET 

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