The sophomore running back and linebacker scored three touchdowns and had a fumble recovery as Lackawanna Trail reached the PIAA Class A semifinals with a 28-6 win over Halifax.
Other sport you play: Baseball
Athletes you admire: Lawrence Taylor, Barry Sanders and Barry Bonds
Any sports teams you follow: New York Giants and Penn State.
Superstitions or rituals on game day? I wear the same underwear, the same headband and me and my teammates have a couple little handshakes and things we do before the game.
Three people you’d like to have dinner with. Lawrence Taylor, Saquon Barkley and (Trail defensive coordinator) Jimmy Becchetti.
Most famous athlete you’ve ever met? Sean Jones. He lives right up the street from me and plays football for Duquesne.
Was there one play in that game that stands out in your mind as a turning point? (Quarterback) Nate Rolka’s big pass early in the game to Jordan (Edwards) that got us into field position for our first touchdown, and then I recovered a fumble. That was kind of a turning point. Just a whole bunch of little things.
Trail has been a run-first team most of the year, but you had success with a different kind of attack against Halifax. Can you talk about that and explain what was different. We knew we were going to run the ball a lot. It’s what we do. They were giving us a lot of stuff on the outside and Nate (Rolka) on the inside was working real well. We just stuck to whatever was working, and it worked pretty well for us.
The last two weeks you’ve shown two opponents different offensive schemes. How much confidence does that give everyone? When you have a backfield like we do, we have a couple guys who can just run past you and a couple guys who will just run through you, that really helps because you never know who to expect to have the ball.
A few weeks ago, you said that 2018 grad and former teammate Owen Hivner had been an influence on you the year you played together. Can you go into a little more depth about what you learned from him? He’s been texting us and keeping in touch, but what he taught me last year was that it doesn’t what you need to do as long as you win. I’ve taken that to heart. We do whatever it takes.
Was there one win this year that really made this team believe in itself? I think it was Week 4 when we beat Dunmore. We gained a lot of confidence and ever since then we’ve been rolling. It was the first time we beat them in school history and they’re a big powerhouse. When we beat them, the whole community was behind us.
State semifinal on Friday night. How does that sound? It sounds awesome. I would have never expected that a few years ago, but that’s awesome. When you really look at it, four teams left in the state, not everyone can say they’ve been there.
What do you need to do to be successful against Juniata Valley? Just do what we do. Run the ball hard, play well on defense. No big plays given up and just run to the ball. They look solid, but nothing we can’t handle.