Defending state champ Farrell sets out for a repeat

Sports

Former Farrell standout and offensive guru Amp Pegues takes over the program in 2019

Farrell Steelers High School Football

In early April, Farrell hired Pegues as their new head coach

FARRELL, Pennsylvania (WKBN) – Farrell’s 2018 season began and concluded the same way. The Steelers absolutely steam rolled their way to a perfect 15-0 season and the school’s first state championship since 1996 with their 55-20 win over Lackawanna Trail on Thursday, December 6 at Hersheypark Stadium. The team featured Division I talent and they played as such throughout the entire season. Farrell scored 40-points or more in all but one game – topping 50 eight times. At the end of the run, coach Jarrett Samuels decided to step aside after having the type of success at a school which those in this profession could only dream of. His teams (2007-10, 2012-18) won 10-or more games in 7 of his 11 years at the helm. The Steelers won 6 region championships, 7 district titles and now a state championship on his watch. Almost a month after his resignation, Farrell had a new coach – one who has strong ties to past success as well as last year’s team in Amp Pegues. He was the starting quarterback of the Steelers’ state championship team in 1995 as well as the offensive coordinator of last year’s title winning team. Pegues says, “The team has responded very well (over the last four months to the coaching change). The numbers are up. They’re working hard. Last year’s success puts a (big) target on our backs. The guys know we have to work twice as hard to get back to where we want to go. The expectation around here is to repeat as state champions.” 

Farrell Steelers
Head Coach: Amp Pegues, 1st season
2018 record (Region 1): 15-0 (3-0), 1st place
Five Key Points
1.The Steelers have won 50 games over the last 4 years (50-9)
2.Their win total (10 to 11 to 15), scoring average (30.8 to 40.6 to 51.9) and total yards (322.3 to 354.9 to 445.5) has improved in each of the last 3 seasons
3.Farrell seeks their 3rd straight region title. A feat which hasn’t been accomplished since 2008-2010.
4.Steelers have had a winning record in 11 of their last 12 years
5.Farrell has won 9 straight at Falconi Field. 

Offense
Returning Starters: 5
Scoring Offense: 51.9 (1st in Area)
Rushing Offense: 317.5
Passing Offense: 128.0
Total Offense: 445.5
…With so much success from last year’s senior class – there comes the time when a team must reload. It won’t be an easy task for coach Pegues and his staff though. Kyi Wright completed 72% of his tosses (95-132) for 1746 yards and 29 touchdowns (2 INTs) while rushing for 717 yards and 14 touchdowns. Their standout rusher Christian Lewis ran for 2470 yards and scored 34 times last fall. As a sophomore, he played behind Braxton Chapman and gained 500 yards on the ground. As a junior, his role increased to a 1,000-yard ball carrier (1350 yards on 132 carries). This past season, he toted the ball 209 times for an average of 11.8 yards per carry. Also departing was their star receiver Jourdan Townsend – who set virtually every Farrell High School record for receiving. He caught 73 passes for 1302 yards and 24 scores (also crossed the goal line 5 times via the ground game). Over his last two seasons, Townsend caught 144 passes for 2833 yards and 46 touchdowns. With the departure of Dashon Sims and Kobe Hilton (to graduation), the offensive line will have three members back from last December’s championship contest against Lackawanna Trail – Gary Satterwhite, Melvin Hobson and Gary Hopson. Coach Pegues says the line holds the key to how well the offense performs, “We have a big o-line averaging 6’2 and 290 pounds. They’re strong kids. The quarterback job will be up to three guys Christian Hartley, Raymond Raver and sophomore Trian Holden. We’ll go with a running back by committee with Jaden Harrison Anthony Stallworth and Anthony Jackson.” The junior Harrison gained 748 yards rushing on 109 attempts (8 TDs) a year ago. Brian Hilton, a senior, caught 3 of 10 receptions for a score last fall.  

Defense
Returning Starters: 6
Scoring Defense: 7.8 (2nd in Area)
…Farrell’s punishing defense held their opposition to just 7.8 points per game (a team low since 2009, 5.9 ppg) as they forced 40 turnovers (15 interceptions, 25 fumble recoveries). The unit had 9 First-Team All-District selections. Those who have since graduated are lineman Kobe Hilton (59 tackles, 5.5 sacks), linebacker Kyi Wright (99 tackles, 2 INTs), Tymir Green (94 tackles, INT) and defensive backs Christian Lewis (2 INTs), Jourdan Townsend (2 INTs) and Elijah Harper (50 tackles, 2 FRs). With all of that talent exiting, Farrell doesn’t seem to have that big of a drop off on the defensive side of the ball. Tyire Hammonds (89 tackles, 2 INTs) and Anthony Jackson (58 tackles, 3.5 QB sacks, 2 INTs) will both be due back in the fold at linebacker as well as Sayvion Thomas (68 tackles, 6.5 sacks), Brian Hilton (42 tackles, 5 QB sacks), Gary Hopson (56 tackles) and Melvin Hobson (62 tackles) up front. “Our defensive line will the key,” says coach Pegues. In the secondary, look for the likes of Ray Raver (22 tackles), Marion Odem (26 tackles, 2 INTs) and Juwon Samuels (2nd-Team All-District) to increase their production in 2019.

Schedule
Aug. 23 – University Prep
Aug. 30 – at Wilmington
Sept. 6 – Union City
Sept. 13 – West Middlesex
Sept. 20 – at Cambridge Springs
Sept. 27 – at Mercer
Oct. 4 – Cochranton
Oct. 11 – Reynolds
Oct. 18 – at Greenville

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