Greenville leans on senior QB to get them back to winning ways

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Without Brady Gentile, QB Jon King steps into the leadership role of the offense

Greenville Trojans High School Football

Jon King will be the leader of the offense this season

GREENVILLE, Pennsylvania (WKBN) – Greenville suffered through their first losing season since 2011 (4-6). The Trojans finished 0-5 away from home including their first round loss to Wilmington (44-13) in the opening round of the District 10 Class 2A playoffs at Slippery Rock.

The Trojans must replace their standout Brady Gentile who led the team in rushing (1076 yards), receiving (16 catches), tackles (65) and interceptions (2) during his senior year.

Greenville Trojans
Head Coach: Brian Herrick, 13th season (86-51)
2018 record (Region 4): 3-7 (1-2), 3rd place
Five Key Points
1.Greenville was held to a scoring average of 16.9 points per game in 2018. That was the lowest average since 2006 (16.1 ppg).
2.Last season, the Trojans’ defense allowed 6 opponents to score 30-points or more. Over their prior two seasons (23 games), the Trojans allowed a total of 6 opponents to score 30-points or more.
3.In 10 of the last 11 years (excluding 2012), Greenville has featured either a 1,000-yard passer and/or a 1,000-yard rusher. Who will it be this year? In 2016 (Nate Bell, Canyon Eells) and in 2015 (Gage Gladysz, Hunter Hause) has the Trojans had both a 1,000-yard passer and rusher in the same year.
4.The Trojans have had to replace their leading tackler in 4 of the past 5 years. Last year, Brady Gentile led the team in tackles (65).
5.Last year, the offense was able to gain 223.9 yards of total offense. The last time Greenville was held below 230-yards of total offense per game was in 2007 (228.9).

Offense
Returning Starters: 6
Scoring Offense: 16.9 (38th in Area)
Rushing Offense: 174.4
Passing Offense: 49.5
Total Offense: 239.9
…”We need to get some cohesiveness along the offensive line,” said Herrick. The offense returns its’ senior quarterback Jon King – who threw for 389 yards (5 TDs) – last winter. King also gained 86 yards on the ground and scored once. King took over for First-Team All-District QB Nate Bell last off-season. Herrick likes what he has in his senior signal caller, “Jon has had an outstanding baseball season. We hope his success will carry over to the fall. He has to be a leader for us on both sides of the ball.”

Despite the loss of Brady Gentile (1076 yards rushing, 15 TDs; 16 catches, 169 yards), the offense returns junior Isaac Sasala (238 yards rushing, 5.8 avg) as well as his classmate Caden Loutzenhiser (106 yards rushing, 6.2 avg) and sophomore Levi Swartz (163 rushing yards, 5.6 avg). The previous year, Sasala ran the ball 21 times for 179 yards and 3 scores as a freshman. “We have multiple backs stepping up,” adds coach Herrick. “We’ll need all three to contribute. They all have good speed. We have to be a ‘running back by committee’ to be successful.”

At receiver, Blair Paxton (12 catches, 204 yards) and Brayden Difrischia (3 catches, 33 yards) look to impact the game with their hands.

Defense
Returning Starters: 6
Scoring Defense: 34.6 (49th in Area)
…Last season, the Trojans averaged 1 takeaway per game. Without the likes of Brady Gentile (65 tackles, 2 INTs), Ian Porter (38 tackles, 2 FRs), and lineman Nick Jones (32 tackles) – how will Greenville replace those folks up front? From the senior class – Kaleb Achuff (62 tackles, 5 for a loss, 2 QB sacks), Justin Harbaugh (34 tackles, 5 for a loss, 2 QB sacks) and Aaron Solderich (28 tackles) isn’t a bad start. Achuff had a pair of sacks as a sophomore in 2017 while Harbaugh was involved in 42 tackles and 3 quarterback takedowns.

In the secondary, senior Jonathan King (63 tackles) and Isaac Sasala (2 INTs) are joined by Blair Paxton (24 tackles, 1 INT). Coach Herrick harks on, “We must continue to get stronger so we can tackle better this year.”

Schedule
Aug. 23 – Northwestern
Aug. 30 – at Grove City
Sept. 6 – at Iroquois
Sept. 13 – Sharpsville
Sept. 20 – Hickory
Sept. 27 – at Wilmington
Oct. 4 – at Seneca
Oct. 11 – at Lakeview
Oct. 18 – Farrell
Oct. 25 – at Maplewood

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