Monday, September 17, 2012

Friday night thoughts

It's a question raised on many occasions, and a fair one at that.

"Why isn't Somerset better at football?"

Somerset has some things going for it many other schools in the area do not. There's a larger population base. The nearest private school with a football team is 30 miles away. Other programs have tasted success, particularly the baseball team. Plus, Somerset plays a schedule filled mostly with smaller schools.

Yet, the Golden Eagles have produced only a couple winning seasons since the 1990s.

Kinda scary.

Turning around a program that has struggled for, well, basically decades, was the task given Bob Landis, who took over the head coaching position before the start of the 2011 season - one year after the Golden Eagles went 0-10.

Somerset took a big step toward establishing itself as a contender in the often-rugged Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference with Friday's 19-13 win over Bishop McCort. The Crushers are a Class A team, and it might sound weird that a Class AAA team took a major step beating a small-school team. Yet, the win marks Somerset's first victory over Bishop McCort.

Somerset's record in the series now stands at 1-23.

Yep, a major step.

At 3-0, Somerset sits atop the conference with Penn Cambria and Richland - a pair of teams who have looked impressive to date. The win total matches the Golden Eagles' output of the last two seasons combined.

Somerset is running the football and playing strong defense. The Golden Eagles with need a strong defense against an offense the caliber of Richland's.

* Even with Somerset's surge, still say the game of the year is Penn Cambria at Richland.

* Anyone else notice Windber has quietly pieced together a 3-0 record and are racking up some significant offensive statistics?

* Got to love all the national and regional attention the Walnut Heights at Ampipe, er, Westmont Hilltop at Johnstown game generated.

As neat as the pregame story lines were, the game produced something that could significantly impact the LHAC race as the Trojans offense showcased junior Deion Moore.

Moore rushed for 146 yards in Johnstown's 20-17 victory, and he displayed the type of shiftiness and athleticism that could make defenses look silly the rest of the season.

As much talk as the game generated before kickoff, and it's difficult imaging a high school game in the country that drew more headlines, Moore was the talk after the game.

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