Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Windber coaches watch Clairton win

Daily American Sports Writer

Sunday, November 23, 2008 2:20 AM EST
The Windber coaching staff will now prepare for District 7 Class A champion Clairton, after they watched the Bears defeat Monaca 12-6 Saturday at Heinz Field. The Ramblers and Bears will meet at Greater Johnstown's Trojan Field on Friday in the first round of PIAA state playoff football.

“Their speed is phenomenal,” head coach Phil DeMarco said. “Their defense flies to the ball. They aren't 13-0 for no reason. Monaca is a darn good team as well. Second half turnovers cost them.”

DeMarco said that is something his team needs to capitalize on after watching the Bears committ 13 penalties for 110 yards and fumble six times, losing two.

“We have to play a near perfect game,” the veteran coach said. “We have been in this situtation before. We played Duquesne in 2005 and were only down 7-0 at half time. We lost 18-0, but hung with them for most of the game.”

“We have to stay with what got us here,” DeMarco added when asked about how the coaching staff would approach the game. “Our single wing offense is the key. Many teams don't like to prepare for the type of offense we have. We need to run right at them offensively and corral their offense defensively.”

The Bears' offense is lead by running back Deontae Howard's 120 carries for 1,365 yards, quarterback Andrew Currington's 69 of 123 for 22 touchdowns and 1,702 passing yards, and Kevin Weatherspoon's 45 catches for 1,277 yards.

“Their offense is very good, but it's all set up by the defense,” DeMarco said. “They are very tough to turn corner on. They ate up the counter play from Monaca. “We will test for that, but we don't do that much counter stuff. They have seven shutouts and no one has scored more than one TD against them.”

Clairton has out-scored opponents 546-36 so far this season. It's the second WPIAL title in three years for Clairton (13-0).

While Windber struggled early on in the season, the Ramblers were playing their best football coming into this past week's bye week, DeMarco said.

“We practiced hard all week in the snow, but it's tough to take that time off when you are playing so well,” he added. “We will look at the game tape we took and exchange tapes with Clairton coach Tom Nola today, then get back on the practice field Monday.”

On an interesting note, Currington didn't play Saturday due to injury and DeMarco said he didn't know if he would play against them on Friday.

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