By Todd Hummel
For The Daily Item
CAMP HILL — For a team that struggled in pass defense in a victory over Mifflinburg, Selinsgrove coach Dave Hess has plenty of numbers to worry about against a Trinity passing offense that rolled up 313 yards in its opening game.
But his biggest concern — pun intended — is the size of the Shamrocks receivers.
“They have a huge height advantage on the outside,” Hess said. “Conventional coverages aren’t going to work. If they run any kind of fade pattern, they have a six- or seven-inch advantage.”
The Seals two cornerbacks — Curtis Banasiak and Mason Pope — are 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10, respectively, while Trinity’s two receivers — Brandon Kuntz and Kyree Calli — are 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-3.
And the Shamrocks certainly like to air it out. Senior quarterback Mike Boguski threw for 313 yards and four touchdowns, while Kuntz finished with 11 catches for 221 yards and three scores.
“I’m sure Dave and his coaching staff are cooking something up,” Trinity coach Bill Ragni said. “I’m sure we’ll see a bunch of different kinds of coverages and some bracketing of our receivers.”
Another big help for the Seals cornerbacks will come if Selinsgrove can generate pressure on Boguski.
Pressure on his quarterback is another thing Ragni is concerned about as well.
“I call it organized chaos. They are blitzing and always moving around,” Ragni said. “They always have their responsibilities and a spot where they are supposed to be, but all that moving around can really confuse the line.”
However, as Selinsgrove learned last season, the best defense against the Shamrocks’ high-powered offense is a ball-control offense.
The Seals ran the ball 80 times in a 23-21 victory.
“We fully expect them to load nine or 10 guys in the box,” Hess said.
But one difference between the two Selinsgrove teams is the passing game.
“We are 100 percent more confident in our passing game than we were last year,” Hess said.
It’s something that Ragni noticed this summer.
“We played them at seven-on-seven camp at Bucknell University and it seemed a far bigger part of their offensive game,” Ragni said. “The quarterback has a good arm and makes good decisions.”
Rapp completed 50 percent of his passes in the 21-6 win over Mifflinburg for 117 yards and a touchdown and, most importantly, no interceptions.
But Hess was not particularly happy with his offense’s performance last Friday night, feeling the Seals left some points on the field.
“We have to take advantage of everything. We can’t squander opportunities. We can’t do it against (Trinity),” Hess said. “They have the ability to score quickly from anywhere on the field.”
The Shamrocks enter the game in an unfamiliar position at 0-1 after losing 42-28 to Delone Catholic after leading 21-14 at halftime. It was a performance that Ragni and his team spent a long time talking about early this week.
“We didn’t tackle well in the second half. Quite frankly, we were embarrassed with how we played in the second half,” Ragni said. “I think we’ll regroup and come out with a great effort (against Selinsgrove).”