Last season, the Vikings had the fourth-stingiest defense in Class AAAA, but only finished ninth in the classification in scoring offense.
With its top quarterback, rusher, receiver and offensive lineman returning, Central Catholic figures to be more explosive when its offense takes the field.
"We have a lot of seniors," Vikings coach Terry Totten said. "They got to play a lot last year and that experience factor should be a positive. We just have to see what they do with it."
J.J. Cosentino (6-4, 225, Sr.) returns at quarterback after completing 43-of-98 passes for 552 yards last season. He also scored seven touchdowns. He has already committed to play at Florida State in 2014.
Cosentino will have his top receiver back in Shafer Swann (6-3, 195, Sr.), the son of Steelers great Lynn Swann. Swann led the Vikings with 20 catches and 318 yards receiving last season. The Vikings are also expecting big things from another senior wide receiver, Cameron Sutherland (6-1, 180).
In the backfield, Luigi Lista-Brinza (5-10, 190, Sr.) returns after rushing for 960 yards and averaging more than 6 yards per carry in 2012.
Zack DeLuca (6-1, 255), an all-conference selection last season on defense, will anchor both lines in 2013. He had seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss last season.
The defense will have to replace two key cogs in linebacker Leo Loughrey and safety Garret Vrbanic. But it should still be strong with DeLuca, linebacker Niko Thorpe (5-11, 220, Sr.), cornerback Joe Tindal and safety Tre Tarpley (6-1, 205, Sr.) returning.
-- By Ryan Riordan