PG West: Cousins provide Montour 1-2 punch

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Christian Wilson has made his choice; his cousin E.J. Banks will face the same decision next year.

Wilson and Banks are two big reasons why Montour is considered a team to watch in the Class AAA Parkway Conference.

"It's nice having Christian in the backfield with me," said Banks, a 6-foot, 180-pound quarterback entering his junior year. "We've been playing together for years, so I know his tendencies."

Wilson is a 6-4, 235-pound tailback and linebacker who accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Michigan earlier this week. He's a four-year starter who rushed for 920 yards and 13 touchdowns on 159 carries last season.

"Christian had more than 50 scholarship offers," said Montour coach Lou Cerro. "His final five choices were: Michigan, Rutgers, Louisville, North Carolina and Virginia Tech."

Wilson had planned to delay his decision until after the season, but changed his mind.

"Michigan has been my favorite for a while," said Wilson. "I just like the overall area up there. The area that the school is in almost seems like home to me. Their academics are fantastic and their sports are fantastic."

Cerro turned the offense over to Banks last year, and he responded by completing 90 of 205 passes for 1,076 yards and seven touchdowns. He also rushed for 147 yards.

"Edgar is one of the best quarterbacks in Class AAA in the WPIAL," said Cerro. "His teammates elected him a captain in his sophomore year. He has a ton of experience, and he's only a junior."

Banks moved into the starting lineup last season after starting three games as a freshman.

"Edgar started three games as a freshman when our starter got injured," said Cerro, who coached at Seton-LaSalle prior to taking the job at Montour two years ago. "It's very rare that I start a sophomore at quarterback, but Edgar was worthy. He made some big time throws, but also made some bad throws.

Banks is not as highly recruited as his cousin, but is expected to receive Division I offers.

"I've been getting some letters," said Banks. "I would like to play in college, but haven't considered my future plans much yet. How well the team does, and how well I play will play a big part in my decision. Fortunately, I have plenty of time to consider my options."

Banks' favorite target, Bryce Pfeuffer, has graduated after catching 43 passes last year. Wilson was his second favorite target; the two connected 18 times for 159 yards. Wilson also led the team with 79 tackles.

"His biggest asset is his love for the game right now," said Cerro. "If you asked me two years ago, I couldn't say that, but now he knows it. Everybody is counting on him. It's a lot of pressure to put on a young kid. It's been on his shoulders since he's been a freshman

Montour improved to 3-6 last year after posting back-to-back 1-8 seasons.

"Christian has had a lot of pressure on him since his freshman year because everyone knew how great an athlete he was going to be," said Cerro. "He's matured over the years and is now taking everything in stride.

"His work ethic has improved and he's taken more of a leadership role. He's evolved into an all-around athlete and person."

Wilson likes the challenge of playing in the Parkway Conference.

"The Parkway is clearly the strongest of the four Class AAA conferences," said Wilson. "There are quite a few Division I recruits playing in this conference."

Banks feels the key is to break the losing attitude Montour has had.

"We have to learn how to be a winning team," said Banks. "Hopefully, we can take that step this season."



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