Montour sticking with 3-QB system
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All around the WPIAL this summer, teams had quarterbacks battling it out for the No. 1 spot on the depth chart.
Montour couldn't decide on just one, so the coaching staff chose three.
It has helped the Spartans become the No. 1 team in WPIAL Class AAA.
Sometimes, a team will employ a two-quarterback system, but it's rare to see three players sharing the position. Montour is an exception. The Spartans have three quarterbacks who see the field each game -- junior Tynen Greer, senior Adam Mihelcic and senior Max Rosinsky, a transfer from West Allegheny.
"All summer long we had two guys battling for the job with Greer and Mihelcic, and then we had [Rosinsky] come in from West Allegheny, and he showed he had some skills," Montour coach Lou Cerro said. "Nobody really got ahead of anybody, so we figured we'd just go with all three."
It's given Montour a totally different look at the position. Dillon Buechel started the past three seasons and finished his career as the second-leading passer in WPIAL history. Buechel threw for 6,898 yards and 75 touchdowns, and led the Spartans to the WPIAL title as a senior.
With Buechel gone, a trio of players have stepped into the role and made the Spartans (4-0, 3-0 Parkway Conference) a serious contender to win their second championship in a row. They play host to Ambridge tonight at 7:10.
"I think when all three play, they don't want to let their team down," Cerro said. "They all want to take advantage of the opportunity and help us when they get in there. All three are very team-oriented. They just want the team to win."
Cerro rotates the three by series. When one leaves the field at the conclusion of a drive, the next straps up his helmet and prepares to take over.
Greer was the only one who saw time last season. He shined on a big stage earlier this season when Montour won at then-No. 1 Central Valley, 28-27, in overtime. Greer completed 7 of 8 passes for 113 yards and led the Spartans on a tying touchdown drive in the final minutes of regulation. For the season, Greer is 19 of 28 for 281 yards and six touchdowns.
"He definitely showed some maturity [against Central Valley]," said Cerro. "You can tell he's played some varsity quarterback. When you take your team 75 yards on the last drive against a team as good as Central Valley, you gain a lot of confidence."
Mihelcic has been very good at times, but in last week's 33-14 win at New Castle, he was perfect. Mihelcic went 11 of 11 for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, Mihelcic is 23 of 32 for 356 yards and four touchdowns.
"Going 11 for 11 in any game at any level is impressive," Cerro said. "He was hitting his marks and doing the right things."
Rosinsky is the third-leading rusher on the team and has demonstrated he is more than capable of directing the offense when he has seen action.
"They all know the offense," Cerro said. "They know what's expected of them. Ryan has the strongest arm. Tynen throws the short intermediate passes real well and he's more of our running guy. Max is 6 feet 4 and throws the short passes real well. All three of them bring something important to the position."
It helps that they have a strong receiving crew led by Devin Wilson, one of the WPIAL's top receivers who has 25 catches for 459 yards and six touchdowns. Cerro said he was unsure of how the skill-position players would react to having three quarterbacks, but added that there have not been any problems.
With the second half of the regular season starting, it's yet to be seen how long Cerro will lean on the current rotation. But if the success continues, the changes might be minimal.
"I'm not sure if this will be how we do it the rest of the season," he said. "There might be a time when we have to cut it down to two. As long as we keep winning and the kids buy in, I don't think we'll have to do too much."
First Published September 28, 2012 12:00 am