Quarterback passes coach's expectations
Share with others:
Even though Joe Carroll is in his first year as Thomas Jefferson's starting quarterback, Jaguars coach Bill Cherpak knew Carroll could be good.
But Carroll has surpassed his coach's expectations.
The first four weeks of the season have been a big coming-out party for Carroll, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior who is throwing touchdown passes on a pace rarely seen in the WPIAL. Carroll threw six touchdown passes Friday against Trinity and has 18 for the year.
To put Carroll's statistics in perspective, consider the most touchdown passes in the WPIAL a year ago was 25. It is not known what the WPIAL record is for regular-season touchdown passes, but the most in the past 10 seasons is 30 by Sto-Rox's Adam DiMichele in 2003. The way Carroll is going, he could reach that mark in a few weeks.
"We played him every three or four series in some games last year," Cherpak said. "We wanted to get him some experience to be ready for this year. I really did expect him to be good. But he has really taken the thing and run with it and he has been better than we thought in terms of being a leader."
For the season, Carroll has completed 40 of 65 (62 percent) for 803 yards. That means almost half of his completions have gone for touchdowns.
"Our receivers make it easier for him, too. We have some good receivers," Cherpak said.
Cherpak believes Carroll is a rarity in high school sports these days -- a player willing to wait to become a starter.
"In all sports -- and all positions -- most kids want to play right away or don't want to play at all," Cherpak said. "There are very few kids who look at the big picture and look down the road. They all want immediate satisfaction or gratification. If they don't get it, they move on to something else. He's a good example that if you work hard, do what you're supposed to do, you'll get a chance someday."
The statistics from the Franklin Regional-Greensburg Salem game Friday were hard to believe, especially when you consider Greensburg Salem was fresh off an impressive victory against Hampton. But Franklin Regional held Greensburg Salem to one first down, and that came on a penalty. Greensburg Salem had minus-14 yards of offense.
"That is the best defensive performance I've ever, ever been around," Franklin Regional coach Greg Botta said.
Botta said it was a much-needed performance by the Panthers (3-1), who were the No. 1-ranked Class AAA team at the start of the season before losing to Mars in the season opener.
"We've been sputtering here and there and making some mistakes," Botta said. "I don't know whether the preseason hype got to us or what. I think a big part of it was we had five new coaches on the staff this year.
"Just to try and get things to mesh between the coaches and players, we had a heart to heart with the team last Saturday and tried to get everything out on the table.
"This week [against Greensburg Salem], the kids were really focused, came out and played really well."
Franklin Regional has played the past two games without star running back Dane Brown, who sustained an ankle injury early in the second game of the season. Brown was the second-leading rusher in the WPIAL a year ago and entered the season with 3,299 yards.
"We thought it was a slight ankle sprain, but there was a lot more damage than we thought," Botta said. "We're hoping this weekend he might be back. We're hoping he's 90 to 95 percent. If he's less than that, we'll run our backup kids."
But one of those backups, promising sophomore Brett Zanotto, sustained a broken leg against Greensburg Salem.
• Washington running back Shai McKenzie has run for 200 yards or more in three of four games.
• Robert Foster, Central Valley's star receiver, sat out the first quarter of a game Friday against Blackhawk for disciplinary reasons. But he came on and caught six passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
• Central Catholic gave up its first points of the season in a 35-3 victory Friday against Fox Chapel, but Central still hasn't allowed a touchdown. On Thursday night, Central Catholic plays a Seneca Valley team that features Forrest Barnes, who scored seven touchdowns against Connellsville. The game will be televised by Root Sports.
Port Allegany is a small Class A school in District 9, but the team has a quarterback putting up gigantic statistics.
Matt Bodamer, a senior, moved into fourth place on the Pennsylvania all-time passing list when he completed 28 of 35 for 413 yards in a 70-8 victory against Coudersport. Bodamer has 8,264 career passing yards and trails only Lancaster Catholic's Kyle Smith (8,545), Allentown Central Catholic's Brendan Nosovitch (9,249) and Brockway's Derek Buganza (9,752).
Against Coudersport, Bodamer had seven touchdown passes for the second week in a row and has 107 for his career, the second most in Pennsylvania history. Smith has 119.
First Published September 24, 2012 12:00 am