Having an experienced senior class is vital to the success of any football program and Marian coach Stan Dakosty agrees.
The Colts showed yet again that they could very well boast the best defense in the Anthracite League with another dominant performance last night. This Friday night it was Minersville that fell victim to the swarming Colts defense as they could only muster 107 yards of total offense. Marian shut the Miners down in every facet of the game en-route to a 27-0 AFL victory to stay one game behind rival Tamaqua in the AFL standings.
Although the defense was the story on the night for Marian, the first words out of Coach Dakosty's mouth after the game was pure praise for the Colts' senior class.
"The first thing I want to talk about is since day one of the off-season this senior class has been nothing but outstanding leaders," said Dakosty. "Everyone of them contributes and their work ethic is outstanding. Defensively we might be small, but a lot of the times we're quicker and these kids take a great deal of pride in playing defense. Eeven the second grouple played great. They got in there at the end and their goal was not to give up the shutout. It was just a real nice game for us."
Minersville has always been known for their success playing power football, but the Colts overpowered the Miners on almost every play. Minersville playmakers Luke Heffron and Chris Murphy were contained all evening and combined for just 75 yards on 27 carries. The Miners as a unit averaged just 2.3 yards per carry in the ball game.
"That's one of the best defense we've seen. They're only giving up 10 points a game for a reason," said Minersville coach Pat Mason. "They're so physical and most importantly they have 11 guys that just fly to the football. We're a power-I type team and if a team gets penetration it's going to hurt you. We just simply couldn't get anything going tonight."
Rushing yards were hard to come by for the Colts as well as they only amassed 90 yards rushing in the game.
Marian used the passing game to get the offense going with a nice first half effort from Corey Quick. Quick threw for 154 yards and a touchdown in the first half, helping the Colts get out to a 14-0 halftime lead. Quick's touchdown pass came on a 63-yard hook-up with Mike Cataldo with a little over a minute left in the second half. The score only put the Colts up by two scores, but it seemed to drain the life out of the Miners.
"What happens when you play a team like Minersville is they shorten the game, so you don't get a lot of chances," said Dakosty. "If you look at our number of snaps, we probably didn't have all that many offensive plays. It was important for us to get the big play and we did, so hats off to our offense and special teams for executing."
Anthony Agosti put the game away in the third quarter when he took a Miners punt 74 yards to pay dirt. The Agosti return was the second special teams touchdown for the Colts in the last two weeks. Big plays in the passing game, great special teams play, and dominating defense seems like a nice recipe for a late run at the Anthracite League title.
"We're right where we want to be right now sitting at 6-1," said Dakosty. "We're getting better every week and I think our coaching staff has done a great job of bringing these kids along. I just want to say again how great this senior class has been. They're a big reason why we're 6-1 and in such a good position."