It might be an understatement to suggest that a 36-year veteran coach is "over the hump" with only three games played this season.
But Marian High School coach Stan Dakosty is taking a deep breath tonight after his Colts scored 34 second half points to defeat the Mahanoy Golden Bears.
"We were out of character in the beginning of the game when they surprised us by recovering an onside kick," said Dakosty. "And before we could really get started, they hit us for a quick touchdown."
He is referring to a 30-yard middle screen pass that the Bears connected from quarterback Greg Merchlinsky to Dylan Mahmod.
Marian must have had a sudden thought back to last year when the Colts started their season 2-0 only to finish with a sub par season. The Colts offense, after sputtering on its first two series finally scored when junior running back Anthony Agosti capped off a 34 yard drive with a 15 yard run to tie the score with nine minutes to go in the second period.
The Colts confidence grew stronger as the first half winded down on both defense and offense. Following an interception by Frank Nietz, Marian finished a 27 yard drive with a five yard blast by Dylan Quirk, the first of his two TDs on the night
The second half was all Marian as it chased away the demons of last year to improveits record to 3-0.
Colt running back Quirk was not surprised to see his O-line open up huge holes which resulted in Marian touchdown runs of 63, 38, 60, 58, and 52 yards.
"In the beginning of the season we were not sure how the line would perform because of a lack of experience," said Quirk. "But now look at them. They are showing up big."
Mahanoy Coach Dave Holman said that his team's lack of experience hurts their ability to execute for four quarters. "We start freshmen on both sides of the ball. Overall our team has to learn how to respond to a team like Marian. Unfortunately, when we get down we stay down."
Marian's speed was a huge factor and the second liners never missed a step. Touchdowns were scored by backup quarterback, Ryan Karnish, and two long scores were tallied by freshman, KJ Snerr.
For Mahanoy, their offense never threatened in the second half as the Colt defense forced punt after punt. Marian's intensity seemed to be building for a huge home game battle against Pius next Friday.
"We are confident but not cocky," said Quirk." We are going to keep up this tempo through practice next week. We will be ready for Pius because we know this game will tell us a lot about our team."
Coach Dakosty also gave credit to his staff for making halftime adjustments that created an unstoppable Marian offense.
"Our players have great attitudes and that enabled us to overcome the early miscues and shift the momentum."
Most of Marian's 457 offensive yards were the result of its offensive line and the speed of several Colt running backs.
Now it's time for Coach Dakosty to prepare for the showdown against Pius.
"We struggled in the past couple years but now our kids have learned to play one game at a time. We think our depth will help us a lot as we give Pius our full attention at practice this week."