Friday, September 22, 2006: That was the last time Marian started out a season with a 4-0 record.
Another date of significance for the Colts is Friday, September 26, 2008. That was the last time Marian defeated North Schuylkill.
Fast forward to the present where the Colts are 4-0 once again and heading into Frackville this Friday night to take on the Spartans.
The Colts have been a historically successful program over the years, but have been struggling as of late. In the last four seasons Marian has a combined record of 16-25, which is not something Colts' faithful are accustomed to. However, 2012 is a new year and a new look for the Colts, whom look to be back on track.
Marian has been handling opponents this season, outscoring opponents by an average of 23 points per game. Their success could be due to their dominant defense.
Marian is giving up just 7.8 points per game, which is tops in the TIMES NEWS area. It also boasts the best overall defense in the TIMES NEWS area giving up 134 yards of total offense per game. They've been tough on the run holding teams to 81 yards on the ground per contest and even tougher on the pass only allowing 51 yards per game through the air.
Next up for the Colts is North Schuylkill, who nobody has been successful against in the last three seasons. Prior to last week's loss to Schuylkill Haven, North Schuylkill has won 33 straight regular season games, 30 straight Anthracite League games, and three straight AFL titles. Needless to say the Colts will definitely be challenged come Friday night.
"North Schuylkill is a tough football team that is fundamentally sound in all aspects of the game," said Marian coach Stan Dakosty. "They're also bigger than us so our lineman are going to be challenged throughout the game. Last week we had a few lineman get hurt and younger guys stepped in and did a nice job so that's a definite positive going into a game with a tough opponent. We could very well get banged up again so those guys gaining experience last week is good for our football team."
North Schuylkill's loss to the Hurricanes last week was a surprise to most, but the Spartans had six starters missing from their line-up, including leading-rusher Matt Gownley. Gownley is expected to play this week along with some of the other key Spartans players that have been missing time. North Schuylkill is sure to have a much improved team on the field this Friday night.
It will be interesting to see if Marian can shut down the rushing tandem of Gownley (404 yards rushing), and the dynamic Ethan Motsney (483 yards rushing). Stopping Motsney is a chore in its own right. He can score from anywhere and showed that earlier this season against Jim Thorpe, scoring on a kick return, punt return, rushing for a touchdown, and catching a touchdown. Still there will be some voids on the Spartans team and coach Rick Geist expects his team to react much better than they did last week.
"It's unbelievable the amount of injuries we've had to deal with, but our guys still need to play physical football," said Geist. "We have to do a better job of jamming receivers at the line and overall we have to play a better brand of football. We just did not play well last week, so this week our guys really have to step up and play the game the way we know how."
The Colts showed last week against Pius X that not only can they run the football well with Dylan Quirk (64-389-5TD rush), but quarterback Corey Quick can also let it fly. Quick threw for 124 yards and two touchdowns. His two touchdown passes came on throws of 47 and 50 yards.
North Schuylkill showed in their week three match-up with Jim Thorpe that they could be vulnerable in defending the pass. JT quarterback Pat Duvigneaud threw for 221 yards and two scores against the Spartans.
"We believe we have a very balanced offensive attack," said Dakosty. "We're just going to take what they give us and if we see the opportunity to make a big play in the passing game we're going to do so. We've been playing pretty good football so far this season, so we're going to come out and try our best to continue doing that."