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Getting the job 'Dunn'

Published October 29. 2009 05:00PM

Jake Dunn didn't touch the ball much against Tamaqua last Friday night.

But when he did, he definitely made it count.

The Panther Valley receiver totaled 117 yards on four catches, two of them for touchdowns, against the Raiders.

Besides his offensive numbers, the talented senior player also recorded seven tackles from his linebacker position, returned a punt 32 yards, and punted twice for a 42.0 average.

That effort not only led the Panthers to a 20-2 victory over one of their rivals, but it also earned him the TIMES NEWS Football Player of the Week.

"He makes the most of his opportunities," said PV head coach Frank Damian. "He's like all these kids, they're selfless. They're not worried about individual stats. The only stat they're worried about is Ws. That's what makes it so great to coach them.

"It is amazing, though, some of the things Jake can do. He plays so fluid out there, it just seems to come so natural to him. Any time he gets the ball you know he has the potential to break it. Big time players make big plays in big games and he's done it all year for us whether it's been on offense, defense, or special teams."

Dunn's first big play Friday gave his team a lead it never relinquished. Trailing 2-0, he went high to catch a pass from quarterback Casey Lawrence and turned it into an 81-yard touchdown.

Later, in the third quarter, Dunn showed his power. After hauling in another Lawrence toss, he dragged three tacklers into the end zone for a 20-yard score.

"Whenever I get the ball, I just try to make plays," said Dunn, who leads the area in receiving yards with 537 and TD catches with seven. "Fortunately last week I got them on a few plays.

"The first score we got a good matchup on their corner. On the other one, Casey made a great play. I don't know how he threw it because the ball was covered in mud. I made a couple of people miss and fought my way into the end zone."

The Lawrence-to-Dunn combination has been clicking for more than just this season. The duo has been working for years.

"We've been friends since second grade. We've always been playing football together. It's like he knows what I'm doing and I know what he's doing.

"It was great to do it against them because it's a huge rivalry. That was the only team we hadn't beaten since I've been here."

Lately, the Panthers are beating many teams having won six in a row.

PV will need to receive more solid performances from Dunn this week against undefeated North Schuylkill and later when the Panthers compete in the postseason.

"He, as well as all our seniors, is an exceptional leader," said Damian. "He's been in this system defensively and offensively for the last three years, knowing what we want to do and what we're trying to do.

"He picks things up so quickly, reads defenses well, and knows what's coming at him on offense. He has those little intangibles, which he had to work at, that he might not have had earlier in his career. He's really stepped it up more with the mental aspect of the game."

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