Marian makes big plays
bob ford/times news Marian's Dylan Quirk is brought down by a pair of Schuylkill Haven defenders.
The term "playmaker" is the ultimate compliment.
Marian has a number of playmakers on both sides of the ball. Friday night, they flashed their big play ability.
The Colts rode those performances to a 22-0 Anthracite Football League victory over Schuylkill Haven.
"I thought they were a little better than us at the skill positions," said Schuylkill Haven coach Mike Farr. "We battled Marian pretty well, but they were just a step ahead of us all night. We are young at the skill positions and Marian has seven, eight or nine seniors who are key players for them and that experience makes a huge difference."
Offensively, the Colts' top playmakers were senior speedsters Dylan Quirk and John Julian. The pair combined for all three Marian touchdowns and averaged double figures when they touched the ball.
Quirk, a tailback, carried the ball 10 times for 115 yards and had scoring runs of 13 and 45 yards. Julian, a flanker, rushed four times for 44 yards and also caught a 51-yard touchdown pass.
"We've have some talented skill position players," said Marian coach Stan Dakosty. "We have a number of kids capable of producing big plays. Dylan and John were the ones that gave us them tonight.
"I liked some of the things we did offensively, but we also left some points on the field. We had a chance to get a couple more scores, but just didn't finish plays. We need to correct that because eventually if you do that, it will come back to bite you."
After turning the ball over on downs at the Haven three-yardline on its first possession, Marian eventually got on the board with :32 left in the opening quarter after Derich Holman recorded a fumble at the Hurricane 37-yardline.
It took just two plays for the Colts to punch it in as Julian picked up 24 yards on first down and Quirk went in from the 13 on the next play.
Although Marian got a pair of second half touchdowns, Quirk's early score would be all it needed. That's because the Colts' defense turned in its second straight impressive performance. Last week, Lehighton's only touchdown came in the final minutes against Marian's reserves. Last night, Haven never found the end zone.
"We haven't played this well defensively in a while," said Dakosty. "I like how we've played in our first two games. Tonight, we bent a little but we didn't break. We found a way to make the plays when we had to."
While Quirk and Julian were the offensive playmakers, Dakosty signaled out three players as defensive playmakers.
"We're really strong up the middle," he said. "[Derich] Holman at noseguard and [Lukas] Damian at middle linebacker were causing problems for Schuylkill Haven all night. Both of those kids did a great job of getting penetration and making plays in their backfield. The other person I want to talk about is Ryan Karnish at safety. Ryan is invaluable to our defense. He's like a coach out on the field. Not only does he get us lined up correctly, but he anticipates and reads plays extremely well. He's always around the ball.
"Our entire defense has played well for us, but those three kids stir the drink. They are our leaders."
Although Dakosty is happy with the Colts' 2-0 start, he knows that there is still room for improvement.
"We're still a work in progress," he said. "I like where we are right now, but we can't be satisfied."