Shamokin's spirits high going into Danville
If you envisioned a worse start for Shamokin Area this season, you should be writing bestselling horror stories.
The Indians are still in search of their first win under new head coach Yaacov Yisrael after two games, and were not close in either.
Penalties, while not the number so much as the timing, have hurt, as have fumbles.
But there's hope and after watching the film with the team Monday, Yisrael has seen marked improvement.
"We saw a lot of improvement in a lot of areas," Yisrael said. "With penalties, we haven't been able to put it together yet. We still have room to grow and the team realizes that. It's exciting because they see where they were at and where they've gotten to.
"Our main thing is that we're realizing we're our own worst enemy. We haven't shown what potentially we can do. But we're getting closer.
"Once we win one time, we'll know what that's like and repeat it."
Shamokin's opponent this week, Danville, has won twice this year.
The Ironmen opened with an easy 41-0 victory over Milton and were tested by a talented Loyalsock team last week, barely squeaking out a 23-21 win.
Danville's offense has been reliant on fullback Sam Dressler. The senior isn't physically impressive, standing just 5-foot, 7-inches and 180 pounds, but he knows how to run the ball. After rushing for 1,270 yards and 10 touchdowns last year, Dressler is following up those numbers with 284 yards and four scores already this year.
Dressler pulled off a 40-yard run with 3:26 in the game to beat Loyalsock.
"He's definitely a hard runner," Yisrael said. "They have a couple guys who run hard. They have a good system on offense and defense and they stick to the plan. They have their way when they run the ball and we have to be able to handle the run to be successful."
As opposed to last season, Dressler isn't the only option in the Danville backfield this year.
Isaiah Crowl has also rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
Danville's success running the ball is due in no small part to the offensive line. Tackle Blake Remensnyder is a hoss. The 6-6, 286 pound senior is reportedly getting looks from Penn State, presumably for the Lions' run-on program. On the other side of the line, Sam Cope is a stout 263 pounds. The interior of the line is not nearly as big, but does a good job of pulling in Danville's scheme.
Guards Chris Humbert, Ian Ficca and center Matt Shipe average about 5-9 and 197 pounds.
Danville's 3-5 defense, which had to chase around Loyalsock quarterback Kyle Datres last week, is led by middle linebacker Eric Haney with 27 tackles this season.