Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Avonworth's QB Hoping He Is Able to Catch on Quickly

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Avonworth's QB Hoping He Is Able to Catch on Quickly

Article excerpt

One team has gone an interesting direction in replacing the player who broke the WPIAL regular-season passing record last season.

Let's just say it's a new day at Avonworth.

Garrett Day, the WPIAL's leading receiver a season ago, will start at quarterback for the Antelopes. Day, a senior, takes over for Zach Chandler, who passed for 3,106 yards and 31 touchdowns.

"Anytime I see him I tell him I'm breaking his records, just messing with him," Day said, laughing.

Day and Chandler joke because Day's duties will be a bit different than his predecessor. With Chandler, Avonworth threw the ball a lot, but Day will be the wildcat quarterback in an offense that will be run heavy. Day will likely get a lot of carries, but that's not to say he won't pass the ball. He played quarterback in midget league and eighth grade, so he has some experience playing the position. When Chandler was injured early in last season's WPIAL playoff loss to Clairton, Day replaced Chandler for a few series and led the Antelopes on a touchdown drive.

"They've been focusing a lot on my passing all summer. They know I can run. The passing is the thing that I have to have to give me a second threat," said Day, who had 59 receptions for 990 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior.

Day is also an excellent basketball player who was named all-section last season. Fairmont State offered him a scholarship in that sport.

STEEL VALLEY

When Paris Ford transferred from Seton-LaSalle to Steel Valley this spring, the Ironmen quickly had themselves one of the most dynamic pair of playmakers in the WPIAL. Ford, a Pitt recruit, scored 23 touchdowns five different ways as a junior when he got the majority of his offensive snaps at wide receiver, while new teammate DeWayne Murray rushed for 1,615 yards and 36 touchdowns a season ago. But with so much speed and athleticism between them, how will coach Rod Steele use the two to keep defenses even more off-balance?

As is usually the case with teams in the preseason, Steel Valley was pretty "vanilla" in its first scrimmage Saturday at West Mifflin, but Steele did have Ford run a play at quarterback. …

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