Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Class 3a: Mount Pleasant Big East Conference

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Class 3a: Mount Pleasant Big East Conference

Article excerpt

Points were hard to come by for Mount Pleasant last season. They scored 159, more than only winless Uniontown's 124. As they neared the end of a six-game losing streak during which they scored 7, 14, 7, 7, 13 and 7 points, they turned to the wildcat for a jolt. Leading receiver Jake Johnson took the majority of the snaps in the final few games.

This year, after the departure of quarterback Luke Pieszak, Johnson and new quarterback Asher O'Connor could give the Vikings some changes of pace offensively.

"I think that Jake Johnson is a special player for us," Vikings coach Jason Fazekas said. "My goal with him, what I have to do is I have to try to get him the ball as many times as I can a game. . He's definitely a special kid that, we're counting on him to have a great year for us."

O'Connor, a junior, will replace Pieszak, who completed 71 of 155 attempts for 1,162 yards and 11 touchdowns. O'Connor saw the field in blowouts, and also took about 90 percent of the snaps for the junior varsity team.

"So far we're pretty happy with him," Fazekas said. "What I like about him is, kind of the things we want him to do with the passing game and some of the RPO [run-pass option] stuff, I think it's really right up his alley. What I like about him is he really listens. He's attentive to the coaches that he's given."

If the Vikings combine the wildcat looks and O'Connor's multidimensional capabilities, they could infuse some efficiency back into the offense. That might also take some of the pressure off of the offensive line, a unit in which several players got experience last year because of injuries. The experience gained could help, but solid offensive line play requires more than that.

"It's going to be good for us, and it's probably where we failed to get last year, but you know, offensive line, you need some time together, you've got to jell together, you've got to feel comfortable with each other," Fazekas said. …

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