Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Class 2a: Brentwood Three Rivers Conference

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Class 2a: Brentwood Three Rivers Conference

Article excerpt

If Brentwood coach Kevin Kissel lived in his ideal football world, he'd be running a pro-style I formation with his Spartan offense.

Recent times have dictated that Kissel take Brentwood in a different offensive direction, although a return to a more traditional offensive setup may be on the horizon.

The Spartans went 4-6 overall last season while mainly using a spread offense. It was the first time they missed the WPIAL playoffs since moving from Class 1A to Class 2A in 2016, but Kissel believes stronger play on the offensive line would both boost Brentwood's postseason hopes and help usher in more I-formation sets for the Spartan offense.

"With that [I-formation] you need a good [offensive] line, a good fullback and a good tailback," Kissel said. "If you don't have it, you're just beating your head against a wall. We've gone away from it some the last few years because we weren't very big and strong up front."

Assessing his team's roster size, Kissel said about 30 of last season's 36 players are back for the Spartans in 2019, and few will play a more significant role than senior Luke Bauer.

A returning two-year starter on the offensive line, Kissel said Bauer has played since he was a freshman and was also named the WPIAL Class 2A Three Rivers Conference most valuable lineman last season.

"He just doesn't quit," Kissel said. "He's strong, very athletic, he's one of the fastest kids we have on our team. We have to come through on the line. I got some good skilled people, if I get some linemen to come through I think we could be a fairly decent team."

The skill players found behind Bauer and the offensive line also gives Kissel hope for what could be a dynamic Spartans offense.

Senior quarterback John Milcic returns after leading Brentwood in both passing yards (1,096) and rushing yards (477) last season, and running backs Aiden Wardzinski and Ian Thomas are also returning starters for the Spartans. …

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