Sabers inspired by post-season play

Times-Shamrock Writer

At Susquehanna, the Sabers surprised some people in the Lackawanna Football Conference Division III and District 2 Class AA by reaching the playoffs.

They did so in head coach Kyle Cook’s first season. While the result wasn’t what the players had hoped in the semifinals against eventual champion Lake-Lehman, they gained confidence.

“Coming off playoffs last year really inspired a lot of us to work hard in the offseason because it showed how far we can go,” said running back Austin Felter.

Susquehanna used a potent running attack that featured Felter, quarterback Austin White and fullback Brett Hepler. They combined to run for 1,700 yards and 24 touchdowns.

As a group, the backs began to perfect the timing and produce success in Susquehanna’s veer-option offense. At the epicenter of that deceptive ground game is Hepler at fullback.

“The responsibilities I have are blocking, hitting the hole really hard and the most important is carrying out the fakes to the best of my abilities,” said Hepler, who is also a District 2 Class AA champion in the discus.

“Me and Whitey (Austin White) have been playing for three years and we feel really comfortable in the offense and I think we can go far.”

Cook even saw a change in the attitude of his team after making the postseason.

“It was a big boost to make the playoffs,” said Cook, a former Susquehanna standout. “We didn’t play our best two games our last two games, but we made the playoffs and it got the guys really enthusiastic about the offseason.

“They really fed off the success we had in getting to the playoffs.”

Big changes at Montrose

There are big changes at Montrose.

Lou Cella has taken over as head coach and brings with him a high level of intensity and excitement.

He has also brought a triple-option offensive scheme that he has dedicated his coaching life to and has even conducted clinics as part of his professional business on how to install the system.

“It’s going good, learning the triple option,” Meteors quarterback Patrick Parks said. “Everybody is starting to pick it up real well. A lot of the guys who have been here since April are doing a lot better and are getting it a lot faster.”

Montrose will need a solid season from Parks, who last season was more of a threat throwing the ball than running during a 1-9 finish.

As the quarterback in the option series, he will be counted on to execute the plays with speed, precision and instinct.

“The coaches are telling us to do what they tell us,” Parks said. “As long as we execute and do everything properly with no mistakes we should be good.”