T'nyis Becker cut through Cumberland Valley's defense Friday night at Chapman Field. (Adam Kulikowski/4th Down)
By Andy Shay:
What I learned is despite knowing Bishop McDevitt is loaded with offensive weapons, they have even more than I thought. It’s borderline ridiculous actual numbers of legitimate weapons at the disposal of the coaching staff. Geez.
Cumberland Valley will get better on offense over time and figure out how to run the Wing-T with this group. But it’s going to be choppy seas for the first month. They are still not easy to beat.
The Crusaders rolled the Eagles 48-21 in the season opener, and really if you studied both teams the result is not all that surprising.
Time to hand out some grades.
BISHOP MCDEVITT CRUSADERS
Quarterback: At his core, Chase Diehl is a gunslinger. So he sputtered on the first drive of the season — who cares? (Well his coach wasn’t too happy about it.) Numbers-wise he was extremely efficient, going 17 of 23 for 279 yards and three touchdowns. And I saw the little RPO play, too. That’s a new wrinkle. Rock solid opener to his final season. Grade: A-
Running Back: Oh man, I too forgot T’nyis Becker is a running back who converted to wide receiver. He’s going to see plenty of spot carries this season (most likely 6-10 per game). He’s lethal in the open field. Senior CJ Reyes-Diggs is still going to be the workhorse, and he’s perfect in that role. Allow me to introduce sophomore Dedrick Tinker, a converted wideout. He’s still greenhorn raw, but you can see there’s talent. He’ll learn to quit bouncing everything outside. Those three combined for 302 yards on 22 carries. Whoa! Grade: A+
Wide Receivers: I could watch Nazir Burnett run comeback routes and make catches all day. They can’t throw him the ball enough. He’s become a smoother pass catcher overall and you can’t cover him 1-on-1. You just can’t. Becker is a solid compliment to give McD one of the best 1-2 combinations in the state. Junior Feyisayo Oluleye is the best blocking receiver I’ve seen at McDevitt. Watch the tape and tell me I’m wrong. Grade: A
Offensive Line: It took a while to figure out what the opposing defense was doing to shut down the run. Once the counter measure was employed, it was game over. Run and pass blocking were very good. Lots of solid holes in the run game to get that speed loose. No names yet. Just the McD offensive line for now. Name recognition up front takes more than one game, gents. Grade: A
Defensive Line: On the edges against a Wing-T last season was an utter disaster all year. It was a huge problem that has been addressed. Lots of pressure from the pass rush and it came from everywhere. They are big, fast and mean. Too many missed sacks to get the top grade, though. Grade B+
Linebackers: Tate Myers and Dray Donley are studs. And they played up to expectations in this game. That’s all I have to say about that. Grade: A+
Secondary: Got burned a few times in the first half on those throwback passes to a running back coming out of the backfield. But they made the adjustment. Strong in run support and knocked down a couple good throws with tight coverage. Grade: B
Special Teams: Houston, we have a problem. Kick coverage was simply awful. You have to take that more serious in practice, gents. Because it showed up on Friday night. Kicker Bryce Connor’s kicks were more shaky than solid. The snap and hold looked good. Grade: C
CUMBERLAND VALLEY EAGLES
Quarterback: Go get yourself a massage or find a friend with a whirlpool Jared Plessinger, because you deserve it. Several times he stood in there and delivered the pass just before getting creamed. Once he was double creamed and I was shocked he got up. Oh, by the way, his four completions in the first half went for 124 yards. I’m a fan. Grade: A
Running Back: This is a real problem for the Eagles. When was the last time CV had a halfback that was a legitimate No. 1 option? It’s been 2-3 years at least. They all run hard, but it’s not explosive. All I know is Maximos (Max) Dell’Anno needs more than three carries in a game. He looks explosive to me. Grade: C
Wide Receivers: Charlie Katshir is playing at Penn State. The tight end waggle works about 1-2 times a game. They have starters listed, but the balls go to the running backs. Grade: Incomplete
Offensive Line: I didn’t see a legitimate hole for a back in the first half. Now this defense of McDevitt’s is a beast, so I’m grading on the curve a bit. And it improved as the game went on in terms of fullback Connor Madison finding space. Injuries are killing this group, too. Grade: C
Defensive Line: When Quincy Thomas and Anthony Fye were on the field together they were a force. Then Thomas got hurt on the first play of the second quarter and never returned. And it was just different. Thomas was off and running in the first quarter and was noticeable. When he was gone Fye struggled without his wingman. Grade C-
Linebackers: They tackled well at the second level, but there isn’t that monster in middle and that hurts this defense. But they did their job. It’s not your fault when you take the proper angle and the other guys are so ridiculously fast they make the right play go bad in a hurry. Grade: C
Secondary: The guy on the radio in the pressbox was saying the coverage was too soft. He would be wrong. It wasn’t bad coverage or mistakes that were the problem. The other guys are too good. They didn’t get lit up and there were very few blown coverages. The other guys are that good. I thought they did fine. Grade: B
Special Teams: Dell’Anno had 177 yards in kick returns and was a threat all game. His 87-yard return set up the Eagles’ first touchdown. He needs to run the ball more (did I say that already? Sorry. Get No. 23 the rock more). Junior Tim Kissinger is going to be a solid kicker for CV. His extra points are rock-solid. Zero impact in the return game and that’s not easy when Becker is back deep on punts and kickoffs. Grade: A