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2020 Preview: Chambersburg Trojans

By Adam Kulikowski: 

Coach: Mark Luther (5th year, 14-28)

Classification: 6A

Division: Commonwealth

2019 Season: 6-5 (4-3 Commonwealth)

Postseason: Lost to Wilson 41-13 in the District 3 Class 6A first round.

RETURNING LEADERS

Passing: Comp-Att, Yards, TD

Maliki Blair: 1-3, 12, 0

Rushing: Att-Yards, Avg., TD

Jaden Jones: 40-327, 8.1, 5

Receiving: Rec-Yards, Avg, TD

Kevin Lee: 15-211, 14, 0

Key returners: Kevin Lee, sr., WR-CB; Samuel Vessah, sr., WR-OLB; Carter Sollenberger, sr., OLB; Tanner Luther, sr., K; Grant Hopple, jr., LB; Malaki Blair, sr., QB-FS; Chase Shaffer, sr., C; Joey Fuller, sr., G-DT.

Outlook: After reaching the postseason in back-to-back seasons, expectations are higher for Mark Luther’s Trojans in 2020. The road in an ultra-competitive Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division is never easy, even with Harrisburg on hiatus after opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns. Can this team take the next steps needed to compete with the Central Dauphins and State Colleges? The jury is still out, but the talent level on this team provides plenty of potential.

3 Things to Know:

  1. Early test: For Chambersburg to continue its revival, head coach Mark Luther knows the team must experience more big-game, pressure situations. “That’s the only way you are going to know if you can get it done,” Luther said. “No matter what you do in practice or how you try to simulate it. There’s nothing like being in that big game against a good football program.” Circle Sept. 25 on your calendar. While it isn’t a postseason test, Chambersburg squares off against one of the best 6A programs in the Commonwealth when the Trojans battle Central Dauphin. Consider it the first big game test of the 2020 campaign — and in an abbreviated schedule where every game is magnified — this just might be the pressure situation Luther’s team needs to fuel that climb to the next level.
  2. Keeping up with Jones: While rumors persisted through the offseason that Jaden Jones would play for Shippensburg in 2020, he will continue his high school career at Chambersburg. That’s great news for Luther and the Trojans offensive attack as they look to replace more than 1,100 stripes of production. “He brings an explosive attack for us as we go into the fall season,” Luther said. “He’s a different player than what Keyshawn was for us the last couple years. He’s not a slasher, stop-on-a-dime cutter, but he has a higher gear than what Keyshawn did. If we can give him a seam, he’s going to be gone because he is so fast. He had to wait behind Keyshawn, but he understands that now it is his year and his opportunity.”
  3. Taking control: Malaki Blair will hold the reins of the Chambersburg offense from Brady Stumbaugh who tallied up more than 1,400 yards through the air in his final campaign with the Trojans. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound senior inherits a talented supporting cast which includes three returning starters on the offensive line, talented wideouts in Kevin Lee and Samuel Vessah and a dynamic speedster at running back in the aforementioned Jones. “He’s a little more dynamic with his feet than Brady was,” Luther said. “Brady made some great plays running and pulling it on our RPO stuff. We really think Malaki will take that to the next level for us. He’s a faster, more agile runner that can make some plays with his feet. Passing-wise, he is not your prototypical drop-back-and-pass guy. We understand that and won’t put him in that situation. We’re going to take his abilities and use the RPO to play to his strengths.”

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