August 20, 2007

Sprints Defend CSFL Title

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It is easy to look past the Red’s sprint football team after it graduated 26 players from last year’s CSFL title-winning squad.
But the team will return this year, seemingly less talented, with expectations to repeat last year’s standout performance.
“Of course our goal is to repeat,” said senior linebacker John Parke. “How could it not be?”
Parke, along with a handful of players, return this year knowing that they will be heavily relied on to perform for the carnelian and white. Among those handful returning are All-League junior quarterback Zak Dentes, reigning CSFL Player of the Year junior Jason Remillard and senior line­backer/receiver Cameron John­son.
Johnson missed last year’s talent but seems optimistic as the Red is currently 1-0.
“We lost a lot of good players, so now we are a bit young,” Johnson said. “But if we come out with tenacity, with our coaching staff and our scheme, we will be fine.”
The scheme that Johnson is referring to is the team’s 4-2-5 blitzing formation, that has come with a little bit of help from the Red’s football team. In the scheme, Johnson, Parke, Remillard and any other Red defender is always a threat to blitz, constantly keeping the offensive line and quarterback guessing. The gift and curse of the scheme is that it can be very rewarding if done correctly, but leaves the pass coverage exposed. The veterans have shouldered the burden of maing sure the defense — which has a secondary full of freshmen and sophomores — is up to par.
“This year I am trying to take up more a leadership role,” Johnson said. “I try to help other guys at all positions, whenever I can.”
And while the defense features some of the Red’s most noticeable returning players, the key to the team might lie in the hands — and arm — of its All-League quarterback Dentes.
“We know he has the mental toughness and it is great to have him back in his second year starting,” Parke said. “You look at the NFL and they have a hard time when there is a new quarterback, we are happy he is back.”
Dentes and the Red will try to run a shotgun-option running offense with junior tailback — and former varsity player — Matt Malleo and senior tri-captain Glenn Parker at fullback.
Despite its history of running the ball, don’t be too surprised if you see Dentes open up the field with the passing game.
This past weekend, Dentes threw for 251 yards as the Red opened the season with a 23-18 home win over Penn.
“If we can get the defense to score 20-plus points like they did the last game, we should always be victorious,” Parke said.
Dentes favorite target against Penn last Friday was junior reciever Michael Brennan, who finished the game with eight catches for 87 yards. the team will hope to utilize his skills this season.