2014 Hickory Football Preview

2014 Hickory Hornets’ Football Preview
2013 Record: 12-2 (6-1), Region 3
Head Coach: Bill Brest, 5th season (43-9)
Class: AA
Last District 10 Title: 2013
PIAA Playoff Record Since 2000: 1-3
District Playoff Record Since 2000: 12-3
5-Year Winning Percentage: 78.7%

2014 Schedule
Aug. 29 – at Strong Vincent, 7
Sept. 5 – Sharon, 7
Sept. 12 – Corry, 7
Sept. 19 – at Warren, 7
Sept. 26 – at Slippery Rock, 7
Oct. 3 – Greenville, 7
Oct. 10 – Wilmington, 7
Oct. 17 – Grove City, 7
Oct. 24 – at Titusville, 7

Returning Leaders
Rushing Yards: Lou Derloni, 979
Passing Yards: Nick Cannone, 124
Receiving Yards: Andrew Pryts, 852
Tackles: Andrew Pryts, 78
Quarterback Sacks: Zach Cirillo, 8.0
Interceptions: Andrew Pryts, 5

Year in Review: There hasn’t been another coach in the history of Hickory’s program who has won consistently like Bill Brest has in his first four years. Compiling an average of 11 wins per year and four trips to the district championship game (3 titles), coach Brest has done just about everything but to win the state crown in Hershey.

In 2013, Hickory dropped their week two encounter with Greenville (22-21) but rebounded to run off 11-wins in a row before falling to the eventual state champion South Fayette (23-20) in the Western Final. In their fourteen games, Hickory’s scoring attack was held below 37 points only three times. The Hornets amassed above 70 points twice and finished atop the scoring among local schools with their 44.5 average.

Matt Voytik left Hickory after finishing 2013 with 27 touchdown passes and throwing for 2108 yards (61.6%). Voytik also ran for another 11 scores and 765 stripes (6.2 ypc). Daulton Linton led the Hornets for a second straight year in tackles. As a senior, he had compiled 136 defensive stops. The year prior, he had 96.

Hickory begins the 2014 season with a showdown at Strong Vincent on Friday, August 29.

2013 Team Leaders
Points Scored Per Game: 44.5 (1st in Area)
Rushing Offense: 234.9
Passing Offense: 160.4
Points Allowed Per Game: 11.6 (3rd in Area)

3 Things to Watch in Hermitage
Defensive stoppers
The Hornets’ defense has slowed their opposition down to the tune of less than 16 points in each season for the last 5 years. Over the course of the last three campaigns, Hickory has ranked in the top 5 of points allowed in as many years. With the likes of linebacker Daulton Linton (136 tackles, 5.5 sacks) and defensive lineman Tyler Reardon (55 tackles, 2.5 sacks) all gone, many would probably speculate that the defense will take a hit this fall. Not the case in Hermitage as they have plenty of capable standouts returning on defense led by Andrew Pryts, Zach Cirillo, Jordan Wombacher, Lou Derloni and the Aikens’ boys. Junior safety Pryts intercepted a team-high 5 passes and was involved on 78 tackles. Senior defensive linemen Zach Cirillo (76 tackles, 8 sacks), Jordan Wombacher (52 tackles, 6 sacks), and Austin Aikens (52 tackles, 7 sacks) all will be welcomed back up front. Linebackers Lou Derloni (56 tackles) and Nate Aikens (55 tackles) will man the middle of the defense.

Can the offensive scoring really improve, again?
The scoring has improved in each of the last four seasons since coach Brest’s staff has taken over. With Matt Voytik (2108 passing yards, 765 rushing yards), DeQuan Lewis (374 rushing yards, 8 TDs; 366 receiving yards, 6 TDs) and Anthony Cannone (548 receiving yards, 7 TDs) all since graduate, where will the offensive surge come from. Last year, junior Nick Cannone completed 7 of 10 passes for 124 yards and 2 TDs. Whoever the quarterback will be will have a 6’2 target in junior Andrew Pryts. Number 25 caught 39 passes for 852 yards and 8 touchdown receptions. Senior Lou Derloni averaged 7.6 yards per carry last year (979 yards on 129 attempts). Sophomore Chuck Carr was a homerun threat as a freshman as he rushed for 577 yards on 59 carries (9.8 ypc) and 8 touchdowns.

Kicking game is in good hands (or feet).
Senior Jordan Wombacher, who wears #29, has successfully converted on 169 of 181 extra point attempts (93.4%) during his career while booming punts for an average of 35.3 yards per kick over the past two seasons (11 inside the 20).

Recent Statstical Leaders
Passing Yards
2013: Matt Voytik – 2108
2012: Matt Voytik – 832
2011: Mike Nardone – 1337
2010: Mike Grata – 845

Rushing Yards
2013: Lou Derloni – 979
2012: DeShawn Coleman – 1730
2011: DeShawn Coleman – 2391
2010: Marlon Pegues – 1649

Receiving Yards
2013: Andrew Pryts – 852
2012: Dionte Pope – 259
2011: Andrew Smith – 480
2010: Andrew Smith – 281

2013: Daulton Linton – 136
2012: Daulton Linton – 96

Quarterback Sacks
2013: Zach Cirillo – 8.0
2012: Jaylan Sharper – 4.0

2013: Andrew Pryts & Anthony Cannone – 5
2012: DeShawn Coleman – 3

Fact Finder: Hickory has compiled the second most wins (43) of any area school in the past four years (only trails Western Reserve, 44)…The Hornets have not lost a season opening game with Bill Brest as their coach, they’ve won four straight by a combined score of 168-47…Hickory has won their last 17 games played in the month of October…Hickory is one of nine schools in the area to have registered a winning season in each of the last five years.

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