Daily News Q&A: East Allegheny’s Kyle Whipple
thank goodness for Kyle Whipple. That, indeed, has been ongoing sentiments of East Allegheny coach Dom Pecora.
“I wish I had him for some more years,” said Pecora, in his first season with the Wildcats. “He’s big and he’s strong. He’s got an every day commitment.”
Whipple, one of just two returning starters on offense and an integral part of the defense at outside linebacker, directed East Allegheny to its first win this season — a 14-7 victory over Ford City on Friday — ending a 10-game losing streak dating to 2012.
With East Allegheny trailing, 7-0, in the third quarter, Whipple threw back-to-back passes covering 90 yards to pull the Wildcats even at 7-7.
Starting deep in EA territory, the offense rode Whipple’s arm on completions of 42 yards to Taizjon Brown and 48 yards for the touchdown to Rocco Dunn.
Whipple wasn’t done, though. His 13-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter on an option play with 10:30 remaining held up as the game-winning score.
“He read the defense perfectly on that play,” Pecora said. “He’s doing a lot for us, and he needs to do more of that. He’s really an extension of the coaching staff out there.”
Q: What was it like for you to spark your team to its first win in that manner?
A: It was a time that I needed to step up, being a senior. A victory that night was important. It definitely gets your adrenaline going, and you want to be more a part of the action.
Q: Can you remember having such an impact on a victory in the past?
A: Honestly, no, because we only won one game last year. We won five the year before, when I was a sophomore, but I don’t recall anything like this.
Q: You have to be spending a lot of energy as a linebacker on defense. How do you conserve that energy and how are you able to keep your composure at quarterback?
A: It’s just pretty much just like in practice. You have to work on conditioning, knowing what your role is. For me, you’ve got to be mean on defense. In my situation, shed blockers and make tackles. Obviously, at quarterback, you’ve got to think a lot more. I would rather be out there all the time than on the sidelines for part of the time. This is my senior year.
Q: If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be?
A: That’s a tough one. Obviously, any NFL quarterback. That’s what everyone’s dream, who plays football, is — to play in the NFL.