Kittanning’s three headed attack leads team against Burrell
Burrell head coach Tom Henderson knows what Kittanning’s offense is all about.
It is just finding a way to stop it.
The Wildcats offense centers around three running backs – three very good running backs. Brad Bothell, Joe Acerni and Aaron Atwood have accounted for 83 percent of the Wildcats rushing attack this season and Henderson knows that.
“They are very good,” Henderson said. “The difficult part is that it isn’t just Brad Bothell. They have two fullbacks and Acerni. Defense isn’t going to be easy.”
Bothell, who has scored nine touchdowns, has 5.7 yards per carry entering this week and Acerni, who adds six scores, brings in an impressive eight years a carry.
“We will show up and play our game,” Henderson said. “You can’t look too hard at Bothell and the fullbacks. We have to play good football.”
Burrell also has a decent running game of its own. Or running back.
Tyler Henderson, Tom Henderson’s son, has been Burrell’s ground game as he has 903 yards and 14 touchdowns for the unbeaten Bucs.
“He has real good vision,” Kittanning head coach Sam Panchik said. “He sees his blockers and cuts nice. He will be tough to stop. The only advantage we have is we can key on him. They have only one in the backfield.”
Panchik plans on keeping his game balanced with his trio to the Bucs won’t be able to focus on just one player.
“We will try to balance it so you can’t key on one guy,” he said.
But Henderson isn’t the lone offensive weapon for the Bucs.
Burrell enters with a good passing game as well with quarterback Garyn Ehrlich.
“We’ve run the ball pretty well and we’ve thrown the ball pretty well,” Tom Henderson said. “We are more balanced than they are.”
“We’ll have a tough time stopping all their weapons,” Panchik said. “They have size, speed. It will be a challenge for our defense. I hope our defense steps up to the challenge.”
Kittanning’s offense has been centered around the run as it has completed just three passes on the season for 47 yards. And each of those passes were completed in their last game, the fifth game of the season. The game is the Wildcats only loss of the season.
Kittanning (2-1) sits in a third place tie with Ford City and Deer Lakes and is chasing Burrell (3-0) in the Allegheny Conference standings. The Wildcats are also behind Valley, the team they lost to last week.
“I call this game playoff caliber,” Panchik said.
“They lost that game on Saturday,” Tom Henderson said. “They will be very hungry. I am sure they are going to have a different attitude.”
With just four weeks remaining in the season, the conference race is heating up. Valley (3-0) hosts Shady Side Academy (0-3) and Ford City (2-1) will travel to Deer Lakes (2-1).