Brennan’s presence, absence influences North Hills’ outcomes

Thursday, October 4, 2018 | 11:42 PM

To say that Tyler Brennan has been an effective offensive weapon for the North Hills football team this season would be an understatement. Through six games, the senior running back leads all WPIAL Class 5A players in touchdowns with 13. Those 13 scores have come on 41 carries, meaning he averages a touchdown run for almost every three handoffs he receives.

To make it more impressive, Brennan has played in three games for North Hills (4-2, 3-0 Class 5A Northern Conference).

It almost goes without mentioning that Indians coach Pat Carey is looking to get his stud runner back on the field.

“Tyler is a difference-maker. When he has the ball in his hands, he has the chance to go the distance every time,” Carey said.

“The thing with Tyler is that you don’t have to be perfect on offense. A lot of times, he’ll just make guys miss and run by them. Early on in the season, we had a bunch of success running him and his teammates. He really makes the offense go.”

To illustrate Carey’s point: The Indians offense put up point totals of 42, 42 and 35 and went undefeated with Brennan in the backfield. Without him, North Hills scored 10 total points and went 1-2.

Brennan, or as his teammates sometimes call him, “Touchdown Tyler,” eases the pressure placed by opposing defenses on his offensive teammates, according to his coach.

“If you have somebody with Tyler’s ability, teams have to prepare to stop him. That obviously gives our other players a chance to be successful,” Carey said.

“When Tyler is running well, it gets a lot easier to get the rest of our offensive players involved because the defense has their eyes on Tyler.”

Carey said he does not have a timetable for Brennan’s return. However, with the back end of the section schedule looming, the leading touchdown-maker in Class 5A said he is doing his best to remain patient.

“It’s definitely hard sitting there and watching everything go down, especially with it being my senior year. But I’m staying positive, and I’m looking to be a leader from the sideline,” Brennan said.

“We have some younger guys on the team, and I just want to help them get better. It’s hard sitting there, but I’m trying to get back as soon as I can so we can get the whole thing rolling again.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.


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