Trib HSSN Team of the Week for Week 1

Monday, September 14, 2020 | 11:40 PM

In four years from 2016-19, Chartiers Valley football played in Class 5A and struggled, winning only four conference games and amassing an overall record of 10-30.

After WPIAL realignment dropped the program to Class 4A, the Colts galloped to a quick start out of the gates with an impressive 34-7 road victory over Montour. The win earns Chartiers Valley the first Trib HSSN Team of the Week honors for the new season.

Could the drop in classification be a reset for the Colts program?

“We are very proud of the program we run regardless of classification,” Chartiers Valley head coach Dan Knause said. “I do think playing new teams has energized the players. However, we know dropping a class does not guarantee us wins.

“We play very good programs with talented players and great coaching staffs. Overall, we preach daily focus and determination, and I believe our players, especially our seniors, have become process-oriented and enjoy preparing for the demands of the sport.”

There were many levels to the Colts victory, including multiple big offensive performances from several players in racking up 34 points.

“Yes, a lot of different guys touched the ball against Montour. It’s how our offense is built,” Knause said. “We try to take what the defense is giving us and on some of the plays, three guys can touch the ball at any point. Our players understand the success occurs in an unselfish system.”

If there was a standout on offense for CV, it was the play of running back Anthony Mackey. The junior rushed for 152 yards and scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown in the second quarter.

“Anthony had a great game,” Knause said. “He’s a cool customer. He never gets too high or too low. He made great decisions and his athletic ability was showcased. He obviously had the big guys up front as a nice supporting cast.

“Anthony had a good night in the run game and the passing game. We want to achieve a balanced attack.”

While the offense was steady in scoring five touchdowns, the defense was even better. The Chartiers Valley defense yielded only seven points, a far cry from the nearly 33 per game given up a year ago by the Colts.

“Defense comes down to not giving up the big play, getting off the field and creating turnovers,” Knause said. “We gave up one big play and had three turnovers. When you limit big plays and get the ball back for your offense, good things typically happen. Our players did a nice job against their run game and defended the vertical passing game well.”

One game does not a season make. However, with so many questions still left unanswered, the 1-0 start with a road victory in the 4A Parkway Conference has Knause and his staff happy but unfulfilled.

“We were pleased with our effort level and physicality,” he said. “We had more mental penalties than we’d like to see. Our staff and players were prepared. With a condensed camp and offseason, we felt good about our preparation.”

The Colts face a mighty challenge in Week 2 as they host neighbor South Fayette in a battle of 1-0 teams in a non-conference contest.

“South Fayette looks like a college team on film,” Knause said. “They are very talented at all skill positions and have a massive line that moves well. Defensively, they are talented and don’t make mistakes. We have scrimmaged South Fayette for years, and there is a lot of respect between our two programs.

“When you play a team of their caliber, you better come prepared and have a competitor’s mindset.”


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