Westmoreland County football Q&A with Franklin Regional’s Zac Gordon

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019 | 5:40 PM


Zac Gordon used to play tight end in youth football, even some center, before coaches thought it would be better to put the ball in his hands.

Novel idea.

Gordon scored 60 touchdowns in two seasons for the Franklin Regional Midget Football Association’s Leopards and led the team to a 19-1 record.

“No punts in two years,” Gordon said. “We were pretty good. They didn’t know how fast I was until they moved me.”

Panthers senior center and defensive tackle Anthony Bonacci said Gordon was unstopppable in the midget league.

“He scored every time he touched the ball,” Bonacci said. “He took back the opening kickoff every game. It was crazy how good he was.”

The position switch is something for which the Franklin Regional varsity coaches are forever grateful.

Without it, “Commissioner Gordon” might not be their leading rusher.

“He is strong and has that toughness and vision,” Franklin Regional coach Greg Botta said.

Gordon has rushed for 849 yards and nine touchdowns on 128 carries for Franklin Regional (4-4), which will open the WPIAL Class 5A playoffs Friday night at Moon (8-2).

It will be the Panthers’ 16th straight playoff appearance.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Gordon talks about Franklin Regional’s tradition, other sports, nicknames, his dogs and more in this week’s Westmoreland County football Q&A.

What has been the key to your personal success this season?

My line opens the holes. And I really worked on foot drills and went through agility programs (in the offseason).

Why has Franklin Regional been so consistent, a regular playoff contender each year?

It’s the coaches and tradition. We try to take on the mindset the kids had 15 years ago and be tough, physical kids. Pride, character and discipline like Coach Botta says. We don’t want to be the senior class that ends the streak.

How good was top-ranked Penn-Trafford last week?

Pretty good, but we came out and played with them. We didn’t execute and make plays when we needed to.

How tough was it to see teammate Mario Sarnic go down with a broken leg last week?

It’s a shame to see that. He was such a key player for us and just started to turn it on. It hurts to see someone that good go down.

What sport are you secretly good at?

I also run track as a sprinter. I used to play baseball.

Were you the leadoff hitter?

No, I hit No. 4. I am thinking about playing baseball again this year.

How impressive has that boys soccer team been?

I went to the home games. They are really good. (Sophomore kicker) Anthony DiFalco is a really good athlete.

What nicknames do you have?

“Flash,” or “Commissioner” (the latter courtesy of local broadcaster Jonathan Whaley.)

Do you know who Commissioner Gordon is?

Nope.

He is from Batman. He was in comic books and appeared in the 1960s Batman TV show.

If it’s from Batman, I like it more. That’s pretty cool.

Do you think this will be coach Botta’s last season?

Possibly, but I’m not sure. There are some good players coming up next year. If this is the end, we want to make sure it’s a good ending for him.

Any hidden talents?

I work for my dad’s concrete business. We put in driveways, sidewalks and patios.

Any pets at home?

I have two dogs, Buster (bulldog) and Emma (boxer).

Who was your favorite Franklin Regional football player when you were growing up?

Dane Brown. He was my size. He was something else.

Best school lunch?

Chicken nuggets.

Who will win the Super Bowl this year?

I hate to say it, but New England is so good.

Best football movie?

“Remember the Titans.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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