With new coach in place, Greensburg CC to rely on strong defense, deep skill group

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021 | 6:01 AM


It could take some time for Greensburg Central Catholic to find its identity early in the football season.

New coach Marko Thomas said the Centurions are ready to try a number of offensive sets until they find one that continually produces results.

“I brought in some things from Connellsville, and our guys are still trying to figure out how to run them,” Thomas said. “When we get into pads, we’ll figure out what serves us best. Are we a run team? Are we a passing team? Who knows? We might come out four-wide, two-backs. … We’ll feel it out.”

As he adjusts to the sometimes-major, other times-subtle differences going from Class 5A (Connellsville) to Class A, Thomas is embracing his new digs.

“The kids really have a strong work ethic, and they want to get better,” Thomas said. “They bought in to what we want to do.”

GCC is trying to bounce back from a year that went sideways. A year in which it was expected to be in the mix for a conference title but could not build momentum.

The Centurions, who began the year ranked No. 3 in Class A, stumbled to a 2-5 mark and finished sixth in the eight-team Eastern Conference.

The Diocese of Greensburg decided not to bring back Bret Colbert after two seasons and hired Thomas.

Defense looks like a strong point for GCC, which will operate out of a 3-5 stack instead of a 3-4. The team allowed 35.1 points a game last year and is looking to seal some gaps.

Senior Danny Dlugos (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) will be a key two-way player at linebacker and running back. Dlugos rushed for 474 yards and seven touchdowns and also led the team in tackles with 64.

His cousin, junior Nate Dlugos, is slotted to start at quarterback. The 6-foot-2 lefty will have plenty of targets.

Senior Joe Blahovec (6-2, 190) is another prospective playmaker. He had 21 receptions for 222 yards and three TDs and added 42 tackles and three interceptions at linebacker.

Danny Dlugos and Blahovec are Division I prospects.

“We’re going to have a lot of depth and speed,” Blahovec said. “We have tons of receivers and like, eight running backs.

“Last year was terrible. We didn’t work enough in the summer, and everything went wrong in our first game and ruined our season.”

Other running backs are junior Amari Mack and senior Zach David, among others, and more pass-catching threats include senior Aaron Stasko, and senior Kiantae Robinson, a transfer from Monessen.

Stasko had 10 catches as a junior.

Three Jeannette transfers are expected to make an impact in senior Taishaun Jamison (WR/RB/DB) and juniors Ryan Kimmel (OL/DL) and Jaydin Canady (WR/DB).

Another lineman to watch is senior Cole Spivak, a Carleton (Minn.) commit.

Senior Alexander Colcombe, Stasko and Robinson will join Blahovec in the linebacking corps, and Mack, Jamison, Canady and sophomore Nick Dlugos — Nate’s brother and Danny’s cousin — figure into an athletic secondary.

Mack also has Division I interest. Watch him on special teams as a return man.

Greensburg Central Catholic

Coach: Marko Thomas

2020 record: 2-5, 2-5 in Class A Eastern Conference

All-time record: 355-239-18

SCHEDULE

Date, Opponent, Time

8.27 at Beth-Center, 7

9.3 Seton LaSalle, 7

9.10 at Apollo-Ridge, 7

9.17 Imani Christian*, 7

9.25 at Bishop Canevin*^, 7

10.1 at Springdale*, 7

10.8 Riverview*, 7

10.15 at Clairton*, 7

10.22 at Jeannette*, 7

10.29 Leechburg*, 7

*Conference game

^At Dormont Stadium

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing: David Altimore*

52-111, 568 yards, 7 TDs, 7 INTs

Receiving: Joe Blahovec

21-222, 3 TDs

Rushing: Danny Dlugos

53-474, 7 TDs

*Graduated

FAST FACTS

• Thomas spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Connellsville. He was a standout receiver at Penn-Trafford and Geneva.

• Blahovec, the team’s top receiver last season, is a Youngstown State commit.

• Danny Dlugos and Amari Mack also have received Division I attention.

• The Centurions open against Beth-Center and its 80-year-old head coach, Tony Ruscitto, in Week Zero.

ROSTER

No., Name, Pos., Cl.

2, Kiantae Robinson, WR/LB, Sr.

3, Aaron Stasko, WR/LB, Sr.

4, Camden Petrunak, QB/DB, So.

5, Amari Mack, WR/RB/DB, Jr.

6, Nate Dlugos, QB/DB, Jr.

7, Charles Blanchard, RB/LB, So.

8, Ryan Reitler, K/P, Sr.

9, Joe Blahovec, WR/LB, Sr.

11, Nick Dlugos, WR/DB, So.

12, Tyree Turner, QB/DB, So.

13, Peter Mazowiecki, WR/DB, So.

14, Jake Havrilesko, WR/DB, Jr.

15, Aidan Allison, WR/DB, Fr.

16, Jackson McMullen, WR/DB, Fr.

17, Aidan McCandless, WR/LB, So.

18, Danny Dlugos, RB/LB, Sr.

19, Dom Piper, WR/DB, Fr.

20, Jaydin Canady, RB/DB, Jr.

21, Dom Vitula, WR/DB, Jr.

22, Ethan Shawley, RB/LB, Fr.

23, Taishaun Jamison, WR/RB/DB, Sr.

24, Brayen Hill, WR/DB, Jr.

26, Evan Stasko, WR/DB , So.

29, Dean Crissman, WR/LB, Jr.

30, Da’sjon Craggette, RB/DB, So.

31, Zach David, RB/LB, Sr.

32, Tucker Lloyd, WR/LB, Fr.

50, Tyler Shafer, OL/DL, Sr.

53, Joseph Semelka, OL/DL, Sr.

54, Ryan Kimmel, OL/DL/LB, Jr.

55, Joseph Rehak, OL/DL, So.

57, Alexander Colcombe, OL/LB, Sr.

60, Mike Lucotch, OL/LB, Jr.

63, Jarrell Braxton, OL/DL, Fr.

68, Jacob Reitler, OL/K/DL, Fr.

72, Cole Spivak, OL/DL, Sr.

73, Joseph Kudla, OL/DL , So.

75, Elijah Morgan-Washington, OL/DL, Jr.

78, Alex Bastedo, OL/DL , Fr.

88, Ty Rozier, WR/LB, Fr.

Greensburg Central Catholic

Coach: Marko Thomas

2020 record: 2-5, 2-5 in Class A Eastern Conference

All-time record: 355-239-18

SCHEDULE

Date, Opponent, Time

8.27, at Upper St. Clair, 7

9.3, Seton LaSalle, 7

9.10, at Apollo-Ridge, 7

9.17, Imani Christian*, 7

9.25, at Bishop Canevin*^, 7

10.1, at Springdale*, 7

10.8, Riverview*, 7

10.15, at Clairton*, 7

10.22, at Jeannette*, 7

10.29, Leechburg*, 7

*Conference game

^At Dormont Stadium

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing: David Altimore*

52-111, 568 yards, 7 TDs, 7 INTs

Receiving: Joe Blahovec

21-222 yards, 3 TDs

Rushing: Danny Dlugos

53-474 yards, 7 TDs

*Graduated

FAST FACTS

• Thomas spent the last four seasons as the head coach at Connellsville. He was a standout receiver at Penn-Trafford and Geneva.

• Blahovec, the team’s top receiver last season, is a Youngstown State commit.

• Danny Dlugos and Amari Mack also have received Division I attention.

• The Centurions open against Beth-Center and its 80-year-old head coach, Tony Ruscitto, in Week Zero.

ROSTER

No., Name, Pos., Cl.

2, Kiantae Robinson, WR/LB, Sr.

3, Aaron Stasko, WR/LB, Sr.

4, Camden Petrunak, QB/DB, So.

5, Amari Mack, WR/RB/DB, Jr.

6, Nate Dlugos, QB/DB, Jr.

7, Charles Blanchard, RB/LB, So.

8, Ryan Reitler, K/P, Sr.

9, Joe Blahovec, WR/LB, Sr.

11, Nick Dlugos, WR/DB, So.

12, Tyree Turner, QB/DB, So.

13, Peter Mazowiecki, WR/DB, So.

14, Jake Havrilesko, WR/DB, Jr.

15, Aidan Allison, WR/DB, Fr.

16, Jackson McMullen, WR/DB, Fr.

17, Aidan McCandless, WR/LB, So.

18, Danny Dlugos, RB/LB, Sr.

19, Dom Piper, WR/DB, Fr.

20, Jaydin Canady, RB/DB, Jr.

21, Dom Vitula, WR/DB, Jr.

22, Ethan Shawley, RB/LB, Fr.

23, Taishaun Jamison, WR/RB/DB, Sr.

24, Brayen Hill, WR/DB, Jr.

26, Evan Stasko, WR/DB , So.

29, Dean Crissman, WR/LB, Jr.

30, Da’sjon Craggette, RB/DB, So.

31, Zach David, RB/LB, Sr.

32, Tucker Lloyd, WR/LB, Fr.

50, Tyler Shafer, OL/DL, Sr.

53, Joseph Semelka, OL/DL, Sr.

54, Ryan Kimmel, OL/DL/LB, Jr.

55, Joseph Rehak, OL/DL, So.

57, Alexander Colcombe, OL/LB, Sr.

60, Mike Lucotch, OL/LB, Jr.

63, Jarrell Braxton, OL/DL, Fr.

68, Jacob Reitler, OL/K/DL, Fr.

72, Cole Spivak, OL/DL, Sr.

73, Joseph Kudla, OL/DL , So.

75, Elijah Morgan-Washington, OL/DL, Jr.

78, Alex Bastedo, OL/DL , Fr.

88, Ty Rozier, WR/LB, Fr.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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