The resilient bunch from Sharpsville gave the school and its’ community a ride towards their second District championship in as many years. On October 5, the unbeaten Blue Devils were handed their first defeat of the season at the hands of West Middlesex (21-14). Fast forward another six weeks and the same two teams faced off for the opportunity to call themselves champion of District 10. Sharpsville got revenge as they shut out the high scoring Big Reds, 28-0. The defense held West Middlesex to just 85 yards rushing and forced 4 turnovers by interception.
The following week, Sharpsville’s season came to a disappointing end as Port Allegany’s Matt Bodamer connected on an 11-yard touchdown pass to Tyce Miller with only seventeen ticks remaining. The Blue Devils rallied from 13 down to come up short, 28-21.
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Coach Paul Piccirilli’s bunch must hit the road for three straight road games to begin 2013.
2013 Sharpsville Blue Devils’ Football Preview
By Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Paul Piccirilli, 18th season (154-50)
2012 Record: 11-2 (5-1), District 10 Region 1 (A)
2012 Post-Season Finish:Lost in PIAA State Quarterfinals to Port Allegany, 28-21, on November 30.
2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 32.2 (13th in Area)
Points Allowed: 13.5 (5th in Area)
Aug. 30 – at Moniteau, 7 PM
Sept. 7 – at Mercer, 7 PM
Sept. 13 – at Conneaut, 7 PM
Sept. 20 – Kennedy Catholic, 7 PM
Sept. 27 – Farrell, 7 PM
Oct. 4 – West Middlesex, 7 PM
Oct. 11 – at Wilmington, 7 PM
Oct. 18 – at Lakeview, 7 PM
Oct. 26 – at Warren JFK, 7 PM
Nov. 1 – Sharon, 7 PM
Offensive Strength: Year after year, it seems as if Sharpsville loses players and the Devils just reload to give its’ opponents fits. Over the last three years, the offense has averaged over 32 points a game with three different starting quarterbacks (Bryan Stafford, Jake Henwood, Frank Joseph) and with three different leading rushers (Ross Llewellyn, Spencer Bland, Marcus Llewellyn).
Offensive Weakness: The offense will look to reload as the unit lost practically almost all of its’ core members.
Defensive Strength: Linebacker P.J. Campoli returns for his senior season. Campoli will be without his fellow backers Joey Pagliaroli and Derrick Odem, who graduated.
Defensive Weakness: Up front, Sharpsville will be young. The defense lost Ross Llewellyn and Cody Hughes.
Storylines Facing the Blue Devils
1. Scrambling for Offense? Who will be the starting quarterback come week one? Or running back for that matter? Former quarterback Bryan Stafford is gone, as well as, running backs Ross Llewellyn and Joey Pagliaroli. Also tight end Chris Przicina and the dynamic Tyler Luchey both have since graduated.
2. Past Four Years. Sharpsville has been able to maintain their winning tradition over the course of the past four seasons. The Blue Devils have won 10 or more games in each of those campaigns and have won two conference championships, as well as, back-to-back District crowns. Sharpsville has compiled a record of 44-8 overall.
3. Defense has Helped the Cause. The Blue Devils’ defense has helped tremendously. When Sharpsville wins 10 games or more, the defense has held the opposition to an average of 13.5 points or less in each year since 2001 (2012: 13.5; 2011: 9.5; 2010: 9.3; 2009: 13.5; 2005: 11.2; 2004: 9.1; 2001: 9.5).
Did you know? Sharpsville notched a 10-7 victory over Riverside to win the 1997 PIAA Class A Championship. The Blue Devils forced four turnovers (2 interceptions/2 fumbles) as they outscored the Vikings 10-0 over the course of the last three quarters. Brian Watson caught the game-winning touchdown from John Napotnik.