The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

HS Sports Windber

September 15, 2012

Windber concerned with Rockwood's Brancato

ROCKWOOD — Rockwood back Luke Brancato has been the focal point of the Rockets’ offense.

The 5-foot-6 senior certainly will attract plenty of attention from visiting Windber’s defense during today’s WestPAC contest.

“Luke Brancato is outstanding. He waited his turn behind (graduated Julian) Sleasman, and he’s the real deal,” said Windber coach Matt Grohal, whose 2-0 squad will travel to 1-1 Rockwood for a 1 p.m. contest. “They put him in a lot of different positions to get him the football. We have to take him out of the game.

“The word on the street is the other kid, (senior Joel) Ansell, will be back this week. He’s a running back who can scoot and he’s another weapon.”

Brancato has 31 of Rockwood’s 45 rushing attempts through two weeks. He has gained 183 yards on the ground for a 5.9 average per carry. A dual threat, Brancato has 11 of his team’s 19 receptions for 247 yards, a 22.5 average.

“The nice thing about Luke is he’s so versatile on both sides of the ball,” Rockwood coach Jerry Kaizen said. “He’s a great receiver, probably one of the best to come through Rockwood. His feet are nice and we can get him at running back. He has just enough quickness to make himself dangerous.”

Quarterback Matt Seifert has completed 17 of 36 passes for 338 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Rockwood dressed only 17 players in last week’s 44-12 loss at Blacklick Valley.

“We weren’t ready,” Kaizen said. “Our practices have been a little more intense and a lot more solid this week. Hopefully, that will translate on the field (today).”

Windber has been formidable on both sides of the football.

The single-wing offense produced 500 yards in last week’s 49-19 win over Meyersdale. The Ramblers have outscored opponents, 69-25.

Four backs have gained 118 yards or more through two weeks, including Dustin Blough (18 carries, 167 yards), Trevor Neri

(14-160), Devon Tomlinson (26-142) and Dan Tomlinson (17-118).

“It’s difficult,” Kaizen said. “Looking at film and preparation, they’re really strong on the edge. They’ll get three or four guys out in front of the ball carrier somehow, some way. They’ll get 3-on-2 or 4-on-2 situations. They’re masters at that.

“Their offensive line is second to none in the WestPAC in terms of knowing who they’re supposed to block and getting there.”

Quarterback Dakota Gipe has completed 16 of 32 passes for 179 yards. Devon Tomlinson has thrown one pass for a 60-yard touchdown. Matt Barkley has 10 catches for 128 yards and a score.

“They seem to know where the coverage isn’t going to be,” Kaizen said. “I think coach Matt does a good job of figuring out what the coverages are going to be.”

Grohal said Windber has used a mix of the run and the pass to keep defenses off-balance.

“I think we threw the ball 19 times in Week 1,” Grohal said of a 20-6 win at Shade. “When I was looking at the stats, that caught me off guard. Last week, we threw 15 times. Having more balance is going to give teams a little more to prepare for every week.”

Kaizen knows his team is an underdog, but feels the Rockets can benefit from the opportunity.

“They’re one of the high water marks,” he said of Windber. “If you can play well against them and compete well against them, then you know going down the stretch you can play with anybody. They have such a great tradition.

“We’re a scrappy bunch of football players that want to win games,” he added. “It’s going to be fun going through the rest of the year with these kids. The motivation is right. If we get the preparation right we’ll be OK.”


Text Only | Photo Reprints
HS Sports Windber
  • track_B1 WestPAC relays go to Windber boys, Berlin girls

    Rain showers and dropping temperatures put a damper on Monday’s WestPAC Relays at Berlin Brothersvalley High School.
    For the Berlin girls and the boys from Windber, however, discomfort was not much of a factor.
    The Mountaineers won their third straight relay title while the Ramblers reclaimed the title from defending champ Shade.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • mustangs Portage slips past Windber

    Portage softball coach Bryan Jubina said after his team’s 3-2 win at Windber on Thursday that he anticipated his squad – the defending WestPAC titleholder – to play in a lot of close games this season.
    How his Mustangs (4-2) reacted to adversity and opportunity in their North Division win over the Ramblers (1-2) might be an encouraging thing if they can make it a trend.

    April 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • High school sports in brief 4/9/2014

    April 8, 2014

  • girls showcase6 bw McCabe’s MVP effort aids squad in victory

    Portage’s Olivia McCabe was a little misty-eyed after the Seventh Annual AmeriServ Senior Hoops Showcase girls basketball game on Sunday afternoon at the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center.
    McCabe was certainly not emotional about her performance, finishing with a team-high 15 points and grabbing seven rebounds in her North squad’s 83-68 win over the South.

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • Baseball ready to leave on-deck circle

    March 29, 2014

  • West boys victorious in District 5 showcase

    Monday’s District 5 Athletic Director’s Association boys’ all-star game at Chestnut Ridge High School was indirectly sponsored by the number 3 ... As in 34 combined 3-pointers.
    It was the fourth-quarter long-range marksmanship from the West all-star squad – comprised of student-athletes from Somerset County – that ruled the night as the West topped the East – made up of players from Bedford and Fulton counties – 97-86.

    March 24, 2014

  • Senior Hoops Showcase rosters announced

    The rosters for the seventh annual AmeriServ Senior Hoops Showcase are set, with 1,000-point scorers, 500-rebound players and conference and district champions represented on the boys’ and girls’ all-star squads.
    The Showcase will be played on Sunday, April 6 at the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center. The girls’ game begins at 1 p.m., with the boys contest to follow at 3 p.m.

    March 22, 2014

  • Coaches named for AmeriServ basketball games

    Two first-year head coaches who led their respective teams successful seasons will lead the boys all-stars in the Ameri-Serv Senior Hoops Showcase.
    A pair of veteran coaches will front the girls all-stars during the seventh annual event set for Sunday, April 6 at the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center.

    March 16, 2014

  • wrestling9 small PIAA wrestling notebook: Murin not pleased with fifth place

    Max Murin won the first 36 matches of his varsity career.
    But the Central Cambria freshman was disappointed after he dropped two consecutive bouts on Friday night at the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships.

    March 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • states.JPG Area wrestlers search for gold

    Conner Buttry and Aaron Burkett will make their debuts in the PIAA Wrestling Championships this morning, but they are quite familiar with a state tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey.
    Each has been a fixture on the Chestnut Ridge squad that has made back-to-back appearances in the state dual-meet tournament. That familiarity could help them, along with returning state medalist Austin Buttry, when the three Lions hit the mats in Hershey this morning.

    March 6, 2014 1 Photo


Who do you think will win Friday's playoff match-up at Somerset Field: the Ramblers or the Cougars?

Windber Ramblers
North Star Cougars
     View Results

AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide