After suffering their first, and so far only, loss of the season in week 2, East Pennsboro has responded with two strong efforts. After their second straight victory, starting quarterback and Syracuse commit Austin Wilson spoke to CuseNation.com.
"We had a very good game," Wilson recalled. "We won 35-0 (over Boiling Springs). It stated off rough for me. I didn't play as well as I think I should've. Their defense played pretty well against our passing game. They played quarters defense with a couple safeties deep. We couldn't really get the passing going.
"But that opened up our running game. Our running back Chase Shulda had 150 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. I had three passing touchdowns. I think games like this show that we're not just a passing offense. It shows that we're a good team. Our defense played great and had their first shut-out of the season. It was a positive game."
Wilson commended the defense in their previous game, and that impressive play continued in their shut-out victory. He believes the play of the front four was key to their success.
"They let up a couple big plays, but they ended up stopping their drives," Wilson explains. "It was either an interception or a fumble recovery or a stop on 4th down. On the front line, it's been one of our big issues in the first two games.
"On Friday, our front line stepped up big time. That's the big reason why we shut them out. They couldn't really move the ball very well."
The quarters coverage limited what their potent passing game could do. However, Wilson and the East Pennsboro offense adjusted well. They relied on the running game which amassed over 250 yards on the ground. Wilson also went to the short passing game to move the ball.
"We sort of just went to our shorter routes and hit stuff underneath," the Syracuse commit described. "Some hedge routes, slant routes underneath, and we ran the ball a lot. We usually only run the ball 10 or 12 times per game. Our running back had over 20 carries this game. That brought up the safety and they brought everybody up. That opened up the passing game a little bit.
"I hit one deep ball for a touchdown. Then playaction worked as they were biting on the run."
It was another multiple passing touchdown game for Wilson. He threw three on the day, each different from the others.
"Our first drive down the field, we hit some short routes and ran the ball really well," Wilson said. "We were down on the five yard-line. I rolled out, playaction to the right. They bit on it and I hit my slot guy on a corner route in the back of the endzone. Ryan Turpin, I hit him for a touchdown. I didn't have another passing touchdown until the fourth quarter where I had two. They bit on the bubble route to Sammy Marshall. Everybody was flying to him all game so he never really had a chance. That opened up a ball down the field. I hit Nick Guida on a streak route.
"My last one I hit my running back on a shovel pass. He went about 40-yards for the touchdown."
This week, Wilson is preparing for Steelton-Highspire. He says they have a lot of speed, so it will be a challenge. But East Pennsboro will be preparing like they do every other week. It will be Wilson's homecoming game, so it should be an emotional game.
The day after his victory over Boiling Springs, Wilson watched Syracuse take on Minnesota. He believes it was just a bad day, and that the Syracuse offense will bounce back.
"I think everybody has an off day," Wilson cautioned. "Just like me this Friday. I just looked at it as everybody has an off day. Even the best of the best have off games. I think that's how the Syracuse offense was this week. They've been very good, excellent for the first few weeks. They had an off week. Ryan's been tearing it up every game. He might've had an off game but that's just going to push you to strive harder.
"As a quarterback, I know that I'm going to push myself harder this week to come out and have breakout game next week."