As a sophomore first-year starting quarterback, Logan Hauck had to be a quick and astute learner this football season.
Chestnut Ridge coach Max Shoemaker is handing out a passing grade to Hauck and his talented group of receivers as the 6-4 Lions prepare for Friday’s District 5-8 Class AA playoff game at Dr. Giovacchini Stadium.
“He’s stepped up well and handled the responsibility,” Shoemaker said. “He’s really grown into the position. A lot of that was borne in his summer and spring work. That put him in a position where he evolved as the season unfolded.”
Hauck ranks third in the area with 1,657 passing yards. He has completed .648 percent of his passes (139 of 213) entering the playoff date against 2-7 Westinghouse.
The 5-foot-10, 155-pound quarterback had at least one touchdown pass in all 10 of Chestnut Ridge’s games and two or more TD throws in seven of the 10 games.
The high-water mark was in Week 5, when Hauck was a perfect 20 of 20 for 276 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-7 win over Philipsburg-Osceola. Last week, he threw for 263 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in a 38-21 loss to District 6 power Tyrone.
“He is able to get the ball out quickly, and we have a nice group of receivers that have helped him out,” Shoemaker said. “They are adjusting to the ball and making the catches.
“We have some athletes that we can align in the spread look and get the ball out to them.
“He’s done a nice job of distributing the ball and getting it into their hands.”
Count versatile Bryan Feather (36 catches, 614 yards) and John Deaner (36-498) among those talented receivers. They rank third and eighth in the area, respectively.
Familiar road: Greater Johnstown will face Clearfield in the Class AAA playoffs for the fourth time in the past five seasons.
The Trojans are 5-5 and the No. 4 seed in the subregional.
Top-seeded Clearfield has nine consecutive victories since a season-opening loss to Fort Hill, a Maryland power with an 8-1 record.
The 9-1 Bison have beaten some solid teams such as Central (9-1 record), Tyrone (8-2), Brockway (8-2) and Huntingdon (6-4) as well as some struggling programs such as Philipsburg-Osceola (0-10), Bald Eagle Area (1-9), Punxsutawney (3-7), Penns Valley (2-8) and Bellefonte (3-7).
Clearfield is 4-0 in those recent playoff meetings against Johnstown, beating the Trojans in 2010 (28-12 at DuBois); 2011 (29-23 at Mansion Park); 2013 (42-7 at Clearfield) and 2014 (42-27 at Clearfield).
Blue Jays record: Conemaugh Valley senior running back-safety Brandon Galasso finished his stellar career as the Blue Jays’ all-time, single-season rushing leader with 1,893 rushing yards on 277 carries this year.
Galasso also set a scoring mark with 152 points, including 24 touchdowns. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons, with 1,005 last fall. Including 665 yards as a sophomore and 460 as a freshman, Galasso surpassed the 4,000-yard mark for his career.
Unofficially, he has 705 carries for 4,023 yards and 36 touchdowns as a four-year contributor.
Ground and air: Blacklick Valley’s Isaiah Scott became the school’s all-time leading rusher with 2,714 career yards, including 1,217 as a junior this season. Vikings senior quarterback Isaac Wurm became the 11th Blacklick Valley quarterback to throw for more than 1,000 yards.
Wurm has 1,052 passing yards. This is the first time since 1983 that the Vikings have produced both a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard passer in the same season.
Blacklick Valley assistant coach Garry Wurm threw for 1,000 yards in 1981.
He and Isaac have the distinction of being father-son 1,000-yard passers for the Vikings.
Reunited: Westmont Hilltop has had a breakthrough season this fall.
Three former Hilltoppers who persevered through the difficult times on the high school fields continued playing at the college level, and are part of a special season with Westminster College in the Presidents Athletic Conference.
Freshman linebacker Noah McQuillan, senior free safety Joe Glennon and first-year offensive assistant coach-academic adviser Garrett Lucas are part of a 7-2 team that has posted the program’s most wins since 2000, when the Titans were 8-2.
Westminster finishes the regular season on Saturday against visiting Geneva.
Lucas played four seasons at St. Francis University in Loretto and is working on a master’s degree at Westminster, a six-time national champion when the program played in NAIA.
Mike Mastovich is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @masty81.