Conventional wisdom would say a slippery, muddy field like the one at York Catholic Friday night would hinder a running back like Dusty Reed, who relies on speed and shiftiness to beat opponents.
But mushy track actually worked to the advantage of Reed and his Delone Catholic teammates Friday night, during the Squires' 35-6 win. The Irish defenders seemed to have a hard time reacting to the quick cuts of Reed and the Squires other rushers. While York Catholic slipped and slid, Delone's quick backs darted all around the field.
"I honestly do think it works to my advantage sometimes," Reed said of the muddy field. "This week it did. I caught them off balance, and they went flying."
Reed actually changed his cleats at halftime - swapping his pair for sophomore Colby McMaster's - to try to get more traction.
It worked, and midway through the third quarter, Reed turned what looked like a broken halfback pass play into a 10-yard touchdown run, cutting back and weaving all the way across the field while York Catholic defenders struggled to react.
"I put one foot in the ground and cut back and got them off balance and did the rest from there," Reed said.
The soggy state of the Irish field was apparent after the game. Craters and gashes covered the playing surface. "The field up here just is not in that good a condition," Reed said.
Dusty Reed wasn't the only Squires back to benefit from the track. His brother, junior Kodi Reed, had 67 rushing yards on 7 carries. On at least two of those runs, he slipped out of Irish tackles and made other defenders miss en route to a long gain.
Senior Sam Comly added 82 rushing yards, including a 63 touchdown dash in the fourth quarter. In all, Delone piled up 334 rushing yards and pushed their season total in that category to 2,606.
"The last four weeks, we've gotten used to it," Kodi Reed said of the field conditions. "So tonight was no different than the last four weeks."
Sentz shines: Adam Sentz was a bright spot York Catholic Friday. The junior quarterback was the Irish's leading rusher (7 carries, 96 yards) and also chipped in with 48 passing yards on 10-of-22 throwing.
Sentz set York Catholic up for its only touchdown with a 71-yard dash in the second quarter, and capitalized on the opportunity by finding running back Nick Full for a 7-yard touchdown toss.
"We knew he was a weapon," Wiles said. "We knew his feet were going to be better than his arm probably. ... He's probably the fastest guy on the team when he runs."
Seeing yellow: One of the few negatives for Delone Catholic Friday was penalties. The Squires had 7 penalties called for 82 yards.
Delone was hit with a pair of personal foul penalties early in the second half. Wiles felt at least one of those shouldn't have been called. The Squires were called for a late hit on the opening kickoff, when Irish returner Gary Laucks was wrestled down well after the whistle.
"When the whistle blows, the back should stop, too," Wiles said. "I don't think that personal foul call was quite fair. The running back ran another 10 yards after the whistle blew."
Think pink: Call it a fashion statement. Kodi Reed sported some pink shoe laces with his mud-covered cleats during Friday night's game.
Reed said he put the laces on last week in honor of October being breast cancer awareness month.
"I put them on last week for Breast cancer awareness," Reed said. "I just never took them off."
All in the family: Dusty Reed on how he and his brother Kodi compare: "We're pretty much the same size. I'm about 20 pounds heavier than him. I don't want to be cocky, I think I'm maybe a little quicker. ... Watching film, he kind of looks like me."