Dallastown's 'D' looks to keep streak going
In a way, it isn't that surprising. We all knew coming into the season just how much potential Dallastown's defense had. That unit showed some of it last year, when it played the principle role in delivering a four-game winning streak that turned Dallastown's season around.
That defense, with eight starters back, has been even better this year.
The Wildcats have not been scored on since allowing two first-quarter touchdowns in their opener against Warwick. The seven-plus quarter scoreless streak sits at 86 minutes, 41 seconds.
Dallastown will try to extend that streak Friday at 7 p.m., when it hosts Penn Manor.
The key to the Wildcats defensive dominance has been twofold: Speed and versatility.
The first is pretty self-explanatory. Even in its front seven, Dallastown is fast. Both middle linebacker Ben Kline and defensive end Bobby Esiaba (pictured above) starred in track this fall for the Wildcats -- Kline as a sprinter, Esiaba as a hurdler.
"It's hard to block speed," Wildcats coach Kevin Myers said. "This is the fastest team Dallastown has had in years. We've had some decent team speed before, but we have a number of guys that run a 4.5, 4.6 (40-yard dashes)."
That quickness allows Dallastown to give opponents different looks. Defensive ends Esiaba and Ford Reinalda can drop back into coverage if need be.
"Most of the times on the passes downfield, (Esiaba is) the third guy there," Myers said.
Meanwhile, Myers has gotten big contributions from a few lesser-knowns, as well. Juniors Andrew Heird and Jesse Davis have plugged holes at corner back and defensive tackle, respectively.
In two games, Dallastown has allowed 339 total yards and forced one turnover. Not quite the Baltimore Ravens circa 2000, but still pretty good.
And if Dallastown can find some more consistency on offense, they could be even scarier.
"We probably played our best offense second half of Red Land," Myers said. "We're a little young there. A little inexperienced."
"But we feel our offense can be just as good as our defense."