The Berks Catholic Saints and Reading Red Knights squared off Saturday at Shirk Stadium in the teams’ first scrimmage of the season.
Both teams looked impressive and seem ready for the regular season to begin.
The Saints showed an array of talent in the backfield, which will be the strength of Rick Keeley’s Wing-T offense. Their defense is strong against the run and the line can rush the quarterback at will.
Reading High has an explosive offense capable of producing a big play on every possession. The Red Knights are arguably the fastest team in Section 1.
The defense has an attitude that matches their head coach, Rob Flowers. They play with intensity and toughness.
Here are three things BIC Sports observed in Saturday’s scrimmage:
Another Injury for the Saints
Berks Catholic has been bit by the injury bug this summer and Saturday’s game was no different.
This time, fullback Carsen Allen was the casualty.
Allen left the scrimmage with a knee injury. The severity of the injury is unknown, but it is believed Allen will miss a significant amount of time.
Allen had 60 carries for 393 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He also had 52 tackles and two interceptions.
The Saints will miss Allen’s leadership and versatility, but have depth in the backfield and secondary to fill the void. Expect increased carries for Chris Warren, Cooper Kutz and Pop Lacey.
The Red Knights Offense is Explosive, Very Explosive
There is no doubt Reading High will compete for a District 1-AAAA playoff berth with the speed and versatility of their offense, led by quarterback Sterling Young-Trapp.
Young-Trapp has breakaway speed and can beat any defender if he gets to the outside, but also has a strong arm to go with it.
Two impressive plays by Young-Trapp stood out in the scrimmage. He took a QB keeper from midfield to the end zone and juked two defenders on the play.
On the Red Knights next possession, Young-Trapp threw a perfect 40-yard strike to Dantae Owens. That run-pass combination makes the Reading offense go.
Owens should have a breakout year as a sophomore. He will be Young-Trapp’s No. 1 receiver in the Red Knights hurry-up offense.
Reading’s offensive line gave Young-Trapp plenty of protection at the line of scrimmage, which allowed him to get to the outside and make plays.
Berks Catholic Defense Will Live Up to Hype
The Saints defense gives the team the potential to make a deep playoff run in Double-A, similar to the state title run by Wyomissing last season.
Berks Catholic’s strength on defense starts in the trenches, led by Pietro Gasperi and Kobe Foy. Gasperi should have another big year at defensive end as he can rush the quarterback at will.
Eric Bodolus played linebacker after spending most of training camp at defensive end. He seems to be the replacement for Nick Waligurski, who is out for the year with a torn ACL.
The Saints will create turnovers with Lacey, Warren and Kutz in the secondary. It is unknown who will replace Allen at this point.