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CoGo's Feature Matchup: Quaker Valley at Keystone Oaks

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Greg Perry is quite familiar with Quaker Valley. He shared conferences and coached against them in his 20 years at Seton-La Salle. This time though, Perry will coach against Quaker Valley while roaming the sidelines for a different school in his opening game.

After careful thought, Perry chose to take the head football coach job at his alma mater, Keystone Oaks, when Matt Taylor resigned following a 4-14 record in his two years there.

“The job became available and I felt that maybe it was time to see what it looked like on the other side,” Perry said. “It was a rough decision to make. After 20 years at a place it’s not easy to leave.”

Perry had precise reasoning for his decision.

“I just felt that I wanted to go back and try to make a difference and help the football program and get the community back involved with the program,” Perry said.

Though Perry is changing schools, he’ll be bringing with him the same schemes that he used while at Seton-La Salle. On offense, he’ll employ a spread passing attach, while on defense he’ll use a base 4-4 defense.

It’s been a difficult process employing the new schemes, especially the offense.

“They’ve been very receptive to what we’re trying to get across to them, but it’s going to be a while,” Perry said. “It’s not easy because I’m the third head coach that these seniors have had in four years.”

Luckily for Perry, senior quarterback Kobe Phillippi, who threw for 1,028 yards and 14 touchdowns last year, has taken to the scheme well.

“Kobe understands what I’m trying to do offensively.  He’s picked it up very well,” Perry said. “We’re just trying to get that knowledge to the other guys so we can all be on the same page.”

Unluckily, Perry will have to test out his freshly taught schemes against one of the top teams in the AA Class in the WPIAL in Quaker Valley.

“Quaker Valley’s very explosive. We know they’re loaded up and got a ton of skill guys,” Perry said.

Leading the way for Quaker Valley is senior quarterback and Pitt commit Dane Jackson. In his junior season Jackson threw for 975 yards and 13 touchdowns and ran for 1,111 yards and 10 touchdowns. 

“Dane doesn’t need a big hole. Dane gets a crack and he’s gone,” Perry said.

Jackson, however, injured his knee in practice last week and won't play in the opener. He is expected to be sidelined for the first five weeks of the season.

The Keystone Oaks offense is led by Phillippi, senior wide receiver Brandon Carroll, and senior running back Jimmy Canello. Canello rushed for 422 yards and five touchdowns as junior, while Carroll picked up 101 receiving yards.

Similarly on defense, Carroll and Canello will lead the way. Playing cornerback and linebacker respectively, Carroll and Canello recorded 56 and 35 tackles last year.

“We’re going to ride them as far as we can until some of our younger guys get some rest and some Friday night exposure,” Perry said.

Realistically, Perry recognizes he can only ride his senior leaders so far. Thus, he has humble goals for his first year.

“Our goal is to win Week 1, and after Week 1 our goal is to win Week 2,” Perry said. “We don’t have grand expectations of being state champions right now, but we’re going to take it one at a time until we can get this going and hopefully we can get more W’s than L’s.”

Friday night’s game is the Pittsburgh Sports Report and CoGo's Feature Matchup. Students and fans, be sure to take plenty of pictures and Tweet them to @PghSportsReport #HSFootball. The best photos will appear online after the game!Keystone Oaks AD Mark Elphinstone

2014 CoGo's Feature Matchup Schedule
8-29 Quaker Valley at Keystone Oaks
9-5 Knoch at Greensburg Salem
9-12 Western Beaver at Char-Houston
9-19 Indiana at Franklin Regional
9-26 Mount Pleasant at Washington
10-3 Gateway at Mars
10-10 Carlynton at South Park
10-17 Plum at Penn Trafford
10-24 Bethel Park at Baldwin

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