HUDSON — Times are changing for Fivay High football.
Gone are the days of airing the ball out with quarterback Tyler Degen to the likes of James Bullock, Andrew Meyer and Kevin Faulkner.
Fivay coach Chris Taylor's ground-and-pound offensive style is back, and with the return of running back Davion Sutton, the Falcons will be a rushing threat. Also, the return of JoJo Shumaker to Fivay's backfield brings more explosion to the Falcons’ attack.
“Fortunately, and foremost, for us is we have an experienced signal-caller in (Eric) Vitale,” Taylor said. “So we’re going to be good in the middle section of it. With Sutton coming back, our fullback Vik Taylor coming back, obviously we know we’re going to have the capabilities to run the football a little bit.”
Sutton’s ability to drive Fivay’s offense is going to be vital to a team that’ll rely much upon its running game. The Falcons were one of the top rushing teams in 2012, gaining 1,904 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. Degen’s arm, though, provided an extra element to Fivay's offense against opposing defenses. Fivay threw for 1,960 yards and 22 touchdowns, and that production and pressure will be set solely on the legs of the Falcons’ running backs.
“It really is falling on our shoulders now,” Sutton said. “I feel like we have smart enough players on the team that’ll figure it all out once summer ends and the season begins. We’re kind of young, but we will get by.”
Fivay will have an old-but-new addition with Shumaker back in the mix. Shumaker played for Fivay in 2011 before moving to Connecticut and playing a year at Ledyard High. For the Colonels, Shumaker was the go-to running back, leading the team to a 7-3 record en route to rushing for more than 1,000 yards.
Now that the Falcons are armed with a strong 1-2 rushing combo, the team can breathe a little easier during the spring and heading into the 2013 campaign. With the possible production that Sutton and Shumaker could churn out, maybe times aren't changing after all at Fivay.
Just the way the Falcons will pick up yards and touchdowns.