Tonawanda News — At the point of contact the Jacks normally strong on the line, and Truilizio hopes a young offensive line will be able to continue that tradition. Osborn and junior Alex Molik return as starters on the line and both have stepped into leadership roles after watching Jacob Clare, Chris Mellott and Taylor Eckstein graduate last June.
The running game was the shining jewel of the NT program last year, but wide receiver Ian Gilhousen made his share of big plays. Going into this season Truilizio expressed some concern as to who was going to pick up the load in the passing game.
Andrew Krantz has eased his coach’s reservations.
“I’ve been pleasantly shocked with Krantz, who is making some tremendous catches as a junior,” Truilizio said. “He played JV last year and he’s really helping us on offense. We have another group of guys that are fighting for that No. 2 position — (Jake Ferry), Anthony Tripi, Ryan McDonough and Nate Wilkerson.”
The defense is led by Mellott, who made his presence felt as only a sophomore last season. He is a hard-hitting linebacker with great field vision, Truilizio said. Brandy and Mahoe will line up at cornerback and Truilizio believes the Jacks will be better against the run because of the speed on the outside and in the secondary.
The Jacks open up tonight against Lake Shore, a team they beat, 33-6, in last season’s finale.
“I’m not taking Lake Shore lightly at all,” Truilizio said. “They have a new coach and a new attitude, and they will remember last year’s game and that’s enough said about them. They’re a respectable team. ... They changed their offense, but I expect them to power the ball and try to hold on to the ball. We’ve been preparing for them as a double wing team and hopefully we’re ready.”