Dedication pays off for Ryan's Anusky

Coatesville's Kyle Kerrick makes a reception vs. Downingtown East. Coatesville won, 20-14.
Coatesville's Kyle Kerrick makes a reception vs. Downingtown East. Coatesville won, 20-14. (LAURENCE KESTERSON / Staff Photographer)

The QB kept to his offseason training regimen. The Raiders are off to a 3-1 start.

Posted: September 26, 2011

Mike Anusky showed his commitment to Archbishop Ryan's football team by not playing summer baseball.

"My teammates had been working hard since Day 1 of the offseason," the senior quarterback said. "They were weightlifting, running sprints, doing drills. I felt like I had to step up and do my part."

The extra effort has paid dividends. After going a combined 3-19 over the last two seasons, the Raiders are off to a 3-1 start.

On Saturday night, Anusky completed 8 of 11 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half, as Ryan eased to a 42-20 triumph over host Archbishop Carroll in a nonleague matchup at humid and foggy Radnor High.

"Mike is a good thrower," Raiders coach Frank McArdle said. "I thought he was pressing a bit. Tonight, he finally relaxed and was himself."

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior also carried six times for 47 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 30-yard dash in the first quarter.

The Raiders have won three straight since a season-opening 24-21 loss to Cardinal O'Hara in Ocean City.

"It's been great," Anusky said. "It's everything I expected when I began my high school career. Winning only three games in my first two varsity seasons was not something I expected."

Against Carroll, Anusky delivered a 48-yard TD pass to senior wideout Nick Le Van in the first quarter. Early in the second, the two hooked up for a 37-yard score on a fly pattern down the middle.

In the opening 23 minutes, when they sprinted to a 35-7 advantage, the visitors scored on five of seven possessions and totaled 271 yards' worth of offense.

Late in the second quarter, running back Dylan Rowan (12 carries for 106 yards) turned a left-side screen pass from Anusky into a 16-yard TD.

Ryan opened the second half with a seven-play, 62-yard scoring drive that was highlighted by Rowan's 50-yard burst. Anusky's 1-yard dive brought on the mercy rule.

The Raiders' offensive line is made up of center Ed Bier, guards Brian Robbins and Alvin Allen, tackles Chris McMonagle and Bruce Phares and tight end Joe Hanesbury.

"In the offseason, our O-line guys might have worked the hardest out of anybody," Anusky said. "They were always in the weight room. They set the example."

Anusky, a captain and third-year varsity contributor, agreed with McArdle about his pressing too much early on.

"I was trying to do everything out there," the 17-year-old said. "But then I realized I was helping the team more if I just did what the coaches asked me to do. I didn't have to do anything extra."

A defensive line that helped limit the Patriots (1-3) to 83 yards in the first half included tackles McMonagle and Joe Ruskowski, and ends Hanesbury, Sean Boylan (fumble recovery) and Keith Okolo.

Other leaders were linebackers Jesse Wireman (fumble recovery), Connor Golden, and Lamar Richardson, and free safety Sam Dumond (interception).

After Friday night's nonleague contest against West Catholic, the Raiders will open Catholic League Class AAAA Division action against St. Joseph's Prep. Their last league win, in the old Red Division, came in 2007.

"We're not going to back down from anybody," said Anusky, who missed part of his sophomore season with a sprained knee ligament. "We're tough kids. We go into each game expecting to get a 'W.' "

In baseball, Anusky, who lives in the Chalfont section of Northeast Philly, is an infielder. And which sport does he plan to pursue in college?

"I have no idea yet," he said. "I go back and forth on it. One day, I think it's baseball. The next, it's football. We'll see."

More on Roman-O'Hara. In addition to rushing for 324 yards and three scores in Roman's 33-14 nonleague win over host O'Hara on Saturday, Marcus Kelly made five tackles (four solos) at strong safety. . . . Cahillites linebackers Brett Pellicciotti (11/2 sacks) and Kenneth English also notched five tackles. The two combined for a fourth-quarter sack. . . . Roman's Mike Keir hit on 7 of 18 passes for 68 yards. . . . For O'Hara, safety Thaddius Smith made a team-high 10 tackles, including nine solos. Next in line for the Lions were middle linebacker Pat Funchion (nine tackles, six solos) and outside linebacker Brandon Chatmon (eight, three). . . . In the second quarter, O'Hara outside linebacker Tarron Dunbar intercepted a deflected, left-side slant pass and went 99 yards for a tying score. . . . Fullbacks Pellicciotti and Patrick McCourt helped Roman net 391 rushing yards on 37 attempts. . . . O'Hara cornerback Jay Watkins (five solo tackles) caused a second-quarter fumble that was recovered by Chatmon.

Extra points. Upper Perkiomen's Dalton Fleming has registered 29 tackles, including nine solos. . . . Boyertown's Jon Neiman and Max Marcus have rushed for 470 and 415 yards, respectively. . . . Since losing to Pittsburgh Central Catholic in its opener, Archbishop Wood has won by a combined score of 123-15. . . . In Wood's 42-7 win over St. Joe's Prep on Friday, Penn State recruiting coordinator Ron Vanderlinden was on hand to watch Hawks QB and Nittany Lions commit Skyler Mornhinweg. He also may have been sizing up Vikings offensive lineman Nick Arcidiacono, a 6-2, 230-pound junior guard. . . . Next weekend's St. Joseph's Prep-Father Judge game, originally set for Saturday night, has been pushed back a day. The teams will meet Sunday, 1 p.m., at Plymouth Whitemarsh.

Rick O'Brien: The Inquirer TOP 10


Team Record

Last week's rankings in parentheses.

1. Archbishop Wood (1) 3-1

2. La Salle (3) 3-1

3. Coatesville (5) 4-0

4. Neshaminy (4) 3-0

5. Downingtown East (2) 3-1

6. Abington (6) 3-0

7. Malvern Prep (8) 3-1

8. Council Rock South (9) 4-0

9. Father Judge (10) 3-1

10. Roman Catholic (NR) 3-1

Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Downingtown West (4-0), North Penn (2-2), Plymouth Whitemarsh (3-1), Ridley (3-1), Springfield-Delco (4-0), St. Joseph's Prep (3-1).

- Rick O'Brien

Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019,,

or @ozoneinq on Twitter.

Read his blog, "The O'Zone,"


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