Rick O'Brien: Many football roles suit Souderton's Wenger

Kyle Wenger (right), a centerfielder in the spring, has filled five roles for the Souderton football team.
Kyle Wenger (right), a centerfielder in the spring, has filled five roles for the Souderton football team. (BLAKE HAGEY)
Posted: September 27, 2012

Kyle Wenger's future is probably in baseball, as a line-drive-hitting leadoff man and centerfielder.

But his solid multipurpose efforts for Souderton's football team this season could make him rethink his sport of choice in college.

In helping the Big Red to a 3-1 start, the 6-foot-1, 178-pound senior has served in no fewer than five roles: wide receiver, tight end, strong safety, punter, and kick returner.

"If it keeps me on the field, I'm up for it," Wenger said. "It's all about doing as much as you can to help the team win."

Wenger and Souderton are preparing for Friday night's Suburban One League Continental Conference showdown at unbeaten Central Bucks South (4-0). The Titans have outscored opponents by a combined 191-49.

Mostly a wideout in the Indians' wing-T scheme, Wenger has seven catches for 171 yards through four games. Quarterback A.J. Curotto throws, on average, only nine times a game.

"That's just the way it is with us," said Wenger, who switches to tight end in some sets. "It's been like that for years. As a receiver, you have to make the most out of every chance you get."

In last Friday's Continental Conference opener against visiting Central Bucks West, Wenger had four catches for 76 yards in a 28-17 triumph.

"He's got great hands," Souderton coach Ed Gallagher said. "The one-handed grab he made [in an 18-7 win] against Neshaminy, that's the kind of play he makes all the time in practice."

Wenger, a second-year starter on offense, has been clocked at 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

"I'm not the fastest guy in the world," he said. "I rely a lot on my instincts."

Gallagher has been most impressed with the commitment Wenger has displayed on the other side of the ball.

"I really like how he's bought into playing defense this year," the coach said.

In Souderton's season opener, a 35-0 blanking of Methacton, Wenger, who has totaled 13 tackles, picked off a second-quarter pass and returned it 95 yards for a score.

"I jumped the route," he said. "After that, it was pretty much a clear path to the end zone."

Senior halfback Anthony Williams has been the catalyst on offense, carrying 49 times for 433 yards and six touchdowns.

"He really worked hard in the offseason," Wenger said. "I think he's gotten a lot stronger and faster."

Wenger, 17, said the Indians' 3-4 defense, which has yielded an average of 13.3 points, "is a lot more physical than it was last year. We really worked on our hitting."

Wenger, with four interceptions, is joined in the secondary by Williams, a free safety, and cornerbacks Tyler McKeon (21 tackles), Dan Knight, and Ken Yoder.

For baseball, Wenger, a .333 hitter and second-team all-Continental selection last season, has received varying degrees of interest from Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg, Kutztown, and Temple.

Trivia time. What former area quarterback threw for more than 4,000 career yards in college and is now coaching at the Division I level?

The first to e-mail the correct answer to the address below will receive a Rally T-shirt.

Extra points. Octorara QB Alex Gooden has rushed 59 times for 447 yards and five TDs. . . . Central Bucks West's Cody Riemenschneider has completed 49 of 71 passes for 500 yards and six touchdowns. . . . Boyertown's Cody Richmond (47 carries for 331 yards, 3 TDs), Matt Moccia (50 for 323, 4), and Eric Heller (48 for 309, 4) have combined for 963 rushing yards. . . . Penncrest's top receivers are Kevin Trusty (15 catches for 258 yards, three TDs) and Dan Young (12 for 243, three). . . . Downingtown East's Kyle Lauletta has hit on 82 of 113 throws for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns, with just one interception. . . . Wissahickon halfback Dan Murphy has carried 54 times for 386 yards and three TDs.

Rick O'Brien: Inquirer State Football Rankings

Last week's rankings in parentheses. Area teams in bold.

Class AAAA

1. La Salle (2) 4-0

2. North Allegheny (1) 4-0

3. Easton (3) 4-0

4. Gateway (5) 4-0

5. Upper St. Clair (6) 4-0

6. Central Dauphin (7) 3-1

7. Downingtown East (4) 4-0

8. St. Joseph's Prep (8) 3-0

9. Pitts. Cent. Cath. (9) 4-0

10. Garnet Valley (NR) 4-0

Class AAA

1. Bishop McDevitt (1) 4-0

2. Erie. Cathed. Prep (2) 4-0

3. Archbishop Wood (3) 3-1

4. Montour (4) 4-0

5. Central Valley (6) 3-1

6. West Allegheny (7) 4-0

7. Mars (8) 4-0

8. Pottsgrove (10) 4-0

9. Thomas Jefferson (9) 4-0

10. Valley View (NR) 4-0

Class AA

1. Aliquippa (1) 4-0

2. Jeannette (2) 4-0

3. Wyomissing (3) 4-0

4. Imhotep Charter (5) 4-0

5. Seton-La Salle (6) 4-0

6. South Fayette (7) 4-0

7. Pen Argyl (9) 4-0

8. Hickory (NR) 3-1

9. Washington (NR) 4-0

10. Richland (NR) 4-0

Class A

1. Clairton (1) 4-0

2. So. Columbia (2) 4-0

3. Rochester (3) 4-0

4. Old Forge (8) 4-0

5. Bishop Canevin (5) 4-0

6. Sharpsville (7) 4-0

7. Bellwood-Antis (9) 4-0

8. Dunmore (4) 3-1

9. Port Allegany (NR) 4-0

10. Williams Valley (NR) 4-0

- Rick O'Brien

Contact Rick O'Brien at robrien@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ozoneinq. Read his blog, "The O'Zone," at www.philly.com/ozone

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