It would take most coaches years to replace a talent like last year’s star quarterback Tyler Simms. But not for Par Hills coach Dave Albano. What does he do? He takes last year’s fourth receiver on the depth chart, converts him to a quarterback and plugs him into the system. So how does newly crowned QB Brandon Katzenberger respond to the adjustment? Oh, he simply runs for three touchdowns and throws two more in a 42-0 shutout of cross county foe Morris Hills.
Katzenberger’s performance was so decisive and impressive that all of the writers at Morris Sussex Football unanimously voted him as the Week 1 Player of the Week. MSF caught up with Katzenberger to talk about this game, Par Hill’s expectations for this season and what its like playing with blue chip recruit Michael Dogbe.
George Muha: How good is this Vikings team feeling about itself coming off that 42-0 defeat of MoHills?
Brandon Katzenberger: The team is feeling confident but we all know coach has taught us to never be content. The MoHills game is over and done with and we will go back to work to prepare for Chatham.
GM: In the offseason, did you and your teammates feel that this could be a special year for this Par Hills football team?
BK: We seniors worked all offseason doing sprints at 6am in preparation for this special season.
GM: Coach Albano’s offense is always high tempo with balls flying all over the field. Does that match his personality?
BK: Coach Albano’s offense is a quarterback’s dream. Coach Albano knows how to get into everyone’s head, whether it’s screaming or just correcting ones technique. The relationship that the seniors have with coach Albano helps us win football games.
GM: Who are the guys on your offense that might not make the paper every week but are key reasons you guys will be successful?
BK: Anthony Policastro, Devin Verdaber, Brian Nickle, Luke Haltigan and Kyle Maginly are the reason why the offense is so successful. Without these five guys up front, I wouldn’t feel comfortable in the pocket nor would it allow JD Keyes, my running back, to mix up the plays.
GM: What do you think its like for an opposing quarterback to look across the line of scrimmage and be staring at Michael Dogbe?
BK: Mike Dogbe is a freak of nature! He lives all offseason in the weight room and earned his full ride to Temple. Quarterbacks should be more worried about the pressure he causes.
GM: Who, besides Dogbe, are guys that opponents should not sleep on?
BK: Stephen Hill is not a sleeper but will be on every tackle on defense. He is strong fast and has the ability to make every tackle if its right up the hole or a jet sweep away from him. Tommy Bluj is a 2nd year starter and knows all the holes in a defense. He is a great receiver and is also a huge part the offense.
GM: What game do you have circled on your schedule?
BK: Delbarton is the game I’m looking forward to most. It’s their homecoming game and will be a dogfight for four quarters.
GM: Who is the fastest on your team?
BK: Tommy Bluj runs 4.5 forty and is quick and speedy. If he has any open field he will score.
GM: Who is your role model?
BK: My role model is my uncle Brian Plotts. He inspires me because of the successful person he is. He has taught me everything I know from sports to my work ethics in school.
GM: What is your favorite quote?
BL: “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard”
GM: What is your pregame ritual?
BK: My pregame is mostly keeping my composure and keeping my teammates heads on straight.
GM: What song gets you the most amped up?
BK: Turbulence gets me and my team ready to demolish any team right before the game.
GM: What do you do on your day off?
BK: On my off days I relax and hang out with friends and family and my girlfriend.
GM: Congrats on your big win and for earning the Week 1 Player of the Week! Best of luck the rest of the way!