Tuesday, October 16, 2012

C-H's Susko emerges as top passer

I remember being at Chartiers-Houston this summer -- post Gyro Place lunch, of course -- and talking to head coach Terry Fetsko about his first-year quarterback, junior Kaleb Susko.

Susko was replacing Danny Lis, who did it all for the Bucs. (That's not me filling space: The kid had more than two times as many carries as anybody else.) But Fetsko had a very good feeling about Susko. Like any first-year quarterback, Fetsko knew he'd take his lumps. Eventually, though, a pretty darn good passer would emerge.

With a 1,000-yard season on the horizon, I'm willing to say that has happened.

Susko has completed 55 of 100 passes for 835 yards and seven touchdowns entering Friday's game at Monessen, which the Bucs (3-4 Class A Black Hills, 3-4 overall) need to win to keep hope alive for the playoffs.

"In some ways I think he's exceeded expectations. In other ways maybe not as much," Fetsko said. "Overall, he’s doing extremely well."

One ugly spot is Susko's nine interceptions, but remember that three of those came against Clairton, another three against Imani Christian. Nearly all of them have been because Susko forced a pass, not wanting to use his legs to make a play.

"He was trying to make something out of nothing, which a lot of quarterbacks like to do," Fetsko said. "Sometimes it worked for him, and other times it didn’t; he was forcing the ball into some places where he could have made a little better decision -- either throw it away or run."

Fetsko said they've been working with Susko the past few weeks on his decision-making, to essentially encourage him to run more and worry about having to throw the ball less.

"The last few games we’ve been trying to concentrate on what to do with the ball when the pocket breaks down or the route or pattern is not there or didn’t develop," Fetsko said. "He’s starting to pull the ball down, run a little bit and make something happen with his feet. Or even throwing the ball away when needed.

"That’s something he’s come a long way with the past two or three games."

Susko ranked second before last Friday's games in my Washington and Greene County top 10 leaders, second only to South Fayette's Brett Brumbaugh. Will be doing stats on Thursday, but I'm willing to bet his 6-10-123-2TD night during a 34-7 win at California will keep him in that spot.

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