High School Football

High school football preview: Lancaster Bruins

Lancaster junior running back Ferrika Grier teams with sophomore Ant Foster to give the Bruins one of the most powerful 1-2 running back tandems in the area.
Lancaster junior running back Ferrika Grier teams with sophomore Ant Foster to give the Bruins one of the most powerful 1-2 running back tandems in the area. bmccormick@heraldonline.com

Basics

Coach: Bobby Collins, second year

Career record: 33-24

Last year: 8-4, 3-2 in Region 3-3A; lost to Flora 41-7 in second round of 3A playoffs

Assistant coaches: Rod Robinson, offensive coordinator; Warren Brooks, tight ends; Joe Watson, running backs; Robert Hill, offensive line; Lamont Elder, wide receivers; Seth Cobb, offensive line; Marcus Surratt, defensive coordinator; Ricky Brown, defensive line; Jerry Perry, defensive backs; Anthony Williams, defensive line; Carl Boyd, linebackers; Chris Miller, defensive backs; Robert Belk, linebackers.

Returning starters: 5 offense, 3 defense

Twitter account: @LHSfootball14

The Herald's sports editor Bret McCormick caught up with Lancaster Bruins senior offensive lineman Lewis Johnson for the 2015 high school football preview section.

Key players: Jr. LB Desmond Ricks, Sr. OL Lewis Johnson, Sr. OL Caleb Funderburk, Jr. WR Cordarius Tinsley, Sr. WR James Killian, Jr. RB Ant Foster, Jr. RB Farrika Grier, Soph. QB Jamias Shropshire, Sr. QB Darius Robinson, Sr. C Graham Banks, Sr. S Demonta Bell, Sr. OL Charlie Bell, Sr. WR Taron Heath.

Lancaster is feeling the pain of losing 25 seniors to graduation, many of whom were key contributors to the Bruins’ 8-4 record and second round playoff visit last season.

“Guys are still trying to find an identity for themselves, trying to find some leaders,” said Lancaster coach Bobby Collins. “We’re close.”

Tackling well will be critical for an inexperienced defensive unit. Just two seniors starting on coordinator Marcus Surratt’s defensive side of the ball, and the Bruins are replacing all three linebackers and seven defensive starters total.

The Bruins have quarterback Darius Robinson returning but it appears that job has been opened up with sophomore Jamias Shropshire elbowing into the mix. Either has capable and big receivers to work with in James Killian, Taron Heath and Tee Tinsley. Has Lancaster found a starting quarterback after a summer of 7-on-7s?

“We have not, we have not,” said Collins. “Going in to (Andrew Jackson) I think we will have found our guy.”

Whoever is taking the snaps will likely be handing the football off quite a lot. The Bruins – who ran the ball 3:1 last season – have one of the best backfield pairs in the area in juniors Ant Foster and Farrika Grier, and an offensive line led by seniors Lewis Johnson, Caleb Funderburk, Graham Banks and Charlie Bell that is relishing the opportunity to run-block.

Anybody who saw Lancaster pound the football with success against Rock Hill in the Chester County Jamboree got an eyeful of Collins’ offensive blueprint for this season: “We’ve got to run the football well, and don’t turn it over.”

Schedule

Aug. 21 Founders Kickoff Scrimmage (at Andrew Jackson)

Aug. 28 at Andrew Jackson

Sept. 4 Richland Northeast

Sept. 11 at Central

Sept. 18 Camden

Sept. 25 Lewisville

Oct. 2 Chester*

Oct. 9 at Clinton*

Oct. 16 at South Pointe*

Oct. 23 Union County*

Oct. 30 Broome*

*Region 3-3A game

Opponents’ 2014 records: 43-68 (.387 winning percentage)

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