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2019 Football Preview: Century bringing ‘physical and smart’ football to the field

Century head coach Todd Edmondson leads a football practice in Eldersburg August 14, 2019.
Century head coach Todd Edmondson leads a football practice in Eldersburg August 14, 2019. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)

Century High School football coach Todd Edmondson said it’s OK to peek in the rear-view mirror for this year’s Knights football team.

In doing so, it’s important for the athletes to take a look back at the experiences they had last fall but to use those to focus on moving forward and work on making necessary improvements.

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Edmondson, in his third year at the helm of the Knights program, led the squad to a spot in the Class 2A West playoffs in 2018. The Knights went 6-4 in the regular season and drew Damascus, the three-time reigning state champions (two in 3A West, one in 2A West). The Hornets advanced to the regional final last fall, but fell to eventual state champion Oakdale.

“You’re going to expect some physical and smart football,” Edmondson said. “We’re going to go out there and worry about ourselves, go full speed and do what we’ve been taught and have a lot of fun.”

The Knights graduated quarterback Brett Kropinski, who led the team with 1,397 passing yards and 13 touchdowns last fall. The team also lost first-team all-countians JT Schneider, Jalen Stanton, Aaron Wolcott, Charlie Hackett, and Brian Roche.

Schneider led the Knights on the ground with 180 carries for 898 yards and seven TDs; Stanton led the team’s receiving unit with 28 receptions for 407 yards and two scores; and Wolcott contributed with 23 receptions for 509 yards and seven TDs. Hackett and Roche helped lead the Knights on the defensive front.

Dylan Wardle, the team’s tackles leader in 2018, is back, along with first-team all-countian lineman Andy Kristian. Edmondson said much of the team’s systems will be similar to what they’ve had in recent years, but these systems will be geared around this year’s roster and how their strengths best matchup.

Senior Landon Bruce was the team’s second leading rusher in 2018 with 65 carries for 403 yards and three touchdowns.

“I’m just looking forward to having fun with all the guys,” Wardle said. “It’s my last year and being around everyone and all the coaches and my friends, it’s been great these past three years and all the relationships I’ve made so it’s really cool to finish my last year of high school with these guys.”

As for the quarterback spot, it’s an open spot between Brady Crumbacker, Bruce, and Gavin Batts. The Knights scrimmaged Bel Air on Aug. 28, and Edmondson said he was impressed with Crumbacker’s performance and the improvements he has made through the preseason.

Century dropped its 2018 season opener at John Carroll, but won the next four games prior to falling to Westminster in Week 6 last fall. The Knights suffered just two county losses, the second came in the regular season finale against Liberty.

The Knights are set to host Dundalk in their season opener Friday. Carroll County Athletic League play opens at Liberty on Sept. 20, and Century is prepared to get started.

“We’re basically going to win with physicality and overpower our opponent,” Bruce said.

“[The] 2A West is probably the best division in 2A and it doesn’t really compare to any other division,” Wardle added. “The in-county teams make it real fun to know the other kids on those teams but it’s the same as every other team we play. It doesn’t make much of a difference, we just have to approach every game the same.”

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