Dallastown enters 2021 football season with big addition at wideout, strong run game

  • Dallastown is coming off a 1-5 season in 2020.
  • The Wildcats will enter the 2021 season with a big addition in wideout Kenny Johnson.
  • Coleton Mahorney returns for Dallastown after rushing for nearly 500 yards in 2020.
Dallastown's Coleton Mahorney, left, runs the ball for a touchdown while Spring Grove's Jonah Warehime defends during football action at Papermaker Stadium in Jackson Township, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. Spring Grove would win the game 41-26. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Editor's note: This is one in a series of previews for York-Adams League football teams.

Heading into a new season, it’s a big benefit for a team to know what its identity will be.

Dallastown definitely thought it had that this year.

The seniors who have started since their sophomore seasons have grown physically and emotionally from the struggles of the past two years, including a 1-5 mark on 2020. They expect to turn the lessons learned from losses into victories in 2021.

The Wildcats thought the key to their success this year would be the running game.

That likely changed some recently, however, when Kenny Johnson transferred from York Suburban to Dallastown. Johnson, a junior wideout, starred at York Suburban last season and is the leading returning receiver in the York-Adams League. Johnson is already attracting attention from NCAA Division I programs.

Still, Johnson's addition does not mean that Dallastown will abandon the running game. That's because the team returns multiple York-Adams League Division I all-stars on the offensive line, including Seth Miller and Connor Dehoff, who each stand at 6-feet, 5-inches and weigh more than 300 pounds.

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Behind that bulky offensive line, Dallastown has a trio of running backs that head coach Ron Miller is excited about. Senior Coleton Mahorney had 498 rushing yards a season ago, while Caleb Fox had 220 yards as a sophomore. Freshman Michael Scott offers a skill set of speed out of the backfield.

The ability to run the ball will make the job easier for the Wildcats’ quarterback combo to make plays passing the ball to Johnson and others.

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“We'll probably be much more of a play action-type thing,” Miller said before learning of Johnson's addition. “We're not going to have to have a quarterback that can go out there and four wide and tear apart the defense and all those types of things. If we don't run the ball, we are probably looking for work. So, get them the ball and then we'll run the play-action stuff, and hopefully make things a lot easier for quarterbacks.”

Following is a capsule look at Wildcats:

►Team: Dallastown Wildcats.

►Coach: Ron Miller, fourth season.

►2020 record: 1-5 in York-Adams League Division I.

►Key losses (Division I All-Stars in bold): K/P Mitchell Groh; TE/LB Nate Ward; QB Andrew Jones; WR/DB Connor Schumann.

►Key returners (Division I All-Stars in bold): RB/LB Colton Mahorney; OL/DL Connor Dehoff; DL/OL Ethan Vargas; OL/DL Seth Miller.

►2021 schedule (Division I games in bold): Aug. 27 at Hempfield; Sept. 3 vs. Manheim Township; Sept. 10 at Hershey; Sept. 17 vs. South Western; Sept. 24 at Northeastern; Oct. 1 vs. York High; Oct. 8 at Dover; Oct. 15 vs. Spring Grove; Oct. 22 vs. Central York; Oct. 29 at Red Lion.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.