Having wrapped up first place in Section 1 of the Laurel Highlands Conference and all but doing the same with a District 6 Class A playoff spot, the Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School football team is looking to keep its momentum going through the final three games of the regular season while doing some fine tuning and, perhaps, adding a new twist or two for which opponents have to prepare.
Put BG's Nick Little firmly in favor of the last of those goals.
At 6-foot-2, 229 pounds, Little has been an increasing force on BG's already formidable defensive line. What the Marauders and their supporters having found out yet is what the junior might bring to the table offensively.
"I'm really excited about [the chance to play more on offense]," said Little, a backup fullback. "My buddy, Cody Rossman, is the first string fullback. He's been doing pretty good, so it's hard to catch up to him. It'll be a challenge."
If things go well, Little might get a chance to give Rossman a little more of a breather on Friday night when the Marauders go for their sixth straight win and seventh in eight starts as they host Westmont Hilltop at 7 p.m. at Mansion Park.
Little enters the game with just 13 carries - the most in any game was four - for 52 yards and a touchdown. Rossman leads the Marauders with 108 rushing attempts, while D.J. Kitt has 43 and Sam McCloskey 30.
Although there are a lot of options for BG coach Justin Wheeler when it comes to carrying the football, including quarterback Pat Irwin, Little's potential is a tantalizing prospect to add into the mix.
"He's one of the fastest kids we have on the team," Wheeler said. "Running fullback is definitely something he's improving on. If we get down on the goal line and he starts running the ball, I think we'd have some success."
Little already has found a lot of success as a defensive end. Little has 53 tackles and is second on the team to Nick Ceschini with five sacks. In last week's 33-0 win against Central Cambria, Little recorded 15 tackles, two sacks and two quarterback hurries.
"The four of us [on the defensive line] basically have competitions and have a good time," Little said. "We do our jobs and like getting sacks."
As hard as it might be to believe, Wheeler and the Marauder coaches were having trouble figuring out where to play Little a year ago.
"He had a great offseason, and we expected big things of him. But we moved him last year from linebacker to defensive end to a couple of other positions as a sophomore. Late in the year, we moved him to that D-end, D-tackle spot, and he really seemed to flourish," Wheeler said.
Little's found a home there, and a home in Pennsylvania. He actually moved here from Gainesville, Fla. when he was in seventh grade.
"I started playing football in seventh grade but stopped. When we moved to Pennsylvania, I started again," Little said. "I wasn't into football as much down there, because I really wasn't the athletic type. But, when I moved up here, that's what all the guys did. I didn't have many friends, so I started doing it to get to know people. Now it's actually become really fun."
Little and company will have their work cut out for them with Westmont. The Hilltoppers run a rare, unbalanced single-wing offense that has paved the way for Sam Curry to rush for 617 yards and Liam Moran to throw for 480.
Still, it's only resulted in one win for Westmont this year.
"It comes down to when we have to put teams away, we aren't able to. We had chances against Johnstown and Bedford," Westmont coach Pat Barron said. "Tackling has been an issue."
Westmont did put away Somerset, sending the Eagles to their first lost in a major surprise. Wheeler has the Marauders on upset alert.
"I think the guys are excited. They have pretty big goals, and they know any team we play, potentially, can beat us," Wheeler said.