BG junior Kiesewetter making most of his opportunity
Karson Kiesewetter played a small role offensively as a sophomore for Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic last season but made a big 48-yard catch for the Marauders in their 16-14 heartbreaking loss to Steelton-Highspire in the PIAA Class 1A semifinals.
That loss didn’t sit well with Kiesewetter.
“That has been sitting in the back of my head forever,” Kiesewetter said. “Ever since it happened, it was hard to think about. That’s half of my motivation for this and finishing this off.”
Friday night at Mansion Park, Kiesewetter made certain Bishop Guilfoyle returned to Hershey this season. He rushed for 138 yards and three touchdowns to give him 1,005 for the season and passed for 82 yards to bring his season total to 1,803 yards.
Many of his rush attempts resulted in first downs and featured several missed tackles.
“I’m just working with my guys knowing they are going to throw blocks for me in the open field,” Kiesewetter said. “When I get outside scrambling, I know they are going to start hitting people for me, and I just have to make the moves. It’s a team thing. It’s not just me. We have been working together. It’s great. They were bringing eight or nine guys, and the line was still picking them up. It was great.”
Kiesewetter is reminding BG coach Justin Wheeler of several other big playmakers he’s coached like Evan Chadbourn, Keegan Myrick and Haiden Garner.
“Over the years, we have had a couple guys that you just get caught watching the game a little bit,” Wheeler said. “He’s one of those guys. A couple times we ran some stuff, and it just looked like he wasn’t going to get there. Then he just makes some plays with a little shift and then changes speeds and just goes.”
He almost wasn’t even the only starting quarterback for Bishop Guilfoyle this season. Before Garner suffered a season-ending injury, the idea was to rotate quarterbacks.
“The plan was they were going to split some time,” Wheeler said. “Karson is a heck of a receiver too. We thought those two could both be dangerous, and either way, we’d have another guy ready to go. Haiden played a lot of quarterback last year, so we thought he and Karson would be a good one-two punch, but I’ll tell you what, I told the guys on the headsets Friday, watching Karson mature this season, he’s now taking over games.
“At the beginning of the season, we were just trying to get the plays in. Now he’s seeing things and taking control. As a coach, those are the rewarding things, and he’s been incredible the last couple weeks especially.”
That development was obvious in Friday’s 20-7 victory over Canton that sealed BG’s trip to Hersheypark Stadium Thursday to play District 9 champion Redbank Valley for the PIAA Class 1A championship.
“He is a special kid,” Canton coach Tyler Sechrist said. “We think we have athletes, but he made some moves, and we just couldn’t make the play on him. I thought we did better in the second half trying to contain him, but he’s something special. You watch kids on film, and you think you can handle it, but then you see them live from the sideline, and he was a lot quicker. He’s a playmaker.”
Wheeler said it all started a year ago when Kiesewetter pulled in that catch against Steelton-Highspire.
“That play last year, we knew he was going to be special,” Wheeler said. “He played a lot in that game and played big. With all the talent we had, we decided to throw to him in that spot. We knew he had potential, and for him and the rest of us, we thought if we won that game, we were winning a state championship, so it’s been tough. It’s so exciting for the school and the community to now have the chance to go get it this year.”
Now the junior, who remembers going 1-7 in junior high, is relishing his chance to add to Bishop Guilfoyle’s legacy. The Marauders will be playing in their fifth state final in eight years and trying to win their fourth championship.
“Freshman year, when my brother (Konner) was a junior, it was awesome going for a ride and tagging along,” said Kiesewetter regarding BG’s overtime loss to Farrell. “I didn’t really have much of a role then, but to be a part of this is awesome. I have been growing up with these guys forever. Some of my boys like Collin Campbell, we went to Saint Rose together, and we’re here now. We’ve got to finish it.”