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WPIAL

Junior Remy Bose Leading Gateway Defense to Success

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MONROEVILLE, Pa. — Gateway has received a lot of preseason hype in the 2022 WPIAL Class-5A rankings. The fire will only get hotter after the Gators defeated Mt. Lebanon 21-6, handing the defending 6A state champions their first loss since October 2020. While most of the attention is on big-name quarterback Brad Birch, his star running back Jaquon Reynolds, and big body wideout Dallas Harper, the team may end up exceeding their hype because of linebacker Remy Bose and the defense.

Bose is just a junior but has already received offers from Toledo and UMass. If the opening night of his junior season is any indication, Bose will be getting many more offers flowing in before the start of his senior year.

At the middle linebacker position, Bose takes on the role of the defense’s quarterback. Bose played up that moniker by communicating pre-snap, getting his defense set, and calling for adjustments. Over half of the battle was won by the Gators’ defense before the snap.

“It’s so key,” Bose said of the team’s ability to get on the same page pre-snap. “I key in on that every practice, every down, we have to communicate every down. If you do not communicate you are lost.”

Mt. Lebanon’s head coach Bob Palko is known for pulling out all stops, and that includes wildcat snaps, screens, jet sweeps, and all kinds of misdirection. The Blue Devils are also in a particular situation where their starting quarterback last season graduated, and they have three quarterbacks vying to start. The team wound up rotating three quarterbacks against the Gators between Alex Gevaudan, David Shields, and JP Walters. Running backs Beckham Dee, and Nathan Sala took snaps from the wildcat as well. Shields is left-handed too, so you do not typically see such a unique change snap-to-snap at quarterback. Gateway took the punches that Mt. Lebo threw and held them to just six points.

“You try to do as much research as you can, come up with whatever, but you only have so much practice time,” admitted head coach Don Holl.

“It was pretty tough, we had to make different calls and everything, but man, we got it done,” added Bose.

The Gators handled things pre-snap, and post-snap they were clearly too much for Mt. Lebanon to handle. Bose was in on one sack, two quarterback hits over ten tackles, and had multiple tackles for loss. He was playing a style to read and react, and often he would wait for a lane to clear, then attack the quarterback downhill to wreak havoc.

“I was trying to mix up things,” said Bose of his playing style. “I was trying to make them confused and everything, trying to play my game, and make plays all around.”

Bose was confusing the quarterback with his pass rush and was stuffing the run by sifting through traffic and taking smart angles. Still, while he was showing his role as a leader, the rest of the defense came to play as well.

Senior defensive lineman Matthew Brooks was dominant in the run game and had a huge sack in the first half to end a drive. Anez Jordan had a big hit to blow up a screen, while Racari El and Demetrius Harper were in the backfield all game long, flying in off of the edges. Harper, and El each had two crushing hits.

Lastly, cornerback Dallas Harper, who is better known for his wide receiver talents caught a pass for the defense when he jumped a route over the middle, creating an interception. On the very next play, Harper caught a pass for the offense, turning an in-route into a 21-yard touchdown.

“It was really crazy,” Harper said of the quick switch from game-changing pick to game-changing touchdown reception. “On that play, I was about to cramp, but they told me to stay in, then I got the touchdown.”

Even when the team had their offensive explosion, a lot of it can be tied back to the defense. Mt. Lebanon did lose star athletes at quarterback, running back and wide receiver, but this was still an offense that was unstoppable, and a team that is playing a class above the Gators. Still, Gateway had them shut out through half time, and only gave up six points total.

“We should have held them to zero for real,” Bose laughed when discussing the defense allowing a score.

That type of defensive performance that combined pre-snap smarts, athletic speed, and toughness is one that can inspire confidence and have a team thinking that they can go far into the WPIAL playoffs.

“It built confidence,” said Bose. “Now we are going to go ten times harder, now we know what it takes.”

After a statement win Gateway does not have time to bask in the excellence. They have another big test next week at home against Woodland Hills. The hope for Gateway is to take what they showed against Mt. Lebanon, build on it, and if that is the case, few teams can match up.

“Right now, we just want to be 2-0,” Holl stated as his message to a team coming off a momentum-building win.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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