High school football Q&A with Leechburg’s Jake Blumer
He might be short on words, but Leechburg’s Jake Blumer is long on making plays. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior tailback scored three touchdowns in the Blue Devils’ 28-13 Week Zero win over rival Apollo-Ridge.
The win was Leechburg’s first over the Vikings since 2003 and snapped an 11-game losing streak that dated back to the 2016 season.
“He’s the strong and silent type, and like the old saying goes, ‘actions speak louder than words,’ ” Leechburg coach Mark George said. “Jake is a football player, whether it be on offense, defense or special teams.”
Blumer made plays on both sides of the ball against Apollo-Ridge (0-1). A two-year starter on offense, Blumer broke the game open for Leechburg (1-0) when he scored on second-half touchdown runs of 15 and 37 yards. He finished with 72 yards on 18 carries.
“He can hit up the middle and be punishing, and if you get him a little bit of space he can break away,” George said.
A three-year starter on defense, Blumer, an outside linebacker, gave the Blue Devils the lead for good in the second quarter when he scooped up a fumble by Apollo-Ridge quarterback Jake Fello and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown to give the Blue Devils a 14-7 lead.
“A scoop and score is a beautiful play to watch,” George said. “I’ve seen Jake do a lot on the football field, and it didn’t surprise me because I think he’s capable of more in the future.”
How long did it take you to come down from last Friday’s win over rival Apollo-Ridge?
It lasted for a long time, and I’m still trying to get over it. When I go into the grocery store, people come up to me and say congratulations.
Leading 14-13 at halftime, what kind locker-room speech was given?
It was by all the coaches, and they said we had to go back out with the same intensity and pick it up a notch.
How old were you the last time Leechburg beat the Vikings?
Was there a point in last week’s game when you knew Leechburg was going to finally break the streak?
During the third quarter, half of their team was injured, and we knew that we had them there.
What’s the strength of this year’s team?
I think the strength is our kicking. Tanner Dudek is a really good kicker.
What is your best attribute as a tailback?
I think it would be my eyesight. I’m good at reading the blocks and finding holes.
What’s it going to take to beat WPIAL Class A No. 1 ranked Jeannette this week?
We have to go out there like we did against Apollo, and we have to stop their running game, and we have to jam in their passing game.
What’s it going to take to reach the postseason this year?
We’re definitely going to have to do a lot more hard work and have the confidence that we’re going to do good this year.
Which is your favorite position, tailback or outside linebacker?
Tailback. It’s fun to hit people, and I like to stiff arm.
Is there something special about this year’s team?
Since it’s the same team as last year, we really understand how one another plays.
Which conference game do you have circled on the schedule?
Springdale, because I haven’t beat them once yet, and they’re a highly beatable team this year.
Why do you wear the No. 21?
That’s a Blumer thing. All the Blumers wear No. 21.
Which player on your team is poised to have a breakout season?
I would say Chase Wadsworth. He’s a receiver and a junior. He’s really aggressive and fast.
Who is your favorite football player?
Who will win, Pitt or Penn State?
I’m gonna have to go with Penn State, 38-26. My family and I are big Penn State fans.
Do you have a nickname on the team?
No. They just a call me by my last name because there’s three Jakes on the team.
Who has the best nickname on the team?
Kolby Potts; his nickname is “Cheese.”