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A look at high school football throughout the state

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Preview: Hand

FOOTBALL: Hand's Pete Gerson, Matt Walsh lead tenacious Tigers 'D'

MADISON — Hand defensive end Pete Gerson is strong, explosive and boasts a tremendous motor.

“Pete,” Tigers coach Steve Fillippone said. ”In my opinion, and I’ll probably get him and I in trouble for this at some point during the season, I don’t think there is an offensive lineman in the state who can block him one on one.”

And just in case Gerson isn’t a big enough problem for opposing offenses to deal with, teams have to worry about inside linebacker Matt Walsh, too.

“He always finds his way to the ball, no matter what,” said Gerson of his teammate. “He reads the play so fast, and he’s so quick and agile he will get there. He’s the heart of our defense.”

Together, Gerson and Walsh are arguably the top 1-2 defensive punch in the state and are a huge reason why the Tigers are contenders to repeat as Class L champions.

Fillippone says he’s never had a defensive duo this good, pointing out that Walsh (headed to UConn to play fullback) is the first Football Bowl Subdivision player and Gerson (committed to Yale) is the third Football Championship Subdivision player in his 23 years as head coach.

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