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Boyce expects big things from himself, 'Cats

September 05, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

WILLIAMSPORT -- Williamsport senior Cortez Boyce hopes his success in a recent scrimmage game is only a preview of success from the line of scrimmage for the Wildcats this season.

Boyce saw the end zone for the first time after turning in a 75-yard catch-and-run from quarterback Blake Bandeff in a scrimmage against St. James on Aug. 23. It was the first touchdown catch -- regular season or otherwise -- of Boyce's career.

"It was a hitch and I just took it to the house," said the 5-foot-11, 150-pound Boyce. "I don't think anybody touched me. ... I don't remember."

Boyce will remember the touchdown jaunt. And not because it was a rare occurrence, but because it is, he said, only the beginning of many more to come for himself and the Wildcats this season.

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"Since last year, everything is going better -- even the passing game is looking good," Boyce said. "Skill-wise and attitude it's better -- times 10. We're looking to go to the playoffs."

Boyce is one of 15 seniors that will carry the brunt of the load for Williamsport, which opens the 2008 season with three consecutive road games beginning with South Carroll on Sept. 5.

"Cortez Boyce is going to step up and be one of leaders," said Williamsport coach Adrian Custer. "He's going to have to put points on the board."

To do so, though, Boyce will have to count on his junior quarterback -- which could be either Bandeff or Nate Tyson. The two were locked in competition to be the Wildcats' signal caller throughout summer practices.

"It's a battle, but they're probably going to split time," Boyce said. "Nate has a big arm and good legs -- he has the speed. Blake is smart and he knows where to go with the ball. Nate makes the plays and Blake moves the offense."

In that respect, Boyce has more in common with Tyson -- a speedy playmaker -- and that's the player he must be to make the same impact in other facets of the game.

Boyce will play safety to anchor the secondary and also expects to return kicks on special teams.

"Basically, I just want to be the guy that everybody looks to," Boyce said. "I have to be productive -- make blocks, catches, score touchdowns, make tackles, interceptions -- anything to help the team."

Boyce started at safety for the second half of the 2007 season and intercepted three passes. Boyce said he hopes to double that INT number by the end of this season, and he may have more opportunities while playing more of a wandering role.

"At times we're going to man-up and let Cortez roam around," Custer said. "Hopefully we will have the middle shored up and it will free up Cortez and let him run a little bit. With a year under his belt, hopefully he can make some plays."

Boyce is already counting on it.

"Look out for us this year. The time is now. With the players and coaches we've got ... this is our year.

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