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Throw those comparisons way downfield Paul Sokoloski Opinion

February 16. 2013 6:28PM

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Before he left to play major college football at Penn State, Eugene Lewis ran and passed the ball all over the Wyoming Valley Conference as the biggest difference-maker for Wyoming Valley West.

Darrell Crawford did the same at GAR before heading off to Lafayette College.

They were supremely-talented quarterbacks with similar styles, and they were the two brightest stars in the league.

But their old high schools have reasons to believe this season still looks shiny, even without them.

Because Valley West and GAR may just find themselves dazzled by new stars under center.

Mike Baur has a name Spartans fans will surely remember and Corey Moore had a game last year GAR fans won't soon forget.

And they're looking to make their own memorable moments now.

"You can't replace a guy like Darrell Crawford," said Moore, a senior and GAR's new quarterback.

"You don't replace a player like Eugene," Valley West coach Pat Keating said.

They don't have to.

Baur doesn't have to rush for 1,410 yards and throw for 1,016 more and produce a combined 37 touchdowns the way Lewis did from Valley West's quarterback spot last season.

Moore doesn't have to run the keeper like Crawford, who rushed for 1,308 yards and threw for 673 yards and combined for 23 offensive touchdowns.

All the new guys have to do to attain success is be themselves.

"Baur just keeps getting better and better for us every day," Keating said.

But he's not going to magically turn into Lewis, or even his uncle.

Strong bloodlines

Way back in the early 1980s, Frank Baur became a big name throwing passes for Valley West, before he went on to a record-setting college career at Lafayette and on to a tryout with the New York Giants.

So Mike Baur not only has a legendary quarterback to follow, he's got a legacy to live up to.

Talk about feeling pressure.

"I kind of do," said Mike Baur, a junior, "with all the records he (his uncle Frank) set at Lafayette and all he did here. Big shoes to fill with him and Eugene."

Those shoes will fit him just fine if Mike Baur continues to move Valley West's offense with his arm the way he has during preseason practices.

"Michael brings some other things to the table," said Keating, whose offense will likely be based on more of a traditional passing attack than the option running Lewis provided. "He's extremely intelligent, very tough, a physical kid. Things will change."

Over at two-time state qualifier GAR, nobody's expecting an adjustment to the results. But the way the Grenadiers go about gunning for a third straight trip to states may be altered a little.

GAR fans got a small sampling of the strong-armed Moore when he threw for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns in an emergency start against Lakeland last year.

"Anytime you have a good game offensively or individually like that, it builds your confidence," Moore said.

Since then, his self-certainty has grown.

"Corey Moore has really come into his own," GAR coach Paul Wiedlich Jr. said. "He has real good command of our offense.

"He has some lofty goals."

Both Moore and Baur carry grand ambitions for the present. Neither should have to aspire to be something out of the past.

Paul Sokoloski is a Times Leader sports columnist. You may reach him at 970-7109 or email him at

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