Doug Paul heard talk that Berlin Brothersvalley would be losing to Clairton at halftime by a score of 70-0, but never told his team that the Bears were going to break the single-season state scoring record in their PIAA Class A quarterfinal.
That the score was 30-17 in Clairton’s favor at halftime exposed that the Bears’ defense was vulnerable, even if their offense showed an ability to score at will. It also proved why Clairton needs to score.
Mostly because its defense isn’t playing well enough to win a state title.
That’s why Clairton is eyeing the national single-season scoring record of 1,023 points, set by Aledo (Texas) last year. The Bears are only 17 points from breaking the old mark of 903, set by Albemarle (N.C.) in 2001.
“It will take a lot of points to break it,” Clairton coach Wayne Wade said. “Is it within our sights? Yes, but it will take averaging (68.5) points.”
The Bears have been unbelievable on offense under new coordinator Shawn Liotta, who has installed a merciless no-huddle offense that puts pressure on opponents by setting an incredible pace and getting the Bears’ skill players the ball in space.
“Our goal is to be there before the sticks move,” Clairton senior receiver Jamie Hines said. “If the refs aren’t ready, our goal is completed.”
It should come as no surprise that Clairton boasts a 2,000-yard rusher in sophomore tailback Lamont Wade and a 2,000-yard passer in senior quarterback Ryan Williams, who has thrown for 600-plus yards and 11 touchdowns in the past two games alone. The Bears have scored 80 points once, 70-plus five times, 60 or more nine times and at least 50 points in 12 of their 14 games.
So, their offense might be their best defense.
“It’s hard to stop us offensively,” Wade said. “Every time we get the ball, we’re looking get in the end zone. If we don’t, we win the field position.”
Clairton preparing for another challenge in PIAA semifinals, by Dave Mackall.
#TribHS notebook: All-state soccer teams announced
Peters Township quarterback Corey Owen is excited to share some news:
Committed today to play football for the #1 fcs team in the country at the University of New Hampshire #GoWildcats
— Cory Owen (@coryowen_1) December 1, 2014
And Highlands running back Elijah Jackson has his fingers crossed:
Duquesne coming to visit tomorrow, hope everything turns out good !
#TribHS HOOPS PREVIEW
Class AA boys basketball preview: Plenty of changes facing defending WPIAL, PIAA champion Lincoln Park, by Chris Harlan.
HITTING THE LINKS
Woodland Hills guard Amante Britt
Woodland Hills boys basketball hopes to turn the corner after winless season, by Alex Oltmanns.
New coach steps in to lead rising Woodland Hills girls basketball program, by Alex Oltmanns.
Riverview coach Joe Farrell
Riverview players showing determination to turn program around, by Doug Gulasy.
Riverview’s Sadie Buchser
Riverview girls basketball team returns five starters, by Doug Gulasy.
Connellsville’s Griffin Thompson
Connellsville boys basketball team adjusts to new coach, by Jason Black.