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#iPreps, #TribHS

November 15, 2014
by Kevin Gorman

#TribHS football: WPIAL semifinals recap

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Gorman: ‘Chain gang’ links Central’s defense

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WPIAL SEMIFINALS

CLASS AAAA

GTR cover

Unlikely offensive star lifts Central Catholic past Penn-Trafford, by Paul Schofield.

Pine-Richland, Slomka dismantle McKeesport in semifinals, by Dave Mackall.

November 14, 2014
by Kevin Gorman

#TribHS football: WPIAL semifinals LIVE blog

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Welcome to the WPIAL playoffs semifinal edition of the iPreps LIVE blog, where we will provide commentary, WPIAL football playoff game updates and the running Twitter feed from the #TribHS sports staff on your right.

To get ready for pre-game, listen to the podcast of today’s The Kevin Gorman Show on TribLIVE Radio, featuring guests John Fedko of WPXI Skylights previewing Friday’s top games, the Trib’s Chris Harlan to discuss the rise of Neshannock football and the West Allegheny-Thomas Jefferson WPIAL Class AAA semifinal game and interviews with Central Catholic coach Terry Totten and Vikings linebacker Bryan Glover and defensive lineman Richie Ryan:

Looks like a great game between Ohio Valley rivals Avonworth and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.

A pair of Parkway Conference teams (Central Valley and West Allegheny) are beating two Big 9 members, 76-0, at the half.

From #TribHS editor Bill Hartlep: What does Bill Cherpak tell TJ at halftime? My answer: I have never coached a team getting mercy ruled at halftime. If you have any pride, play this second half like it’s your last game. … The Jaguars’ Jacob Stein returns the opening kick of the second half for a TD.

Cherp_Palko

Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Cherpak and West Allegheny’s Bob Palko at the coin toss

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WPIAL playoff game updates from #TribHS reporters:

CLASS AAAA

Penn-Trafford vs. Central Catholic
From Paul Schofield and Nathan Smith at Norwin Knights Stadium: Doesn’t look like running back Grant Foster or cornerback Joe Tindal are dressed for Central Catholic. … Vinny Emanuele scores on 3-yard run and Central Catholic is up 7-0 over Penn-Trafford early. … Brian Totten scores on 10-yard run, and Central Catholic goes up 14-0 over Penn-Trafford with 3:46 left in the first quarter. … Joe Peduzzi scores on a 27-yard catch and run from Brett Laffoon. Penn-Trafford cuts the Central Catholic lead to 14-7. … Penn-Trafford recovers onside kick. Jonah Lisbon hits Timmy Vecchio on 50-yard scoring pass. We’re tied up 14-14. … And Penn-Trafford gets another onside kick! The Warriors going all out. … Devin Austin with a 1-yard TD run. Missed extra point makes it Penn-Trafford 20, Central Catholic 14 with 6:18 left in second quarter. … Central moves Johnny Petrishen to QB and a 43-yard run sets up Damar Hamlin’s 24-yard TD run to give Central Catholic a 21-20 lead over Penn-Trafford with 5:21 left until halftime. … Central pulls some trickery, with a flea flicker that ends with Gunnar Frerotte tossing a 56-yard TD pass to Petrishen. … Mike Navarro hits Hamlin for a 29-yard scoring pass to give Central a 35-20 lead with 42.5 left in half. … Petrishen runs it in from 53 yards out. Central Catholic leads Penn-Trafford 42-20 in the 3rd quarter. … Penn-Trafford with some trickery and quarterback Brett Laffoon catches a 9-yard halfback option pass from Austin for a TD. Warriors still trail Central Catholic 42-27. … Mitchell MacZura hits a 36-yard field goal, and Pittsburgh Central Catholic leads, 45-27. … Central Catholic scores with 1:57 left on a 6-yard run by Navarro for a 52-34 lead. FINAL SCORE: Central Catholic 52, Penn-Trafford 34.

McK-PR at NA

McKeesport vs. Pine-Richland
From Dave Mackall at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium: Connor Slomka scores on a 1-yard run to cap a 71-yard drive for Pine-Richland that saw QB Ben DiNucci go 8 for 8 for 58 yards on the opening drive. … Pine-Richland recovered a fumble with McKeesport driving in PR territory. DiNucci promptly complete 40 yard pass to D’ondre Gastion and Slomka scores his second TD on a 5-yard run for a 14-0 lead at 4:58 of the first quarter. … Tymar Sutton scores on an 85-yard run, with a kick by Caleb Schork, as McKeesport cuts it to 14-7 with nine seconds left in the first. … DiNucci has completed 11 of 13 passes for 127 yards. … Luke Everett scores on a 13-yard pass from DiNucci — his 34th this season — and Pine-Richland leads, 21-7, at 5:10 of the second quarter. … At the half at North Allegheny, top-seeded Pine-Richland leads McKeesport, 21-7, in the WPIAL Class AAAA semifinals. DiNucci is 18 of 21 for 187 and a touchdown. Five different receivers have caught passes for Pine-Richland, led by Michael Merhaut, with eight, and Everett, with 6. McKeesport missed a great chance to pull within a touchdown at the break, when Pine-Richland’s Brendan Burnham intercepted a pass by Sutton on fourth down in the end zone after the Tigers had marched to the Pine-Richland 6. Sutton, in at quarterback for McKeesport in place of TyWann Smith, has gained 143 yards on 11 carries out of the Tigers’ option offense. Sutton relieved Smith last week and led McKeesport to a 20-5 victory over Plum in the quarterfinals. Smith, who injured his shoulder against Plum and missed the entire second half, has seen action tonight at wide receiver and at cornerback. … Slomka with 69-yard TD run to put Pine-Richland up 28-7 over McKeesport. It’s the third TD for Slomka, who has rushed for 113 yards. … Slomka extends his school record at Pine-Richland for touchdowns in a season with 31 on a 9-yard run for a 35-7 lead with 5:01 left in the third. … Slomka scores his fifth TD, on a 12-yard run, as the Rams take a 42-7 lead. Slomka finishes with 21 carries for 179 yards and five TDs, while DiNucci goes 22 of 26 for 272 yards, with one TD pass, and Mike Merhaut has 104 yards on 11 carries. Sutton leads McKeesport with 21 carries for 141 yards. FINAL SCORE: Pine-Richland 42, McKeesport 7.

CLASS AAA

Thomas Jefferson vs. West Allegheny
From Chris Harlan at Bethel Park Stadium: West Allegheny’s Tyler Amedure broke one tackle and bounced off another for a 65-yard punt return to lead 6-0 with 6:11 left in the first. The extra point kick failed. … After the touchdown, TJ’s Austin Kemp fumbles on first down. Five plays later, West Allegheny reaches the end zone again. Terence Stephens runs five yards to take a 13-0 lead. … Down 13-0, Thomas Jefferson turned aggressive but Kemp was stopped short on fourth-and-2 at midfield. … Chayse Dillon adds a 2-yard TD run 26 seconds into the second quarter for a 20-0 lead. … Dillon sprints 55 yards for another touchdown and a 27-0 lead at 8:22 of the second quarter. … Whitney White’s 65-yard TD run gives West Allegheny a 34-0 lead. … Stephens runs 25 yards for another touchdown and West Allegheny leads, 41-0, with 3:27 left in the first half. … Which begs the question: When was the last time TJ was mercy ruled? … West Allegheny’s last three touchdown drives lasted two plays, one play and one play. … West Allegheny scored four touchdowns in a five-play span. That’s about as dominant as you get. … How does TJ respond? Jacob Stein returns opening kickoff of second half 96 yards for touchdown. FINAL SCORE: West Allegheny 41, Thomas Jefferson 7.

Central Valley vs. Ringgold
From Les Harvath at Chartiers Valley HS Stadium: CV recovers opening squib kickoff, and Jordan Whitehead scores on a 6-yard run, with a David Schmidt kick to cap a five-play, 30-yard drive for a 7-0 lead. … CV’s Preston Johnson 2 run, with a Brandon Jugan kick, for a 14-0 lead. … Johnson’s blocked punt sets up Whitehead’s 18-yard TD run for a 21-0 lead. … Chase Miladin scores on a 6-yard pass from John George to make it 28-0. … Whitehead’s interception gives the Warriors possession and they go 87 yards on seven plays, capped by George’s 6-yard TD run for a 35-0 lead over Ringgold. … Backup QB Chris Callaghan scores on a 4-yard run to make it 42-0. … George Martin with 3-yard TD run for Ringgold. Central Valley 41, Ringgold 13 with 3:14 left in game. FINAL SCORE: Central Valley 41, Ringgold 13.

CLASS AA

South Fayette vs. Seton-La Salle
From Ray Judy at Peters Township Stadium: Hunter Hayes scores from 12 yards out to give South Fayette a 7-0 lead over Seton-La Salle with 8:12 left in 1st quarter. … Brett Brumbaugh with a 6-yard TD pass to Ryan Schmider gives South Fayette a 14-0 lead with 4:28 left in 1st quarter. … Tyler Perone’s 39-yard TD pass to Danzel McKinley-Lewis puts Seton-La Salle within 7. South Fayette leads, 14-7, with 7:32 left in 1st half. … Hayes runs for 15-yard touchdown. South Fayette leading Seton LaSalle, 21-7. … South Fayette’s Jack Relihan intercepts a Perone pass and returns it 40 yards for a TD to give the Lions a 28-7 lead with 4:19 left in 1st half. … Seton-La Salle’s Ricky Mellick scores on a 1-yard TD run to close South Fayette’s lead to 28-13. Rebels recover ensuing onside kick. … Brumbaugh finds Dan Trimbur for a 6-yard TD pass to give South Fayette a 35-13 lead with 6:40 left in 4th quarter. … Perone connects with Mellick on an 18-yard TD pass to cut South Fayette’s lead to 35-21 with 5:37 to go. FINAL SCORE: South Fayette 35, Seton-La Salle 21.

Aliquippa vs. Washington
From Brian Duermeyer at West Allegheny’s Joe P. DiMichela Stadium: Quips take early 8-0 lead, as Kaezon Pugh scores on a 1-yard run, followed by a Stephon McGinnis two-point conversion. … After a 70-yard run by Pugh to the Wash High 5, DiMontae Bronaugh loses his second fumble. … Snap sails over Wash High QB Jonathan Spina’s head, but he picks it up and finds DeQuay Isbell for a 60-yard TD pass to cut it to 8-6. … Pugh answers with a 40-yard run to the Washington 2, followed by a Darrien Fields 2-yard scoring run and a two-point toss to Bobby Cashaw for a 16-6 Quips lead. … Isbell hauls in a 40-yard pass from Spina to give Little Prexies good field position. They had a third-and-goal at the 1 when the first quarter ended. (Isbell has two catches for 109 yards). … Spina scores on a 1-yard run, but the conversion fails. Quips lead, 16-12. … Quips are their own worst enemy at this point, with two turnovers, four penalties and allowing a broken play to go for a touchdown. … Kurt Adkins’ 67-yard run and Malik Wells’ conversion gives Wash High a 20-16 lead. … After scoring on three consecutive drives, Wells picks off Fields to give the Little Prexies possesion at midfield. Third turnover for the Quips. … Aliquippa gets a big turnover on a Sheldon Jeter interception. … Pugh scores on a 9-yard run, but Quips’ conversion fails so they cling to a 22-20 lead with 2:51 left in the half. … With Washington’s backfield already ravaged by injury, Adkins goes down and hobbles off. … Anthony Barton scores on a 6-yard run but the kick fails, and Quips lead, 28-20, with 4:38 left in the third. … Spina answers with a 36-yard run to set up a first-and-goal at the 1. Wash High, however, is stopped on first, second and third downs. On fourth-and-goal at the 1, Malik Wells scores to cut it to 28-26, but Wash High draws a dead-ball personal foul penalty and the two-point conversion to tie will come from the 18. … The conversion pass fails, and Quips hold a 28-26 edge with 1:55 left in third. … Pugh has rushed for 221 yards on 17 carries. Ambridge transfer Stephon McGinnis has a 16-yard catch on third-and-16 to give the Quips a first down at the Wash High 12 at the end of the third. … Pugh scores his third TD, on a 12-yard run, and then scores the two-point conversion for a 36-26 lead. … Quips’ defense comes up with back-to-back sacks, then a Darnell Gardner interception. Pugh scores his fourth TD on a 12-yard run for a 42-26 lead. … Quips take victory formation. Pugh has 24 carries for 285 yards and four TDs. … FINAL SCORE: Aliquippa 44, Washington 26.

CLASS A

Clairton vs. Neshannock
From Mark Kaboly at Canon-McMillan Stadium: Lamont Wade scores on a 55-yard run to give Bears a 6-0 lead with 9:30 left in the first quarter. … QB Frank Antuono’s 60-yard run sets up an Eli Owens 3-yard TD run to give Neshannock a 7-6 lead. … Jimmy Medure scores on a 23-yard catch on 4th gives Neshannock a 14-6 lead with 311 left in first. … Wade answers with a 65-yard run on ensuing play, but two-point conversion attempt failed. Neshannock leads, 14-12. Wade has six carries for 120 yards, two TDs. … Harrison Dreher scores on a 1-yard run on fourth down, and Aaron Matthews’ two-point run gives Clairton a 20-14 lead with 9:07 left in the first half. … Wade scores on a 17-yard run to cap an 11-play, 84-yard drive and give Clairton a 26-14 lead with 2:41 until halftime. … Eli Owens 11 run set up by Medure’s 57-yard catch and run. Clairton leads, 26-21, with 2:08 left. … Clairton fumbles ensuing kickoff, but gets an interception on the next play. … Antuono 1 run on fourth down and Neshannock reclaims lead, 28-26, with 4:52 left in third. … Clairton answers. Wade follows a 45-yard kick return with an 11-yard run, then scores on a 28-yard run to give Bears the lead over Neshannock, 34-28. .. After three quarters, Wade has 18 carries for 213 yards and 3 TDs. … Wade scores on a 15-yard run, then adds a successful two-pt conversion run to give Bears a 42-28 lead with 9:19 left. Wade now has 24 carries for 260 yards, five TDs. … Seth Dueitt scores on a 5-yard pass from Antuono to cut it to 42-35 with 6:26 left. … And Neshannock recovers the onsides kick. Neshannock has the ball on the 9-yard line with 1:50 left. Clairton leads, 42-35. … Antuono scores on a 1-yard run to tie it at 42-42 with 1:17 left! … It goes to overtime, and Wade (who else?) scores on a 10-yard run for a 48-42 Clairton victory. Wade finishes with 24 carries for 270 and five TDs, while Neshannock’s Owens runs for 104 yards and two TDs on 22 carries and Antuono adds 108 yards and two TDs on 22 carries. FINAL SCORE: Clairton 48, Neshannock 42 (OT).

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic vs. Avonworth
From George Guido at Mars Athletic Complex: North Catholic fumbles on the second play. Avonworth’s Kurt Niklaus recovered and the ‘Lopes take over at the 32. … ‘Lopes take a 7-0 lead on a 20-yard run by Jamal Hughley three plays later. … A 20-yard TD run by P.J. Fulmore puts Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic up 14-7 on Avonworth. … Fulmore has 16 carries for 82 yards and has passed three players on the WPIAL career rushing list in first half, including Wash High’s Brian Davis, who last played in 1984. … Avonworth ties it up 14-14 with North Catholic on a 50-yard TD run by Hughley. … Adam Sharlow finds Darian Mercurio for a 79-yard TD pass. North Catholic 21, Avonworth 14 in the third quarter. … Avonworth ties it at 21-21 on a 2-yard TD pass from Josh Drwal to John Gould. … A 2-yard TD run by Brandon Wasko caps a 17-play, 93-yard drive and gives Avonworth the lead, 28-21, against top-seeded North Catholic with 2:59 remaining in the game. … Avonworth fumbles. North Catholic regains possession with 1:27 left in game. … Wasko with an interception to seal it, and the defending PIAA champions go down. FINAL SCORE: Avonworth 28, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 21.

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November 14, 2014
by Kevin Gorman

Time is now for Neshannock

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Neshannock might be the biggest underdog of the WPIAL semifinals, given that it has to play Class A perennial power Clairton, but coach Fred Mozzocio believes his Lancers have a chance because they are focused on WIN: What’s Important Now.

Two years ago, I wrote about Neshannock’s magical season that saw the Lancers record their first-ever WPIAL playoff victory, over Jefferson-Morgan, then beat Monessen in the quarterfinals before losing to Clairton, 37-7, in the semifinals.

Among the sophomores who saw playing time for that Lancers team were running back Eli Owens, tight end-linebacker Jimmy Medure (who has an offer to play at the U.S. Air Force Academy), receivers Seth Dueitt, Rocco Fazio, Tyler Perry and Jeff Sanflippo and linemen Zach Barnes and Adam Wawrzynski.

“It’s a fearless group. A lot of the young men playing in this game played in that game as sophomores, so they’re accustomed to their style of football and the atmosphere of playoff football now,” said Mozzocio, who was impressed by former Bears coach Tom Nola’s post-game gesture. “It was nice of Coach Nola, as soon as it ended, he came into our locker room and expressed his respect for our kids and the effort they put into the game. It was something that was appreciated by not only myself but our staff and our kids.”

Neshannock reached the semifinals again last season, when it lost to eventual WPIAL and PIAA champion North Catholic, but there was uncertainty at the start of this season because of the graduation of quarterback and three-sport star Ernie Burkes. That’s when a sophomore stepped forward and claimed the starting job. Mozzocio says Frank Antuono, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder, is probably the most powerful quarterback in the state. He started five games at defensive tackle as a freshman, starts at inside linebacker this fall and bench-presses 350 pounds and squats 500. He also has passed for more than 1,000 yards.

“We lost an awful lot of good football players to graduation,” Mozzocio said. “There was a lot of concern at certain positions, a lot of doubt by some of our fans as to what was going to take place. Our first two scrimmages, we were scratching our heads. That’s the most glaring, because it’s the quarterback position. Without a quarterback, any team is going to struggle. We’ve been very fortunate that Frank Antuono has come into that role. He’s done a phenomenal job.”

Now, for the third straight season, Neshannock is within one game of making it to the WPIAL final for the first time. Mozzocio promises that the Lancers won’t be intimidated by their opponent.

“For 48 minutes, we give it everything we have. We lay it all on the line. Hey, sometimes it might not be enough. If not, we’ll be the first to go across the field and shake their hands. We respect everybody but we don’t fear anybody,” Mozzocio said. “Even for the teams that have been there in the past, to get that opportunity that special moment to run onto Heinz Field and represent your school district and community and have your fans there watching you, the honor and prestige of that is just unfathomable.”

Just not as unfathomable as it used to be.

#TribHS PAGE

HS page (1)

Greensburg Central Catholic sets sights on PIAA volleyball gold, by Bill West.

HITTING THE LINKS

Trib Cup page

Previewing the PIAA soccer championships, by Bill West.

#TribCup: Freedom enjoys unprecedented success as underdog, by Brian Graham.

Blairsville RB Deion Robinson

McKeesport defense

Plum quarterback Wil Fuhrer (11) is brought down in the backfield by McKeesport’s Joseph Krimm (left), Justice Smith (center), and Jahsai Allen (right)

McKeesport defense to be tested by Pine-Richland in WPIAL Class AAAA semifinals, by Dave Mackall.

Speaking of defense, Central Catholic junior cornerback Damar Hamlin received another big offer…

November 13, 2014
by Kevin Gorman

#TribHS football: WPIAL semifinals preview

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McKinley-Lewis column page

Gorman: After missing first South Fayette game, McKinley-Lewis could be Seton-La Salle’s missing piece in WPIAL semifinal rematch.

#TribHS football notebook: School-day WPIAL finals offers challenges for administrators, by Chris Harlan.

WPIAL SEMIFINALS PREVIEW CAPSULES

CLASS AAAA

WPIAL Class AAAA semifinal preview page

Penn-Trafford vs. Central Catholic at Norwin, by Paul Schofield.

McKeesport vs. Pine-Richland at North Allegheny, by Dave Mackall.

CLASS AAA

WPIAL Class AAA semifinal preview page

Central Valley vs. Ringgold at Chartiers Valley

West Allegheny vs. Thomas Jefferson at Bethel Park, by Chris Harlan.

CLASS AA

WPIAL Class AA semifinal preview page

South Fayette vs. Seton-La Salle at Peters Township

Aliquippa vs. Washington at West Allegheny, by Bill West.

CLASS A

WPIAL Class A semifinal preview page

Clairton vs. Neshannock at Canon-McMillan

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic vs. Avonworth, by Bill West.

MORE PLAYOFF FOOTBALL

Karns City football team seeks District 9 three-peat vs. St. Mary’s, by Matt Grubba.

HITTING THE LINKS

Holl resigns as Seneca Valley football coach, by Kevin Gorman.

South Fayette's Brett Brumbaugh

South Fayette QB Brett Brumbaugh

Choosing Duquesne about home, family for South Fayette’s Brumbaugh, by Gary Horvath.

Kiski Area athletic facilities

Installation of artificial turf on a field behind Kiski Area High School should be completed by Thanksgiving.

Kiski Area’s work on athletic facilities progressing, by Doug Gulasy.

Baldwin's Doug Altavilla

Baldwin QB Doug Altavilla

Baldwin’s Altavilla finishes career with almost 5,000 career passing yards, by Ray Fisher.

Hempfield

Hempfield turns eye to future, by Alex Oltmanns.

Plum RB Nick Coxon

Plum RB Nick Coxon

Plum football coach proud of effort in turnaround season, by Michael Love.

Franklin Regional's DJ Riga

Franklin Regional’s DJ Riga

Franklin Regional’s run stopped short of semifinals, by Michael Love.

Greensburg Salem football works through growing pains, by Andrew John.

Southmoreland's Tommy Pisula

Southmoreland’s Tommy Pisula

Southmoreland football team’s season falls short of goals, expectations, by Mark King.

Shady Side Academy's Louis Berry IV

Shady Side Academy’s Louis Berry IV

Shady Side Academy coach Havern reflects on season, by Marty Stewart.

Jeannette's Julian Batts

Jeannette’s Julian Batts

Jeannette football campaign comes to bittersweet end, by Dave Moio.

OFF THE GRID

Freeport's Bria Otwell 2

Freeport's Bria Otwell 1

Freeport’s Bria Otwell

Freeport swimmer Otwell chooses Towson, by Doug Gulasy.

Baldwin's Mackenzie Voelker

Baldwin’s Mackenzie Voelker

Volleyball is a therapeutic endeavor for Baldwin’s Voelker, by Ed Phillipps.

Baldwin’s resolve proves victorious in PIAA quarterfinals, by Ray Fisher.

Thomas Jefferson's Madison Moran

Thomas Jefferson’s Madison Moran

Moran a motivational force as ‘team player’ for Thomas Jefferson, by Ed Phillipps.

Norwin's Laura Buchanan

Norwin’s Laura Buchanan

Norwin volleyball proud of season despite early playoff exit, by Alex Oltmanns.

North Allegheny's Steve Binnig

North Allegheny’s Steve Binnig

North Allegheny boys soccer defies predictions with win in playoffs, by Shawn Annarelli.

Shady Side Academy's Eric Zang

Shady Side Academy’s Eric Zang (left)

Shady Side Academy boys soccer team enjoys ‘fantastic’ season, by Marty Stewart.

Shady Side Academy’s Morlacci earns reputation as strong goalie, by Marty Stewart.

Shady Side Academy's Elizabeth Harper

Shady Side Academy’s Elizabeth Harper

Shady Side Academy girls soccer falls at states, by Marty Stewart.

Quaker Valley soccer

‘Wolf pack’ says goodbye to Quaker Valley soccer, by Gary Horvath.

Baldwin hockey coach Craig Albert

Baldwin hockey coach Craig Albert

Baldwin hockey coach attempting to create family atmosphere, by Ed Phillipps.

TJ hockey coach Bill Crousey

TJ hockey coach Bill Crousey discusses strategy with his team

Crousey considered a ‘player’s coach’ in Thomas Jefferson hockey program, by Ed Phillipps.

Quaker Valley hockey staying afloat amidst injuries, by Gary Horvath.

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November 13, 2014
by Kevin Gorman

Scenes from Signing Day

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Wednesday marked the first day that seniors could sign national letters of intent with the college of their choice. Here’s a look at how WPIAL athletes celebrated the occasion with their signatures and smiles.

A new journey begins today. Life is full of ups and downs, moments like this make it all worth it. Officially a Pitt Panther!! </p>
<p>

Seton-La Salle’s Cassidy Walsh signs with Pitt women’s basketball

NA's Kayla Churman

North Allegheny swimmer Kayla Churman signs with Kentucky

November 12, 2014
by Kevin Gorman

Military on the mind

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Pine-Richland's Connor Slomka

Pine-Richland RB-LB Connor Slomka

Sometimes, the obvious angle sheds new light on a story.

On Veterans Day, I wondered what was going through the mind of an Army football recruit. So I contacted Pine-Richland’s Connor Slomka to ask. Little did I know how much Veterans Day was a special day in Slomka’s home.

As I wrote when he was a sophomore, Slomka had options.

Not only to give up a lacrosse scholarship to Ohio State to play football at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, but Slomka stopped playing a sport in which he was a coveted recruit.

“I knew that I wanted to play football,” Slomka said. “There’s not a lot of money in lacrosse, so it’s not like I had a full ride. It was my junior year, in the third or fourth quarter, and me and my family were talking about it. The week of the lacrosse season, my leg was bothering me. We decided I should just focus on football.

“I knew all along that I wanted to play football. It’s not been about what I was best at playing. Ohio State is a much better lacrosse school than Army is a football school. I just knew all along that I wanted to play football in college. Obviously, there’s a lot of perks but it’s far tougher to play college football there than anywhere else but you get much more out of it.”

#TribHS PAGE

TribHS page 11-12

Greensburg Central Catholic soccer team gets past Freedom, by Ed Phillipps.

While Blackhawk appears ready to hire Josh Bears as its new boys hoops coach, Jason Black writes that former Cougars coach Andy Hedrick is trying to get Connellsville basketball up to speed.

HITTING THE LINKS

Sewickley Academy's Matt Tietelbaum

Sewickley Academy’s Matt Teitelbaum (left) battles Winchester Thurston’s Scott Steiner for a header

Defending state champion Sewickley Academy returns to PIAA boys soccer finals, by Bill West.

GCC's Rachel Moore returns a serve

Greensburg Central Catholic’s Rachel Moore returns a serve against Clarion

#TribHS roundup: Shutout leads Peters Township boys soccer team into PIAA final

Shaler's Brianna Schwartz

Shaler’s Brianna Schwartz

Shaler’s Schwartz, the PIAA Class AAA cross country champion and top female distance runner in WPIAL history, commits to Colorado, by Chris Harlan.

In other recruiting news:

Colleges are coveting Central Catholic junior cornerback Damar Hamlin

November 11, 2014
by Kevin Gorman

Set for signing day

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Burrell's Sydney Bordonaro

Burrell’s Sydney Bordonaro

#TribHS notebook: Burrell’s Bordonaro set to sign with Pepperdine, by Bill Beckner Jr.

#TribHS PAGE

TribHS page

HITTING THE LINKS

South Fayette's Nick McKee

South Fayette’s Nick McKee

South Fayette, other area soccer teams add to their schools’ state-level success, by Bill West.

Mallory O'Brien 1

Mallory O'Brien 2

Baldwin junior setter Mallory O’Brien

Gorman: A new story for O’Briens, where Baldwin junior setter follows family tradition of playing for championships.

McKeesport's Neenie Campbell Memorial Gymnasium

McKeesport’s Neenie Campbell Memorial Gymnasium

Renovations rejuvenate venerable McKeesport gymnasium, by Dave Mackall.

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November 10, 2014
by Kevin Gorman

#TribHS weekend recap: WPIAL announces semifinal sites

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After some odd choices for quarterfinal sites, the WPIAL got it right in the semifinals.

The sites seem to be closer to the higher seeds, which makes sense. They have earned it, as the eight Nos. 1 and 2 seeds are all undefeated. This is a playoff bracket with few surprises, with the only exception being that all four No. 5 seeds advanced:

In Class AAAA, No. 1 Pine-Richland (11-0) plays No. 5 McKeesport (10-1) at North Allegheny and No. 2 Penn-Trafford (11-0) plays No. 3 Central Catholic (10-1) at Norwin. A week earlier, you had games like Central and Woodland Hills playing at North Allegheny.

In Class AAA, No. 1 Central Valley (11-0) plays No. 5 Ringgold (10-1) at Chartiers Valley and No. 2 Thomas Jefferson (11-0) plays No. 3 West Allegheny (10-1) at Bethel Park. A week earlier, you had Central Valley-Indiana at Butler, Hampton-Ringgold at West Allegheny and West Allegheny-Franklin Regional at North Hills.

In Class AA, No. 1 South Fayette (11-0) plays No. 5 Seton-La Salle (10-1) at Peters Township and No. 2 Aliquippa (11-0) plays No. 3 Washington (11-0) at West Allegheny. A week earlier, you had Aliquippa-Mt. Pleasant at Canon-McMillan and Washington play Apollo-Ridge at Latrobe.

In Class A, No. 1 Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (11-0) plays No. 5 Avonworth (10-1) at Mars and No. 2 Clairton (11-0) plays No. 3 Neshannock (11-0) at Canon-McMillan. A week earlier, you had North Catholic-South Side Beaver at Geneva’s Reeves Field and Neshannock-Jeannette at Deer Lakes.

The WPIAL championship games will be played Friday, Nov. 21 at Heinz Field. The WPIAL has yet to announce the order, but when ROOT Sports has to televise a Penguins game it generally has requested that the Quad A game be played second, after the Class A final, so that both can be shown live. That would leave the Class AA and AAA games to be played third and fourth and shown on tape delay.

HITTING THE LINKS

Slippery Rock HS football

Slippery Rock coach Brendan Hathaway

Slippery Rock High School rolls to another unbeaten season, by Joe Sager.

Peters Township soccer

Peters Township striker Mario Mastrangelo (right) celebrates a goal with teammate Jon Sion

Mastrangelo scores twice to propel Peters Township past Central Catholic in state quarterfinals, by Ed Phillipps.

GCC girls soccer

Greensburg Central Catholic striker Bailey Cartwright (2) makes a play on the ball in front of Shady Side Academy’s Allyson Eismont

Two-time champ GCC blanks Shady Side Academy to reach state semifinals, by Ed Phillipps.

#TribHS roundup: Sewickley Academy edges Vincentian to reach state semifinals

TJ volleyball

Kelly savors TJ’s breakthrough season, by Dave Mackall.

Highlands wrestling appears healthy after board vote; will compete as an independent, by Doug Gulasy.

Plum's Kelsey DiClaudio

Plum’s Kelsey DiClaudio

Plum’s DiClaudio refuses to let her disability hold her back, by Dave Schrecengost.

Armstrong's Christian Miller

Armstrong’s Christian Miller

Winning ways continue for Armstrong hockey, by Matt Grubba.

Oliver: Monessen’s Salvino pushing for success with tough schedule

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November 8, 2014
by Kevin Gorman

#TribHS WPIAL quarterfinals recap

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Gorman column

Gorman: Central Valley star Whitehead a ‘special player’

PLAY OF THE NIGHT

Central Catholic’s Bryan Glover forces a fumble that is recovered by Rashad Wheeler and returned for a touchdown in the Vikings’ 28-0 victory over Woodland Hills in the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals.

PHOTO OF THE NIGHT

Click here for the Trib’s WPIAL quarterfinals photo gallery.

GAMES OF THE WEEK

PTR cover

PTR GOW

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Central Catholic blanks Woodland Hills to advance to Class AAAA semifinals, by Chris Harlan.

GTR cover

GTR GOW

Greensburg Tribune-Review: Penn-Trafford rallies to down North Allegheny, advance in Class AAAA playoffs, by Paul Schofield.

VND cover

VND GOW

Valley News Dispatch: Defense lifts Seton-La Salle over Highlands in Class AA quarterfinals, by Doug Gulasy.

LT GOW

Kittanning Leader Times: Washington’s big-play offense ends Apollo-Ridge’s season with 58-30 win, by Bill Beckner Jr.

DN GOW

McKeesport Daily News: Thomas Jefferson’s ground game conquers Mars, by Mark Kaboly.

DC GOW

Connellsville Daily Courier: Aliquippa tops Mt. Pleasant in Class AA for eighth consecutive WPIAL semifinal berth, by Ray Judy.

WPIAL PLAYOFFS

McKeesport's Tymar Sutton

McKeesport’s Tymar Sutton (6) breaks through a hole in front of Plum defenders Michael Anderson (21), Nick Coxon (8), and Phillip Mahr (84)

Backup QB, defense direct McKeesport past Plum, by Dave Mackall.

West Allegheny's Chayse Dillon

West Allegheny’s Chayse Dillon stiff-arms Franklin Regional’s DJ Riga

West Allegheny uses wrinkle in quarterfinal win, by Bill West.

Top-ranked Central Valley routs Indiana, eases into semifinals, by Ed Phillipps.

Ringgold QB Nico Law

Ringgold quarterback Nico Law is pursued by Hampton’s Josh Aippersbach

Big play in OT saves Ringgold Rams, by Jeff Oliver.

Neshannock-Jeannette

Neshannock’s Jimmy Medure (8) tries to elude Jeannette’s Julian Batts

Neshannock dumps Jeannette, 46-32, in WPIAL Class A quarterfinals, by George Guido.

No. 2 Clairton crushes Shenango, by David Whipkey.

ROUNDUPS

WPIAL quarterfinals: Pine-Richland rolls past Altoona

Westinghouse falls in PIAA sub-regional

Blairsville blasts Moshannon Valley, 35-14, in District 6 quarterfinals, by Les Harvath.

Friday’s results
WPIAL playoffs
Quarterfinals
Class AAAA

Central Catholic 28, Woodland Hills 0
McKeesport 20, Plum 5
Penn-Trafford 35, North Allegheny 31
Pine-Richland 49, Altoona 7
Class AAA
Central Valley 41, Indiana 14
Ringgold 21, Hampton 20, OT
Thomas Jefferson 28, Mars 13
West Allegheny 37, Franklin Regional 14
Class AA
Aliquippa 40, Mt. Pleasant 0
South Fayette 39, South Park 21
Seton-La Salle 28, Highlands 21
Washington 58, Apollo-Ridge 30
Class A
Avonworth 31, Riverside 14
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 20, South Side Beaver 6
Clairton 68, Shenango 7
Neshannock 46, Jeannette 32

District 5-6-9 subregional
Class AA

Chestnut Ridge 35, Westinghouse 0

District 5-6-8-9
Class AAA

Clearfield 42, Greater Johnstown 27
Somerset 50, Punxsutawney 12

District 6
Class AA
Friday’s results

Mount Union 27, South Huntingdon 7
Tyrone 35, Forest Hills 7
Class A
Bishop Guilfoyle 49, Williamsburg 0
Blairsville 35, Moshannon Valley 14

WPIAL playoffs
Semifinals
Times, sites, dates TBD
Class AAAA

Pine-Richland (11-0) vs. McKeesport (10-1); Penn-Trafford (11-0) vs. Central Catholic (10-1)
Class AAA
Central Valley (11-0) vs. Ringgold (10-1); Thomas Jefferson (11-0) vs. West Allegheny (10-1)
Class AA
South Fayette (11-0) vs. Seton-La Salle (10-1); Aliquippa (11-0) vs. Washington (11-0)
Class A
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (11-0) vs. Avonworth (10-1); Clairton (11-0) vs. Neshannock (11-0)

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November 7, 2014
by Kevin Gorman

#TribHS football: WPIAL quarterfinals LIVE blog

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Welcome to the WPIAL playoffs quarterfinal edition of the iPreps LIVE blog, where we will provide commentary, WPIAL football playoff game updates and the running Twitter feed from the #TribHS sports staff on your right.

To get ready for pre-game, listen to the podcast of today’s The Kevin Gorman Show on TribLIVE Radio, featuring guests John Fedko of WPXI Skylights previewing Friday’s top games, the Trib’s Chris Harlan and Bill West to discuss the Game of the Week between Central Catholic and Woodland Hills and their picks for the WPIAL finals and interviews with Central Valley star Jordan Whitehead and Warriors coach Mark Lyons:

From Kevin Gorman at D.L. Clark Building (Trib HQ):

WPIAL playoffs
Semifinals
Times, sites, dates TBD
Class AAAA

Pine-Richland (11-0) vs. McKeesport (10-1); Penn-Trafford (11-0) vs. Central Catholic (10-1)
Class AAA
Central Valley (11-0) vs. Ringgold (10-1); Thomas Jefferson (11-0) vs. West Allegheny (10-1)
Class AA
South Fayette (11-0) vs. Seton-La Salle (10-1); Aliquippa (11-0) vs. Washington (11-0)
Class A
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (11-0) vs. Avonworth (10-1); Clairton (11-0) vs. Neshannock (11-0)

Friday’s results
WPIAL playoffs
Quarterfinals
Class AAAA

Central Catholic 28, Woodland Hills 0
McKeesport 20, Plum 5
Penn-Trafford 35, North Allegheny 31
Pine-Richland 49, Altoona 7
Class AAA
Central Valley 41, Indiana 14
Ringgold 21, Hampton 20, OT
Thomas Jefferson 28, Mars 13
West Allegheny 37, Franklin Regional 14
Class AA
Aliquippa 40, Mt. Pleasant 0
South Fayette 39, South Park 21
Seton-La Salle 28, Highlands 21
Washington 58, Apollo-Ridge 30
Class A
Avonworth 31, Riverside 14
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 20, South Side Beaver 6
Clairton 68, Shenango 7
Neshannock 46, Jeannette 32

District 5-6-9 subregional
Class AA

Chestnut Ridge 35, Westinghouse 0

District 5-6-8-9
Class AAA

Clearfield 42, Greater Johnstown 27
Somerset 50, Punxsutawney 12

District 6
Class AA
Friday’s results

Mount Union 27, South Huntingdon 7
Tyrone 35, Forest Hills 7
Class A
Bishop Guilfoyle 49, Williamsburg 0
Blairsville 35, Moshannon Valley 14

And another first in WPIAL history…

HEADING TO OT: Nico Law scored on a 1-yard dive with 40 seconds left, as Ringgold tied Hampton, 14-14. That game is headed to overtime. … Law scores in OT to make it 21-14. Hampton’s Matt Rech scored, but the Talbots went for the win and were stopped short. FINAL SCORE: Ringgold 21, Hampton 20 (OT).

INJURY UPDATE: McKeesport QB TyWann Smith has left the game with an undetermined injury. Tymar Sutton is in at QB for the tigers. McKeesport leads plum 13-3 in the third.

UPSET ALERT: South Park leads top-seeded and defending PIAA Class AA champion South Fayette, 14-13, at halftime. WPIAL career passing leader and Duquesne recruit Brett Brumbaugh went 12 of 24 for 224 yards in the first half, with eight passes dropped by his receivers. South Park has rushed for 167 yards as a team, scoring a pair of second-quarter TDs. … Scholle follows a 51-yard run with a 5-yard TD and the Eagles lead, 21-13.

INJURY REPORT: As if No. 8 Indiana didn’t have enough to worry about against top seed Central Valley at Butler, the Little Indians are without QB Jacob Zilinskas (concussion). Dylan Stapleton will move from WR to under center, Ed Phillipps reports.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Apollo-Ridge senior QB/WR/DB Tre Tipton and Washington junior lineman Khalid Blount are cousins, reports Bill Beckner Jr. Another connection: Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba and Washington coach Mike Bosnic are both former Pitt linemen.

Some pre-game news from McKeesport’s star junior safety…

An inspirational message from a Central Catholic senior who is sitting out this season:

Some things will never change. Me not being able to play football this year made my life turn around 360 degrees. My brothers are still with me and I am still with them.  #MyLife  #onlythebeginning

From #TribHS reporters covering the WPIAL quarterfinal playoff games:

WPIAL
Class AAAA

Pine-Richland vs. Altoona
From Jerry Clark at Gateway’s Pete Antimarino Stadium: On the first play of the game, Pine-Richland’s Ben DiNucci hits Mike Merhaut with a 65-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead. … DiNucci hit Anthony Battaglia for an 8-yard touchdown pass. PR 14, Altoona 0 end first. … Following an interception by Pine-Richland, DiNucci hooked up with Battaglia again for a 71-yard touchdown strike. P-R 21, Altoona 0. … Altoona running back Eli Mencer hit quarterback Devin Miller on the halfback option for an 18-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to cut the Pine-Richland lead to 21-7 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter. … Pine-Richland answered Altoona’s touchdown with a three-play drive highlighted by a 46-yard pass from DiNucci to Luke Everett, that set up a Connor Slomka 2-yard touchdown run. Pine-Richland 28, Altoona 7. … Slomka scored his second touchdown on the evening, this time from 6-yards out to push the Rams lead to 35-7 with 10:53 left in the game. … Slomka puts the game away for the Rams, as his 3-yard touchdown run, his third of the game pushed him over the 100-yard mark for the game and gives the Rams a 42-7 lead. FINAL SCORE: Pine-Richland 49, Altoona 7.

Plum vs. McKeesport
From Dave Mackall at Norwin Knights Stadium: Jacob Chapla’s 35-yard field goal gives Plum a 3-0 lead at 7:36 of the first. … One play later, TyWann Smith scores on a 61-yard run to give McKeesport a 7-3 lead. … Tymar Sutton scores on a 34-yard run to give Tigers a 13-3 lead at 7:46 of the half. … Sutton’s 27-yard run gives Tigers a 20-3 lead with 4:46 left in the third. … McKeesport’s Tyron Bynum gets his second interception of the game late in the third quarter with Plum driving inside the McKeesport 9 to stop a Mustangs drove. McKeesport leads 20-3. … A Plum safety cuts it to 20-5 with 53.9 seconds left in the third. … FINAL SCORE: McKeesport 20, Plum 5.

Penn-Trafford vs. North Allegheny
From Paul Schofield and Nathan Smith at Fox Chapel’s James M. Burke Stadium: North Allegheny strikes first. Josh Bergman scores on 11 yard run. NA 7-0 over Penn-Trafford. … Seth Mancuso 33-yard field goal to increase North Allegheny lead to 10-0 early second quarter. … Tim Vecchio makes a great catch for a 31-yard score. Penn-Trafford cuts North Allegheny lead to 10-7 with 6:52 until halftime. … Joe Peduzzi hauls in a 6-yard touchdown pass. Penn-Trafford leads North Allegheny, 14-10, at the half. … North Allegheny puts together impressive drive. Bergman scores from the 6. NA leads Penn-Trafford, 17-14. … North Allegheny stops Penn-Trafford on fourth down then Ethan Maenza scores on 55-yard run. Tigers lead 24-14 in 3rd quarter. … Vecchio hauls in 44-yard touchdown reception. Penn-Trafford cuts North Allegheny lead to 24-21. … Vecchio has been money for Penn-Trafford. Receiver hauls in 3rd touchdown reception. This one for 57 yards. PT now trails 31-28. … Austin Zegarelli catches 12-yard TD pass from Brett Laffoon. Penn-Trafford leads North Allegheny, 35-31 with 4:16 left. … Peduzzi comes up with interception for Penn-Trafford with 2:50 to play. … Peduzzi with another interception. Penn-Trafford holds on for a 35-31 win over North Allegheny. FINAL SCORE: Penn-Trafford 35, North Allegheny 31.

Central Catholic vs. Woodland Hills
From Chris Harlan at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium: Central Catholic’s Johnny Petrishen returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown to lead 7-0 with 7:54 left in the first quarter. It was the fourth punt-return touchdown this season for Petrishen. … Teams combined for just one first down in the first quarter, by Central Catholic. … Seven punts combined for the teams midway through the second quarter. Only two first downs, both by Central Catholic. … Central Catholic playing conservatively with a 7-0 lead. The Vikings punted on fourth-and 3 at Woodland Hills’ 32 with 6:58 left in the third quarter. Punt downed at the 18. … The strategy worked. Central Catholic’s Rashad Wheeler returned a Miles Sanders fumble 25 yards for a touchdown to lead 14-0 with 6:10 left in the third quarter. … Woodland Hills’ offense mounted its best push early in the fourth quarter with a seven-play drive that reached Central’s 30. But on fourth-and-4, Jeremiah Jones’ run ended a yard short. With 10:15 left, Central Catholic took over on downs. … The first offensive touchdown with 6:13 left, on a 28-yard touchdown run by Central Catholic’s Vinny Emanuele. Vikings lead 21-0. … Central Catholic 28, Woodland Hills 0 — Another defensive touchdown for Central Catholic, this a 32-yard return by Kurt Hinish; 5:50 4Q. FINAL SCORE: Central Catholic 28, Woodland Hills 0.

Class AAA

Central Valley vs. Indiana
From Ed Phillipps at Butler’s Art Bernardi Stadium: Indiana is playing without QB Jacob Zilinskas (concussion), forcing WR Dylan Stapleton to play under center. … Central Valley leads 21-0 at the end of the first thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from John George, as well as a 9-yard run by Jordan Whitehead. … Whitehead scores on a 43-yard run for a 28-0 lead. … Central Valley leads 35-0 at the half. Whitehead scored twice in the second quarter: He caught a 42-yard pass from George and also scored on a 38-yard run. … The Little Indians are on the board after a 90-yard interception return by John Gatti. The Warriors still have a comfortable lead after three quarters, 41-7. … FINAL SCORE: Central Valley 41, Indiana 14.

Hampton vs. Ringgold
From Jeff Oliver at West Allegheny’s Joe P. DiMichela Stadium: At halftime, the game is tied, 0-0. Ringgold has three turnovers but stopped Hampton three times inside the 30. The Rams have only two first downs. Hampton’s Matt Rech has 20 carries but minimal success. Ringgold QB Nico Law has two interceptions and a fumble. … Ringgold gets a 23-yard touchdown pass from George Martin to Dalton Holt with 5:22 left in the third quarter. … Hampton’s Shane McMillen returns a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7. … Hampton takes a 14-7 leads on a 52-yard pass from Nick Grabowski to Gus Schmitt with 11:37 left. … Law scores on a 1-yard dive to tie it at 14-14 with 40 seconds left. … Law scores in OT to make it 21-14. Hampton’s Rech scored, but the Talbots went for the win and were stopped short. FINAL SCORE: Ringgold 21, Hampton 20 (OT).

Kaboly at CV

Thomas Jefferson vs. Mars
From Mark Kaboly at Chartiers Valley HS Stadium: Rob Carmody scores on a 58-yard pass from Jake Rosswog, and Caleb Brake’s kick gives Mars a 7-0 lead at 4:14 of the first. … TJ fumbled 4 times in the first quarter, lost two. Austin Kemp rushed 13 times for 61 yards. Mars NT Marshall Robinson (6-3, 380) making it hard to run. … Austin Kemp caps a 17-play, 77-yard drive with a 5-yard TD run to tie it at 7-7 at 9:04 of the second quarter. Get this, with 3:08 left in the half, Kemp has 27 rushes for 130 yards!! (15 carries on the scoring drive alone). … The game is tied at 7-7 at halftime. Kemp has 29 carries for 134 yards and a TD. Mars’ Ori Rinaman has five carries for 10 yards. Total plays: TJ 33, Mars 13; Total yards: TJ 138, Mars 54. … Kemp’s 1-yard run makes it 14-7 TJ with 6:17 left in the third. Kemp has 35 carries for 145 yards, 2 TDs. … TJ’s Braden Pahanish sacks Mars QB Rosswog forcing a fumble. Pahanish recovers in end zone for TJ TD. 21-7 TJ with 4:47 left. … Kemp 15-yard TD run gives TJ a 28-7 lead with 5:48 left. Kemp has 43 carries for 189 yards, 3 TDs. Mars has 13 total yards. … Carmody scores on a 29-yard pass from Sam Morrissey to cut TJ’s lead to 28-13 with 3:47 left in the game. FINAL SCORE: Thomas Jefferson 28, Mars 13.

West Allegheny vs. Franklin Regional
From Bill West at North Hills’ Martorelli Stadium: West Allegheny K DJ Opsatnik falls on his butt, yet still makes 44-yd FG. WA leads Franklin Regional, 3-0, w/ 10:06 left, 1Q. … Franklin Regional’s Brett Zanotto with a 7-yard TD on a wildcat keeper to cap a 75-yd drive with all runs. FR leads West Allegheny, 7-3, w/ 6:21 left in 1Q. … West Allegheny’s Terence Stephens with a 6-yard wildcat keeper for a TD. West A goes for two, fails, so Indians lead Franklin Reg, 9-7, w/ 3:21 left 1Q. … Franklin Regional QB Santino Birty finds Todd Summers for 10-yd TD pass to open second quarter, and FR leads West Allegheny, 14-9, w/ 11:56 left. … Stephens scores his second rushing TD, on a 4-yard keeper, and West A leads Franklin Regional, 16-14, with 5:34 left 2Q. … Stephens reaping all the rewards in this multi-back offense, and scores his third TD run on a 13-yarder to give Indians 23-14 lead w/ 4:37 left. … Chayse Dillon rips off a 61-yard run on first play of West A’s first second-half drive. West A leads Franklin Regional 30-14 with 9:30 in 3Q. … Franklin Regional blocks a 36-yd FG attempt by Opsatnik, but West Allegheny still leads, 30-14, w/ 3:15 left in 3Q. … Dillon with his second TD run, a 14-yarder. Indians lead Franklin Regional 37-14 w/ 6:35 left in game. FINAL SCORE: West Allegheny 37, Franklin Regional 14.

Class AA

South Fayette vs. South Park
From Gary Horvath at Peters Township Stadium: JJ Walker punches in a 4-yard run to put South Fayette on top, 6-0 after a missed extra point from Brian Coyne. … Nick Ponikvar, after a 44-yard catch a run from Brett Brumbaugh, gets to the 1-yard line but is stripped and South Park recovers. … Hunter Hayes gets the score this time, an 8 yard run to put the Lions up 13-0. … Adam Staudt runs 45 yards up the middle for a South Park score. The Eagles cut the Lions lead to 13-7 with 3:22 til half. … A 33-yard run by Nick Scholle has the Eagles to the Lions 4 yard line. Scholle scores on a 1-yard keeper and South Park takes a 14-13 lead over South Fayette with 21 seconds til half. Crowd is going nuts! … At halftime, South Park leads, 14-13. Brumbaugh went 12 of 24 for 224 yards in the first half, with eight passes dropped by his receivers. South Park has rushed for 167 yards as a team. … Scholle scores on a 5-yard plunge after a 51-yard burst up the middle of the field. Eagles take a 21-13 lead over South Fayette. … Lions are forced to punt again. South Park takes over at its 17. Brumbaugh has thrown 6 straight incompletions. … South Fayette fumbles the South Park punt and Cameron Ruggles recovers it for the Eagles at the Lions’ 43-yard line. … Brumbaugh hits Dan Trimbur for 40-yard score on a tipped ball. Lions call TO going for 2 and the tie. Brumbaugh hits Ryan Schmider on the slant and we’re tied at 21. South Park pushing the Lions for all they’ve got. … South Park lineman Ryan Podgorski had to be helped off the field after the last play with a left leg injury. Big blow for the Eagles. … Staudt coughs up the ball and Hayes returns it about 20 yards to the SP 28. Bad series of plays for the Eagles there. … Brumbaugh to Ponikvar for 26 yards on the first play of the 4th quarter puts South Fayette back on top, 27-21. … Brumbaugh goes over the top to Ponikvar for 45 yards but misses the 2 pt conversion. 33-21 South Fayette lead with 8:56 to play. … Walker plunges into the endzone from a couple yards out to extend the South Fayette lead to 39-21 with 2:21 to play. FINAL SCORE: South Fayette 39, South Park 21.

Highlands vs. Seton-La Salle
From Doug Gulasy at Valley’s Memorial Stadium: Tyler Perone hits Paris Ford for a 28-yard touchdown pass. Seton-La Salle leads Highlands, 7-0. Drive helped by two 15-yard penalties. … Highlands answers. Brayden Thimons to Jeremy Jackson, who shakes Paris Ford and scores a 30-yard touchdown on fourth down. … Seton-La Salle leads, 14-7, at halftime. Halftime stats for Seton-La Salle: Perone: 7-13, 107 yards, 2 TDs; Danzel McKinley-Lewis: 4 catches, 64 yards, TD. For Highlands: Thimons: 7-11, 113 yards, TD; Jackson: 6 catches, 95 yards, TD. … Star Highlands RB Elijah Jackson (high-ankle sprain) limps to the sideline after getting stopped for no gain. He has 16 yards on nine carries. … Elijah Jackson catches a 36-yard touchdown pass from Blake Leri. Highlands ties Seton-La Salle at 14 midway through the third quarter. … Seton-La Salle back on top. Perone scrambles for a 12-yard touchdown. Rebels lead Highlands, 21-14. … Elijah Jackson in from 1 yard out. Highlands ties Seton-La Salle at 21 with 51 seconds left in the third quarter. … Seton-La Salle pulls some trickery, as McKinley-Lewis takes a reverse for a 13-yard score. Rebels lead Highlands, 28-21. … Jeremy Jackson with a huge interception at the 7-yard line. Highlands takes over, trailing by seven with just over three minutes left. But Highlands goes three-and-out. Rams elect to punt with 1:43 left. FINAL SCORE: Seton-La Salle 28, Highlands 21.

Ray Judy at Canon-Mac

Aliquippa vs. Mt. Pleasant
From Ray Judy at Canon-McMillan Stadium: Kaezon Pugh runs for a 56-yard touchdown on Aliquippa’s second play of the game. Aliquippa 8, Mt. Pleasant 0 with 11:35 left in 1st quarter. … Pugh runs 3 yards for a TD and adds the two-point conversion as Aliquippa leads Mt. Pleasant, 16-0, with 6:36 left in 1st quarter. … Pugh rushes for his third TD of the night from 10 yards out to give Aliquippa a 22-0 lead over Mt. Pleasant with 3:26 left in 1st. … HALFTIME: Aliquippa 34, Mt. Pleasant 0. Pugh has rushed for 140 yards and 4 TDs, while Jassir Jordan added a 64-yard INT return for a TD. … Aliquippa forced 4 Mt. Pleasant interceptions in the 1st half. Mt. Pleasant committed 5 turnovers in a 63-14 loss to the Quips in Week 8. … Pugh runs 53 yards for his 5th TD of the night. Running clock in play as Aliquippa takes a 40-0 lead over Mt. Pleasant in 3rd. … FINAL SCORE: Aliquippa 40, Mt. Pleasant 0.

Washington vs. Apollo-Ridge
From Bill Beckner Jr. at Latrobe’s Rossi Field: Duane Brown in from 12 yards to cap an Apollo-Ridge nine-play, 50-yard drive. Vikings lead Washington, 7-0, 8:39 1Q. That was Brown’s 29th TD of the season. … Malik Wells up the middle for 21-yard TD. Jordan Spina runs in two-pointer. (3 plays, 62 yard, 1:10). Washington 8, Apollo-Ridge 7, 7:29 1Q. … Wells breaks one for a 56-yard touchdown, but the two-point try fails. Washington 14, Apollo-Ridge 7, 10:46 2Q. … Jonah Casella in for Apollo-Ridge TD, his 14th of the season. A-R and Washington tied 14-14, 3:30 2Q. … Wells has 137 yards on 12 carries and 2 TDs. … DeQuay Isbell catches 39-yard TD pass from Spina for Washington, which leads, 22-14, 54.3 2Q. … Spina heaves it on fourth down, ball is tipped and Nate Swart catches it for a 38-yard Washington TD as time expires. Wells scores the 2-point run, and Prexies lead A-R 30-14. … Isbell takes reverse and goes 29 yards for Washington TD. Kick good. Prexies lead Apollo-Ridge, 45-14, 7:30 3Q. … Big gainer, Brown to Dillon Shipman, for 37 yards. Casella follows with 2-yard TD. Washington leads AR 45-22, 4:38 3Q. … First play of 4th quarter, just 10 seconds in, 55-yard TD by Kurt Adkins. Kick good. Washington 52, Apollo-Ridge 22, 11:50 left. … Apollo-Ridge not done yet. Brown to Tre Tipton for 69-yard touchdown. Casella 2-point cuts it to Washington 52, Apollo-Ridge 30, 10:58 to go. … FINAL SCORE: Washington 58, Apollo-Ridge 30.

Class A

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic vs. South Side Beaver
From Kevin Lohman at Geneva’s Reeves Field: Nathan Block scores on a 73-yard run, but the PAT kick fails. South Side Beaver 6, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 0, at 4:18 of the first quarter. … CWNC held to 37 yards of offense on three possessions in the first quarter. PJ Fulmore with 6 yards on four carries. SSB defense all over run game, for now. … Fulmore scores on a 5-yard run to give CWNC a 7-6 lead over SSB at 5:44 of the second quarter. … North Catholic with two turnovers and five penalties called against them. Sloppy, defensive game. CWNC looks banged up, Fulmore flexing and working out his leg often. … Fulmore scores on a 7-yard run but is denied on two-point conversion run. CWNC 13, SSB 6. 4:59 left in 3rd. Fulmore with 18 carries for 96 yards and 2 TDs now. … Fulmore scores on an 8-yard run, giving him 19 rushes for 103 yards and 3 TDs. CWNC 20, SSB 6 with 1:52 left in the 3rd. CWNC holds SSB scoreless in final 3 quarters. Fulmore 29 carries for 142 yards and 3 TDs. … FINAL SCORE: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 20, South Side Beaver 6.

Riverside-Avonworth at Moon

Riverside vs. Avonworth
From Wes Crosby at Moon Tigers Stadium: Avonworth 7, Riverside 0, 9:55 in the first. Avonworth ran six times on a seven-play drive capped by a two-yard run by Brandon Wasko. … Wasko scores his second rushing touchdown of the game from one yard out. Avonworth 14-Riverside 0, 2:53. … Joshua Drwal hits Chris O’Malley for a 6-yard touchdown. Avonworth 21, Riverside 0, 5:24. … Riverside had the ball deep in Avonworth territory three times, but turned the ball over on downs once followed by two interceptions from quarterback Jason Dambach. Avonworth 21, Riverside 0. … O’Malley catches his second touchdown, from 4 yards. Avonworth 28-Riverside 0, 5:02 left in third. … Cole Pappas hits a 37-yard field goal. Avonworth 31-Riverside 0, 10:40 left. … Dambach throws an 81-yard strike to Logan Sheridan to get Riverside on the board. FINAL SCORE: Avonworth 31, Riverside 14.

Clairton vs. Shenango
From David Whipkey at Chartiers-Houston’s Buccaneer Stadium: Aaron Mathews scores on a 10-yard jet sweep, followed by Lamont Wade’s two-point conversion to give Clairton an 8-0 lead. … On fourth-and-18, Mathews throws a touchdown to Noah Hamlin for a 14-0 lead. … Mathews takes a bubble screen, throws a 65-yard touchdown to Jamie Hines for a 22-0 lead. … After a 3-yard TD by Harrison Dreher and a 2-yarder by Wade, Clairton leads, 38-0. … Shenango moves 74 yards on nine plays, scoring on a 5-yard pass from Evan Kendall to Hunter Waskin. … But Clairton ends half with a 62-yard scoring pass from Ryan Williams to Wade for a 46-7 lead. … Hines adds a 10-yard score, as does Wade, and Dreher scores on a 40-yard run to give the Bears a 68-7 lead. FINAL SCORE: Clairton 68, Shenango 7.

Neshannock vs. Jeannette
From George Guido at Deer Lakes’ Lancers Stadium: Neshannock 19, Jeannette 14 at 6:26 of the second quarter. Neshannock’s Frank Antuono has scored twice on keepers, while Jeannette QB Julian Batts has a 73-yard TD run. Neshannock has blocked two PAT kicks. … Jeannette’s Terell Canady scores on a 66-yard run, but Antuono throws a TD pass to give Neshannock a 25-22 lead over Jeannette. … Swade Redman ties game 25-25 with 8:53 left in 3 rd quarter. … FINAL SCORE: Neshannock 46, Jeannette 32.

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