2-time defending champion Westinghouse, Allderdice again to play for City League championship

Thursday, October 28, 2021 | 1:07 PM

Nobody is ready yet to compare the current Westinghouse High School football program to the one that won 12 of 13 City League titles from 1954-66, and that suits Bulldogs coach Donta Green just fine.

“I try to tell our guys to live in the moment,” Green said. “The past is the past, worry about the now, be in the moment.”

The now is pretty good for Westinghouse, however, as the Bulldogs are seeking their third straight City title Saturday when they face Allderdice (3-5, 2-2) at Cupples Stadium at 2 p.m.

Westinghouse (8-0, 4-0) has not lost a City game since it fell to Allderdice in the 2018 championship game. Last season, Westinghouse won its record 37th City crown with a 36-20 victory over Allderdice.

This will be Allderdice’s fourth appearance in the City championship game in the last five seasons and the seventh in nine years. The Dragons recorded titles in 2017 and ’18.

In the regular season Sept. 18, the Dragons took a 12-0 lead before the Bulldogs stormed back to post a 41-12 victory.

Westinghouse owns a victory over Class 6A Butler, 44-34.

The Bulldogs are led by senior running back Malik Harris who has over 1,150 rushing yards on the season.

“His preparation is second to none and he has stuff you can’t teach,” Green said of Harris.

Quarterback Keyshawn Marsillo has over 1,000 passing yards and 10 touchdowns.

Green is also pleased with the play of junior cornerback Dashaun Blackwell, who has five interceptions, along with juniors Roderick Jeter and linebacker Khalil Taylor. All contributed to the 17-0, semifinal win over University Prep last week.

For Allderdice, it was a stark contrast to keep its season going. The Dragons lost to Brashear two weeks ago, 38-22. But last week in the City semifinals, coach Jerry Haslett started sophomore Azerick Jetter at quarterback before bringing on junior Jaerone Parker to operate out of the wildcat formation.

The strategy worked as Parker (5-foot-10, 172 pounds) ran for 78 yards and scored on runs of 13 and 9 yards as Allderdice kept its season going with a 22-8 win.

Haslett plans to keep the strategy.

“We’ll start Azzie again,” the 13th year coach said. “We wanted Parker in there for a least a while (last week) and did what we needed to do to pull out the victory.”

Jetter is a 6-3, 185-pound sophomore.

The Dragons also caused three Brashear turnovers to set up short scoring drives.

Haslett feels a tough nonleague schedule has helped his team.

“We had some tough games at the beginning against North Allegheny and Steubenville and we went to Altoona and became more sure of ourselves,” Haslett said of a narrow, 28-20 loss.

Both teams will qualify for the PIAA playoffs and will be scheduled for play-in games. Last season, the Pittsburgh Public Schools opted out of the state tournament.

Westinghouse, a Class 2A school, will likely play District 5’s Chestnut Ridge in two weeks at Cupples Stadium, then play another school on the western side of the bracket.

For Allderdice, a Class 6A school, the future is murkier.

“We would have a three-week break in between games until we start our regional playoff,” Haslett said. “We can’t play any other games and our practice field is muddy. If we have to go into the gym, the basketball teams want to practice there.”

The Dragons would be scheduled to play the District 10 champion.

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