Freshman Brad Birch throws 6 TD passes as Jeannette rolls past Leechburg

Friday, October 2, 2020 | 10:16 PM

Jeannette possessed the ball eight times in the first half of its Eastern Conference matchup with Leechburg at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Jayhawks scored on seven of those possessions, led by 39 at halftime and rolled to a 60-14 victory.

Jeannette, No. 3 in the Triblive HSSN Class A rankings, has outscored its last three conference opponents — Riverview, Imani Christian and Leechburg — by a combined 160-20 after a six-point loss to Clairton in Week 1.

The Jayhawks turn their attention to undefeated Springdale next Friday.

“I am happy with the win, but we have to clean some things up,” Jeannette coach Roy Hall said.

“The guys know, playing Springdale down there on their home field will be tough. They will be pumped up and ready for us. We’re going to have to have our best game yet.”

Leechburg ran a challenging gauntlet over the past three weeks after a season-opening win over Greensburg Central Catholic. Springdale, Clairton and Jeannette are a combined 10-1.

“Our kids battled their butts off,” Leechburg coach Randy Walters said. “They made them work and fight for every point they got. That’s all you can ask for. It is hard to contain that many weapons. They have some amazing athletes over there. We knew that.”

The Jayhawks overcame some early penalty issues and took a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Freshman Brad Birch connected with Kaelan Piscar and Toby Cline on touchdown passes of 35 and 4 yards, respectively.

Birch added touchdown throws of 25 and 35 yards to brother Brett Birch and another to Cline for 24 yards in the second quarter.

Brad Birch had 198 passing yards at halftime and finished with 245 yards and six touchdowns, giving him 14 on the season.

Roberto Smith Jr. and Jaydin Canady had second-quarter TD runs of 41 and 15 yards, respectively.

Leechburg got in the board late in the first half as quarterback Dylan Cook found a wide open Eli Rich for a 60-yard touchdown.

Jeannette went into the break with 352 total yards and a 46-7 advantage.

“It was just a pretty good offensive and defensive win for us,” Brad Birch said. “We just want to keep doing the things we’ve been doing and get ready for Springdale.”

The second half began with a running mercy-rule clock. The Jayhawks added a 47-yard TD from Birch to Cline and a 27-yard fumble return from Piscar.

Cook and Rich connected on a 58-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Cook finished 17 of 32 for 201 yards, and Rich caught six passes for 154 yards.

“We’re through the two monsters, and we get to go play some people who I think we match up with better, and I’m excited,” Walters said. “If we continue to work hard and play hard, we’ll be OK the next couple of weeks.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

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