Friday Night HighLights – 10/15/2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011 | 10:15 AM

If you listen to network programming or check out the written word on this here website, you know that the final three weeks of the football regular season is unique. It is so special in these parts, we have coined the phrase; The Stretch Run to describe Weeks 7, 8 and 9. As we kicked off the 2011 edition of the Stretch Run on Friday, below are the players who would bend and stretch and reach for the stars. They didn’t come up with Jupiter or Mars, but they did come away with huge games to put their teams in the ‘W’ column. 

Luke Hagy – Mount Lebanon

He may not be calling press conference to announce his college plans, but make no mistake that Luke Hagy continues to put together a resume that will leave him as one of the best running backs in WPIAL history. Hagy shattered the 4,000 yard mark for his career by gaining 255 yards and scoring both touchdowns as the Blue Devils wore out the host Bethel Park Black Hawks 14-3 to continue to share the top spot in the Class AAAA Great Southern Conference with Upper St. Clair.

Mack Leftwich – North Allegheny

It is nowhere near as long as what Clairton is doing currently with a 38-game winning streak, but the second longest win streak in the district belongs quietly to North Allegheny, which has now won 14 straight after beating Pine-Richland Friday. Quarterback Mack Leftwich had another big game through the air as he connected on 10 of his 13 passes for 226 yards and four touchdowns, all in the first half of the Tigers 35-7 rout of the Rams.

Dillon Buechel – Montour

With their backs to the wall after losing for a second time in the incredibly tough Class AAA Parkway Conference, Montour came out at home throwing haymakers…and touchdown passes. Quarterback Dillon Buechel hit on 13 of 15 passes for 249 yards and tossed three scoring strikes from 26, 13 and 70…all to Darren Massey as the Spartans stayed alive in the roller coaster conference by blasting the Blackhawk Cougars 42-9.

Andrew Rumburg-Goodlin – Knoch

The stage was set for a bit of a letdown for undefeated Knoch. They were coming off a HUGE win in Week 6 at Indiana and had two Class AAA Greater Allegheny Conference showdowns with Highlands and Mars ahead of them. But the king of the WPIAL hyphenated-names made sure it was full steam ahead as Andrew Rumburg-Goodlin rushed for 231-yards and scored five touchdowns as the Knights remained alone in first place after a 70-14 pounding of the Kittanning Wildcats.

Anthony Colaianni – Moon

While spotlights were shining bright for Class AAA Parkway Conference contests at Central Valley, at Montour and at New Castle, there was another contest played between the two bottom teams in search of their first conference victory. Anthony Colaianni rushed for 246 yards and scored three touchdowns, including an 88-yard scamper to the end zone as the Moon Tigers outlasted the Ambridge Bridgers 35-32 in a typical Parkway Conference thriller.

Nick Zupper – Waynesburg

He may not have to worry about saving the planet or trying to avoid kryptonite, but there is little question Zupper-man helped keep the slim playoff hopes alive for Waynesburg. Nick Zupper rushed for nearly 4-bills…383 yards to be exact while scoring four touchdowns, three of which were 57-yards or longer as the Raiders eliminated the Yough Cougars 42-23 to keep their postseason hopes alive in the Class AA Interstate Conference.

Dontez Williams – Steel Valley

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve heard from Mr. Dontez Williams, but with his Steel Valley teammates facing elimination Friday night, he was back to racking up big yards and lots of points. Williams gained 248 yards on the ground and scored five touchdowns as the Ironmen mauled the Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles 53-7 to forge into a three way tie for fourth place in the Class AA Century Conference and snap a two game conference losing streak.

Dravon Henry –Aliquippa

Locked up in their toughest battle of the season Friday night, Aliquippa turned to a tenth-grader to help keep their perfect season and stranglehold on first place in the Class AA Midwestern Conference. Sophomore running back Dravon Henry rushed for 195 yards and three touchdowns against one of the top defense in the district, with two of the scores coming in the second half of what would be a 21-12 come-from-behind victory for the Quips against the visiting and previously unbeaten Beaver Bobcats.

Jon Girvin – Northgate

On a night made for running the ball with windy conditions and lingering rain, Northgate turned to the new ‘Ice Man’ to lead them to a key victory in the Class A Eastern Conference. Quarterback Jon Girvin completed 17 of his 30 passes for 323 yards and five touchdown tosses of 70, 35, 20, 10 and 22 yards as the scorching Flames remained alive for a postseason berth with a wild 53-22 victory over the fading Riverview Raiders.

Brian Vales –Avonworth

Usually, non-conference games during the Stretch Run are met by yawns and quick mentions by the media and fans alike, however two playoff-bound elite teams in Class A knew that eventual bracket positioning could be at stake as Beth-Center hosted Avonworth. Quarterback Brian Vales is now a certified graduate of Bracketology after delivering on 14 passes for 190 yards and two second half touchdown passes that sent the game into overtime, where it was won when Vales scored on a 10-yard run and the extra point was added by Cory Croft as the Antelopes improved to 6-1 by handing the Bulldogs their first loss in an exciting 20-19 overtime matchup.

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