MSA Sports Friday Night HighLights – 09/03/2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011 | 7:04 PM

Following a rather comfortable August, things heated up on the second day of September, just in time to greet the first night of the 2011 season like a blitzing linebacker unblocked meets a blind-sided quarterback. Here are the top performers from opening night as they not only beat the heat, but beat down their opponents with a top-notch effort in the campaigns lid-lifter.

Luke Hagy – Mount Lebanon
It doesn’t matter how much an opposing defense game plans to slow you down, the great players find a way to prevail. Luke Hagy is a great player. With the Pine-Richland defense geared toward slowing down the senior running back, Hagy exploded for 247 yards on 21 carries while scoring five touchdowns in the Blue Devils 34-7 triumph over the Pine-Richland Rams. With his big start to 2011, Hagy set the Mount Lebanon school career rushing record with 3,135 yards and also the career touchdowns mark with 50.

Zach Emerick and Manny Simpson – Penn-Trafford
You could say it was s a perfect night for Penn-Trafford as they started the 2011 season with a devastating one-two punch that KO’s the visitors from Peters Township. Quarterback Zach Emerick was a perfect 10 of 10 passing for 204 yards and two touchdown tosses while running back Manny Simpson rushed for 201 yards and scored three times in the Warriors 42-12 dismantling of the Indians.

Donte Patterson – McKeesport
While most of the headliners from Week One made the area newspapers, the game Donte Patterson enjoyed Friday night made international headlines. Patterson rushed for 203 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Tigers opened up at home with a roar in a 54-9 thrashing of St. Joan of Arc High School out of Mississauga, Canada.

Louis Bettwy – Altoona
It took more than a year, but Altoona can finally celebrate a WPIAL football victory…ironically enough, against another District 7 team that used to be bitter rivals in District 6. Quarterback Louis Bettwy was a near perfect 7 of 8 passing for 216 yards and two touchdowns as the Mountain Lions rolled past the Hollidaysburg Golden Tigers to the tune of 55-13 

Dorian Brown – Baldwin
What can Brown do for you? For a Baldwin program that has not had a lot to celebrate in recent history, Brown can help put you in the rare air of over .500 (even if it is only one game into the season). There is excitement in the air at Baldwin this year thanks to Brown, who rushed for 187 yards and three touchdowns, plus added a fourth score on a 96-yard kickoff return as the Highlanders pounded the Fox Chapel Foxes 35-10.

Dillon Buechel and Julian Durden – Montour
The bitter taste of an undefeated season lost in the final at Heinz Field still haunts the many starters back for Montour in 2011. Thanks to Dillon Buechel and Julian Durden, the Spartans served notice that there is no need to feel bad for them when you can feel bad for their opponents. Buechel was 9 of 12 passing for 190 yards and three touchdowns while Durden rushed for 231 yards and four scores as Montour crushed the Chartiers Valley Colts 49-14.

Dane Brown – Franklin Regional
Dane Brown came to town and now all the Plum fans are wearing a big frown. Franklin Regional’s leading rusher may not be a poet, but he penned one heck of a start to the new season when he rushed for 235 yards on only 15 carries and scored four touchdowns as the Panthers punished the Mustangs in the night’s most lopsided game by a score of 55-0.

Dontez Williams – Steel Valley
In 2010, Steel Valley’s Delrece Williams led the WPIAL in rushing last year with 2,388 yards and 34 touchdowns. He is gone, but not forgotten…yet. Penciled in as a wide receiver in the preseason, little brother Dontez Williams had a huge coming out party with 224 yards rushing on only 11 carries (20 plus yards a tote) and scored five touchdowns as the Ironmen punished the Albert Gallatin Colonials 57-13.

Dakota Datz and Connor McKlveen – Southmoreland
A year ago, Southmoreland came within one game of making the WPIAL football playoffs for the first time since 1979. This season they are off and rolling in the Class AA Interstate Conference thanks to the hookup of quarterback Dakota Datz and receiver Connor McKlveen. Datz was 11 of 18 passing for 265 yards and four touchdowns plus a scoring scamper while McKlveen caught 6 passes for 150 yards and one touchdown as the Scotties rolled to a 48-28 victory over the Brownsville Falcons. 
Deshan Brown – Beth-Center
Completing the opening night Brown-Out (see Dorrian and Dane above), Deshan Brown used his hands on both offense and defense to help Beth-Center to a Class A Tri-County South Conference win. Brown caught touchdown passed from Sal Faieta of 33 and 32-yards and had three interceptions on defense as the Bulldogs outlasted the Frazier Commodores 33-21.

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