Peters Township looks to build on 1st conference title since ’75
Friday, August 16, 2019 | 3:49 PM
Last season was a banner year for Peters Township football.
The Indians tied West Allegheny for the Class 5A Allegheny 8 Conference championship, the first conference title for the program since 1975.
Peters Township then rode that regular-season success into the postseason with playoff wins over Armstrong (35-7) and Penn-Trafford (38-35) before falling to eventual champion Penn Hills, 22-14, in the semifinals.
“It was a great year for our program and school district,” fourth-year coach T.J. Plack said. “It was a couple years of hard work and dedication coming to fruition. We look to build on this past season moving forward.”
Moving forward begins now for a Peters Township team that has some holes to fill on offense, but has plenty of pop back on a defense that was tops in the conference a year ago.
The Indians return only five starters on offense, but eight are back on defense.
The biggest challenge for Plack and his staff is replacing the entire offensive line from the 2018 season, but it is a task that the coach has turned into a positive.
“I am looking forward to see who embraces the challenge of replacing our entire offensive line. We have a number of players with an opportunity and have stressed that the toughest five to six guys will win those positions.
“It should be the highlight of camp.”
While there will be a lot of fresh faces up front for Peters Township, some familiar faces return at the skilled positions.
Junior Logan Pfeuffer is back at quarterback after completing 129 of 210 passes for 2,045 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Joining him in the offensive backfield again is senior Ryan Magiske, the team’s leading rusher a year ago with 1,085 yards on the ground and a team high 21 touchdowns.
The Indians second-leading rusher from the 2018 season also returns in senior Adrian Williams, who will make the transition to wide receiver. Last year, Williams rushed for 404 yards and caught seven passes for an average of 12.6 yards per reception.
Williams will join senior Josh Casilli as prime targets in the Peters Township passing attack. Casilli caught 47 passes for 877 yards a year ago and was second on the team with 14 touchdowns.
“We have a different team and we are no longer seen as an underdog, so we have to prove ourselves,” Casilli said. “There is no way to tell how we are going to be until we put the pads on.”
Senior cornerback Aidan McCall is also back and will be a key factor in the return game.
Senior defensive end Zach Magnotti also returns and should break the Indians career sack record this season.
Junior tight end and linebacker Corban Hondru, who Plack calls the “leader of the defense,” will be a third-year starter.
Junior running back and linebacker Michael Peyton started on defense last year and is primed for a breakout season, according to Plack.
Junior defensive back and wide receiver Donovan McMillon became a starter on defense midway through last season and is expected to contribute a lot on offense.
“Every year is different with new strengths and new areas to improve,” Plack said. “We will continue to stay positive and have fun. We need to continue to develop our young players and have them make an impact on special teams.”
Peters Township looks to make an impact again in both the Allegheny 8 Conference and Class 5A overall. Despite returning a lot of key players, Plack knows success won’t come easy for his Indians.
“Both (the conference and class) are a battle every Friday night. There are a lot of storied programs in 5A along with recent upstart programs that could continue to improve.”
Coach: T.J. Plack
2018 record: 10-3, 6-1
All-time record: 235-324-16
Date, Opponent, Time
8.23, Fox Chapel, 7
8.30, Upper St. Clair*, 7
9.6, at Woodland Hills*, 7
9.13, West Allegheny*, 7
9.20, North Hills, 7
9.27, at Canon-McMillan, 7
10.4, at Moon*, 7
10.11, Chartiers Valley, 7
10.18, at Bethel Park*, 7:30
10.25, at Baldwin*, 7
*Class 5A Allegheny 8 Conference game
Passing: Logan Pfeuffer
129-210, 2,045 yards, 24 TDs
Rushing: Ryan Magiske
164-1,085 yards, 21 TDs
Receiving: Josh Casilli
47-877 yards, 14 TDs
*indicates seniors who graduated
Tags: Peters Township