Saturday’s Scholastic Starz – 10/09/2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011 | 12:47 PM

There were only five WPIAL football games played on the second Saturday of October, but four of them were key conference contests from Class AAAA, Class AA and Class A. Playing in weather that was better suited for baseball, here are the players that stepped up to the plate and went yard as we ground rule double your pleasure as the curtain falls on Week Six.

Ryan Mincher and J.P.Holtz – Shaler

In a huge battle in the Class AAAA Northern Seven Conference that may eventually help determine who plays at home and who is on the road in round one of the postseason, Shaler was nearly unstoppable before a large homecoming crowd. While Erie McDowell had three runners rush for over 100-yards (Jarrett Koper, Greg Garmon and Khlique Harris), the Titans turned to the dynamic duo of quarterback Ryan Mincher and running back/tight end J.P. Holtz. Mincher was 13 of 16 passing for 178 yards and a touchdown toss while Holtz accounted for 92 yards running, catching and even passing the ball while he scored three touchdowns, including one on a 32-yard pick-six in a 41-28 victory over the visiting Trojans.
John Dugas and Ryan Dupain – Burgettstown

A junior running back and a senior quarterback carried the load for host Burgettstown in a homecoming Saturday afternoon win over Quaker Valley. Running back John Dugas had 32 carries for 200 yards while signal caller Ryan Dupain scored the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run as the Blue Devils improved to 4-2 overall and more importantly 2-2 in the Century Conference with a 14-7 victory over the Quakers that keeps them in a tie with Keystone Oaks for the final playoff spot.

Shawn Owens and Derrick Jackson – Cornell

A pair of seniors helped lead visiting Cornell to a huge road victory Saturday night at Shenango. Quarterback Shawn Owens ran twelve times for only 54 yards and threw for only 73 yards on 4 of 13 passing, but what number mattered most was on the scoreboard as Owens ran for two scores and threw a touchdown pass to B.J. Lipke, while running back Derrick Jackson did not make the scoring sheet, but runs of 33 and 43 yards helped set up scores, as he finished with 129 yards on just six carries, an average of 21 yards per carry in the Raiders 32-7 victory over the Wildcats in the Class A Big 7 Conference, tying them with Rochester and Western Beaver for second place. More importanly, it gives all three of those teams a two game lead over Neshannock, Shenango and Union for the final three playoff spots.

Casey McCaffrey and Bobby Gustine – Bishop Canevin

Casey McCaffrey and Bobby Gustine helped host Bishop Canevin jump out to a big 20-0 lead in the first quarter and cruise to an easy Saturday night victory. McCaffrey scored three first half touchdowns while Gustine caught six passes for 109 yards and scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Mechas as the Crusaders remained undefeated and in first place in the Class A Eastern Conference with a 41-6 rout of the Wilkinsburg Tigers.

Chris Liberto and Sean Dugan – Springdale

Coming off a sour loss last Saturday night in overtime at Bishop Canevin, Springdale made the long trip to Fayette County to take out their frustrations in a Class A non-conference contest. Chris Liberto rushed for 127 yards and scored two touchdowns while Sean Dugan gained 119 yards and scored four touchdowns, including a 23-yard interception return for a score as the Dynamos exploded on the Geibel Gators 61-13.

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