Scholastic Notebook – 10/09/2015

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Friday, October 9, 2015 | 2:54 PM


Many Class A football players are often smaller in size than those in Class AAA or AAAA. But Avonworth’s Zach Chandler and Neshannock’s Frank Antuono are Class A quarterbacks who would be large for any team, regardless of class. And Chandler and Antuono are doing some big, big things this season. Chandler is 6 feet 4, 235 pounds, while Antuono is 6-2, 220 and bench presses 400 pounds. Now consider what these “big guys” are doing: *Chandler, a senior, leads the WPIAL in passing yardage with 1,702 after five games. He has completed 83 of 134. This after missing most of the past two seasons with injuries. He has helped Avonworth to a 4-1 record. Chandler has a chance at breaking the WPIAL regular season passing record for yardage set by Seton-LaSalle’s Bruce Gradkowski. *Antuono, meanwhile, is different than Chandler, who is a dropback type QB and runs a spread offense. Chandler rarely runs the ball. Antuono, a junior, is a standout dual-threat quarterback who has accounted for more than 1,400 yards in five games. Antuono has completed 66 of 100 for 1,119 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has rushed for 316 yards on 54 attempts. Antuono has helped Neshannock to a 4-1 record. Look for both Chandler and Antuono to keep coming through in big ways the rest of the season. Beaver Falls’ Two QB System Can a two-quarterback system work? So far this season at Beaver Falls, the answer is yes. Beaver Falls is 5-0 and averaging 41 points a game with two sophomore quarterbacks running the team. But while Adam Brady and Malik Shepherd are in the same grade, they are drastically different in size and styles. Brady is more of the dropback thrower. He is 6-5, 185 and has completed 16 of 36 for 364 yards and six touchdowns. Malik Shepherd is 6 feet, 170 and more of a dual-threat QB. Shepherd has completed 12 of 21 for 264 yards and five TDs while also rushing 26 times for 450 yards. Where is the Offense? When Tom Nola was the coach at Clairton, he had some great teams that scored points by the dozens. His last state championship team at Clairton was 2012 and that team went 16-0 and averaged 46 points a game. But Nola is in his second season as Gateway’s coach, and things are a lot different offensively. Gateway is averaging 24 points a game, but that might be the most deceiving average in the WPIAL. Gateway scored 49 points against City League member Perry. Take that game away and Gateway has scored four offensive touchdowns in four other games. In those other four games, Gateway has scored on three interceptions returns and a punt return. Gateway is 3-2 and has a big game Friday night against Mars. About Twins – and Identical Stats Dylan and Brandon Hochbein are twins at Freeport High School who play the same sports and even finished 1-2 in a hurdles event at the WPIAL track championships this past spring. Dylan won the 300 hurdles and Brandon was second, only .05 second behind. Now get this for identical: The Hochbeins are receivers for Freeport and they have exactly the same amount of catches and nearly the same amount of receiving yards after five games. Dylan Hochbein has 15 catches for 318 yards while Brandon has 15 for 307. Zero Tolerance The girls soccer teams at Norwin and Canon-McMillan might as well put yellow tape around their goals. That’s because they treat them like no one is allowed. Norwin and Canon-McMillan are the only undefeated and untied girls teams in the WPIAL and their defense and goalkeeping border on ridiculous. In 14 games, Norwin has allowed just three goals. Kiski Area, Hempfield and Mars all scored once. In 13 games, Canon-McMillan has given up just four goals. Moon scored two while Chartiers Valley and Peters Township scored one. Do You Remember? Greensburg Central Catholoic’s Olivia Zambruno won the WPIAL Class AA girls golf championship earlier this week at Rolling Hills Country Club. Her win brought back memories of one of the most successful golfers in WPIAL history. Zambruno was the first GCC golfer to win a WPIAL title since Staci Aber won three in 1988, ’90 and ’91. Aber also won a state title in 1991. Bubba’s Daughter Golfs Bubba has a daughter who is a pretty fair golfer and will golf at a Division I college in Texas. No, we’re not talking about PGA star Bubba Watson here. We’re talking about Mike “Bubba” Kirkwood, the highly successful baseball coach at Neshannock High School. Kirkwood’s daughter, Marissa, finished second to Zambruno at the WPIAL championship. Marissa Kirkwood has made a verbal commitment to SMU in Texas. Dad said SMU saw Marissa play at a tournament in Las Vegas and liked her enough to recruit her and offer her a partial scholarship. Peters Township’s Golf Dominance Dave Kuhn has built a WPIAL boys golf power. Kuhn’s teams have won three WPIAL titles in the past seven years. And Peters Township’s dominance was quite evident at the WPIAL individual championships Thursday. You’ll have a hard time finding a year when one school had three of the top four finishers. But that’s what Peters Township had, and the Indians also had another player finish 10th. All four shot in the 70s. Peters Township’s Hunter Bruce won the title with a 73. Teammate Alex Stopperich was second with a 74 and teammate Tanner Johnson tied for third at 75. Conner Schmidt finished tied for 10th at 78. All four golfers qualified for the PIAA western regional Oct. 19 at Tom’s Run.

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