Burgettstown rolls over South Side

Friday, September 20, 2019 | 10:07 PM

One of the keys for fifth-year Burgettstown head coach Mark Druga in his team’s section game against the neighboring South Side Rams was to win the battle in the trenches.

Another was to get an early lead.

The Blue Devils succeeded on both fronts, scoring on their first five offensive drives and only allowing one touchdown in a 42-9 win Friday night at Hill Memorial Stadium.

“I’m very pleased. Our men up front controlled the line and we knew they had to make penetrations happen on both sides,” Druga said. “We set the tone. We busted them in the mouth and then went right down the field.”

The starters for the Blue Devils (4-0, 3-0) were on the bench by the middle of the third quarter, as the mercy rule ended up coming into play.

It took seven plays for Burgettstown to go 76 yards for the opening score on its first drive. Seth Phillis ran it in on an end around from 10 yards out before tacking on the extra point to make it 7-0.

After another stop, it took the No. 2 team in Class 2A rankings just three plays to score, with the drive capped by a 43-yard run by Alex Mitko.

The Blue Devils ended up scoring twice more before South Side (2-3, 2-1) got anything going, as Jake Lounder accounted for the next two scores. Lounder had an 18-yard rushing touchdown followed by a 25-yard touchdown strike to Dylan Poirier on his only pass attempt of the night.

“My coaches on the headset were all telling me, ‘Holes are open. Things are open,’” Druga said. “We were getting passing yards on rushing plays, so I wasn’t going to throw it. Jake was awesome, but everyone else too. They thought they could key on one guy, but we showed we have more.”

Down 28-0, South Side put together its only touchdown drive of the game. It took eight plays to go 80 yards in 3 minutes, 52 seconds to make it 28-7. Aden Almashy threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Trenton Seik.

A lot of the issues for South Side, according to fourth-year coach Luke Travelpiece, stemmed from one team doing its job and the other not trusting its teammates to do theirs.

“The youth shows. Our team from last year was like this two years ago,” Travelpiece said. “That’s a very good team on the other side. We’d seen it all on tape, but they put us in a position where we thought we had to start making plays and be a hero, and that’s the result.”

Cyle Conley added a 2-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter before Seth Phillis’ 75-yard touchdown on the second-half opening kick put the game into the mercy rule. Phillis ran twice for 58 yards and a touchdown, made five extra points and had two touchbacks.

“I hope college coaches are paying attention to this, and I’m not talking small level,” Druga said. “You want an athlete as a kicker or punter and more, he’s your guy.”

A snap over Phillis’ head as the punter and through the end zone late in the third resulted in a safety and was the final scoring play.

Lounder ran for 114 yards and a score on 10 rushes.

South Side now gets ready for a matchup with Brentwood next week at home.

“We talked about staying together, staying united,” Travelpiece said. “We need to trust our assignment.”

Burgettstown’s next opponent is Serra Catholic next Saturday for homecoming.

“You want to talk about the town shutting down on Friday, it shuts down on Thursday for homecoming,” Druga said. “Serra does a real nice job of running the ball and has some real good edge players. On homecoming for our guys, it’s Super Bowl time, and we’re pleased with where we’re at, but there’s always something you can tweak to get better.”

Check out an archived broadcast of this game on the TribLive High School Sports Network.

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