Tested by Brashear, Westinghouse responds with dominant City League semifinal showing

Saturday, November 7, 2020 | 9:14 PM

After giving up its first touchdown from scrimmage of the season early in the second quarter, Westinghouse had a powerful response.

Darius Bruce returned the ensuing kickoff for a score and the Bulldogs defense allowed only one more first down — which came on a penalty — to record a 30-6 victory Saturday in a City League semifinal at Cupples Stadium.

Westinghouse coach Donta Green liked his team’s reaction.

“It was a good thing. I wanted to see how our team would respond,” Green said. “We haven’t been down all year. With all the expectations, I’m so proud of the guys.”

The only other touchdown scored against Westinghouse this year was a special teams return by Carrick.

Keyshawn Morsillo passed for 173 yards and three touchdowns to propel the Bulldogs.

Westinghouse (6-0) will seek its record 37th City title and its first back-to-back championship in 27 seasons against Allderdice next weekend at a date and time to be determined.

Brashear fell to 1-4 and will complete its season with a consolation game next weekend against University Prep.

The lone touchdown was impressive. The Bulls drove 61 yards in 16 plays and used 8 minutes and 51 seconds to complete the possession.

Brashear converted two fourth downs. A 14-yard keeper by quarterback Zaire Nelson was the biggest gain during the drive.

Kevin Smith finally scored on a 3-yard run at the 9:36 mark to give the Bulls a 6-0 lead that was short-lived.

“We’ve got a good football team,” Brashear coach Don Schmidt said. “We just shoot ourselves in the foot. It’s been a real difficult year. I’m not blaming everything on the pandemic. It’s been a difficult year to keep everything in check with the practices and all. We have talent, no doubt, but you can’t keep making mental mistakes”

After his sideline sprint with the kickoff, Bruce scored the conversion run to give Westinghouse the lead for good.

Said Bruce: “They scored and I knew they wanted to keep the kick away from me, so I told Kairon (Collins) to switch with me because I’m taking it to the crib.”

Bruce fielded a Brashear punt in Bulls territory and Jairon King hauled in a Morsillo pass on the seventh play of the drive from 9 yards out. That gave Westinghouse a 14-6 advantage at the half.

On their first possession of the second half, Marsillo found Kairon Collins on a 29-yard pass play to put Westinghouse in front, 22-6, as darkness fell on Pittsburgh’s South Side.

It wasn’t as if Brashear wasn’t getting favorable field position The Bulls started four possessions inside Bulldogs territory in the second half but couldn’t move the ball.

“Our defense has been doing an excellent job this year,” Green said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys, and I think they’re finally understanding the concept and how to play football.”

Westinghouse took over on downs at its 26, and Timothy Jones caught a pass across the middle at the Bulls 40 and raced in for the final Bulldogs touchdown of the day with 9:13 left in the contest.

“We were flat,” Bruce said. “We came into the game like we already won, which was bad. We got scored on and that humbled us real quick.”

“They’re going to be pretty good over the next couple of years,” Schmidt said of the Bulldogs. “They’re going to be pretty dominant in the City League, and we’ll just have to get back to work for our final game and get back to the drawing board in the offseason.”

Brashear bright spots included interceptions by Emanuel Myers and D.J. Vestey, along with a fumble recovery by Jabari Watkins on the third play of the game.

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