Top-seeded Westinghouse beats Allderdice to defend City League football championship

Saturday, November 14, 2020 | 6:33 PM

Westinghouse is once again the City League football champion, but not without being put to a test unlike any other this season.

The Bulldogs gave up the first two touchdowns of the game after allowing just two in their first six contests, but they charged back with 30 unanswered points on the way to a 36-20 win over Allderdice in the final at Cupples Stadium on Saturday.

It is the second consecutive City League title for Westinghouse (7-0), which has the smallest enrollment of Pittsburgh’s football-playing schools and managed to repeat after losing 18 seniors from a season ago.

“There’s two things you can say about kids from the East End — the Homewood, Lincoln, Larimer, Wilkinsburg area. One is they’re physical, and two is they’re resilient,” Westinghouse coach Donta Green said. “That what we’ve seen tonight, and that’s what we’ve seen all year.”

Allderdice (4-2) got off to the perfect start, and it did so without needing to crack the Bulldogs’ vaunted defense.

Jaerone Parker intercepted a pass by Keyshawn Morsillo on the Bulldogs’ first drive and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown. On their next possession, the Dragons got a 24-yard touchdown pass from Shakur Pack-Adams to Marcel Holyfield, and Allderdice had a quick 12-0 lead over a team that beat them 8-0 in their regular-season meeting.

Morsillo, the sophomore quarterback, came back firing on the next possession, and he hit Jairon King for an 85-yard touchdown that sparked Westinghouse into action. Morsillo finished 8 for 15 for 169 yards, and, despite three interceptions, he helped kick-start a Bulldogs’ offense that had negative rushing yardage in the first half.

“(Morsillo) has all the potential in the world, and there’s not a ball that he can’t throw,” Green said. “I just wanted to see him mature, and I’ve seen that this year. Even with the short season, he’s a completely different quarterback, a completely different kid, than he was the first week. I’m excited to have an entire offseason with him and for what he’s going to do in the future.”

The Bulldogs defense then got opportunistic, as Khalil Taylor grabbed the first of two fumble recoveries late in the second quarter. Westinghouse scored six plays later on a fourth-down scramble by Morsillo from 3 yards out, which gave the Bulldogs a 16-12 halftime lead.

Bulldogs running back Malik Harris, who had minus-5 yards in the first half, became the second-half workhorse, finishing with 64 yards on 27 carries. His 3-yard touchdown after another Allderdice fumble extended the lead to 24-12, and a 5-yard run by Kairon Collins nearly put the game out of reach at 30-12.

The Dragons pulled a touchdown back on a 15-yard pass from Parker to Saveionne Randolph with 3:18 remaining, but Westinghouse killed off the clock with its next possession. Their drive ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Darius Bruce to Timothy Jones with nine seconds left, and the Dragons took some exception to the play call.

“The score’s not indicative of (the game), but that pass at the end with no timeouts and all that, they’ll get theirs one of these days. I’m (angry),” Allderdice coach Jerry Haslett said. “I sound bitter today, but (Westinghouse) is a good football team, and they deserved to win the football game.”

Pack-Adams finished the game 9-for-24 passing for 115 yards before leaving the game injured for the Dragons.

The title game brings the season to an end for both teams, as City League schools are not participating in this year’s PIAA tournament. For the young Bulldogs and their coach, they see no reason why they won’t be able to get their shot at states in the years to come.

“It sucks, because we know that’s the next level for our program. We don’t want to look past the City League, but our ultimate goal is to be state champions,” Green said. “It sucked this year, but it’s not the worst thing because we have such a young team, and we’ll get an opportunity again with a full offseason to work out. It’s a gift and a curse.”

Matt Grubba is a contributing writer.

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