Trib HSSN Football Player of the Week for 2021 Week 3

Sunday, September 19, 2021 | 9:56 PM

His name might not be Michael, but on Friday of Week 3 at Mapletown High School, Carmichaels senior Trenton Carter was truly a Mighty Mike.

In a Tri-County South Conference opener between a pair of 2-1 teams, Carter gashed the Maples with both his arm and his legs.

“I feel like he could be the best quarterback in the WPIAL,” Carmichaels coach Ron Gallagher said. “He can throw any pass, he’s smart and his arm strength is unreal.”

Against Mapletown, Carter connected on 11 of 22 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown pass of 31 yards to senior Michael Stewart.

“He can anticipate where the ball is going before the snap,” Gallagher said. “He’s very good at reading defenses.”

While he averaged nearly 15 yards per completion, it was a short pass on a third down conversion that Gallagher feels may have been his best of the night.

“It was third and 3, and there was a guy right on him, but he zipped it in there for a 5-yard completion and a first down. I was like, wow, what a play.”

Carter also carried the ball 18 times, all by design, and ended up with 216 yards rushing and scoring four touchdowns on runs of 1, 46, 7 and 28 yards.

“That was the game plan going in,” Gallagher said. “We are banged up at the running back position and he runs really hard. He’s another weapon for us.”

At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Carter has some size and Gallagher said he is tough as nails.

“He runs really hard; in fact we always talk to him because he’d rather run defenders over instead of getting out of bounds. He plays with a chip on his shoulder because he wants to be the best.”

Gallagher said some colleges are finally starting to take a look at him.

“He has crazy arm strength and he’s smart,” he said. “He has a 4.0 grade point (average).”

While he is the total package on offense, he’s pretty good on the other side of the ball as well, manning one of the Carmichaels linebacker spots.

“I recently found out he said he would rather play defense and hit somebody then play on offense,” Gallagher said.

Thanks to his big game in Week 3, Carter and the Mighty Mikes are 1-0 in the Tri-County South Conference and 3-1 overall. Gallagher though says he and the team are only focused on Week 4.

“We don’t look ahead and don’t care a lot about other teams,” he said. “We have Bentworth coming out, and that will be our total focus this week.”

WPIAL Week 3 Honorable Mentions:

Brad Birch — Gateway

Just call them the road warriors. This group of Gators are proving to be a dangerous bunch away from the swamp.

Gateway improved to 3-0 on the road with a 5A nonconference victory at Bethel Park thanks to the play of quarterback Brad Birch.

The sophomore hit on 21 of 30 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns, all to senior Patrick Body on scoring hook-ups of 35, 12 and 13 yards as the Gators rolled past the Black Hawks, 49-13, in a rematch of the 2008 WPIAL AAAA finals.

Conner Murga — Thomas Jefferson

The true definition of a trap game is one where a team plays a game against an underdog opponent after a big win or two and right before another big game.

After big wins over 5A opponents Gateway and South Fayette and prior to a big showdown in Week 4 at undefeated Belle Vernon, defending 4A champion Thomas Jefferson avoided the Trinity trap thanks to the running of Conner Murga.

The senior running back rushed for 209 yards on 12 carries and touchdown runs of 59, 43 and 5 yards as the Jaguars rolled to a 49-7 triumph over the visiting Hillers.

Nijhay Burt — Steel Valley

Five years ago, Steel Valley put together one of the most dominant seasons in WPIAL football history, mercy ruling all of their opponents on their way to district and state gold and a perfect 15-0 record.

These may not be your older brother’s Ironmen, but Ray Braszo has this version of maroon and gold off to a strong start, including a second straight win over a likely 3A playoff team.

Steel Valley rolled into Dormont Stadium and jumped on the back of senior Nijhay Burt, who rushed for 285 yards and scored all five Ironmen touchdowns on runs of 6, 2, 65, 6 and 70 yards as SV improved to 3-0 with a 32-13 victory over Keystone Oaks, one week after a 34-point win over East Allegheny.

2021 HSSN Players of the Week:

Week 3 – Abraham Ibrahim, Chartiers Valley

Week 2 – Graham Hancox, Seneca Valley

Week 1 – Carson Davidson, Blackhawk


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