Trib HSSN football player of the week for 2023 Week 9

Sunday, October 29, 2023 | 9:14 PM

Following in big brother’s successful footsteps is never easy for a younger brother.

Following in the footsteps of a big brother who rushed for 2,709 yards and scored 31 touchdowns the previous two years could be daunting.

Anthony Boyd was not fazed taking over as the bell cow for the McKeesport offense while his brother Bobbie is enjoying a big freshman season at Cal (Pa.).

“If there was pressure on him, it was self-imposed,” McKeesport coach Matt Miller said. “He wants to be great and he works every day to get better. He’s a great kid and a great teammate.”

The junior running back rushed for 232 yards on 22 carries Friday in leading the Tigers past host Thomas Jefferson, 28-7, to seal the deal on a Class 4A Big Seven Conference championship.

“We needed a big night on the ground, and Anthony answered the bell,” Miller said. “He was amazing and capped a great game with an amazing touchdown run.”

After Thomas Jefferson jumped on top in the opening quarter, McKeesport drove down and tied the game 7-7 on a 1-yard run by Boyd.

He capped off the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 90-yard jaunt to the end zone.

“The offensive line did a great job creating space for him along with the lead blocking of Keith Spell,” Miller said.

Following their only loss of the season in Week 2 in overtime to Belle Vernon, Miller and his staff decided to add the bulkier Spell into the running game and it has paid off for the offense.

“They call us lightning and thunder because of our running styles,” Boyd said.

Boyd has 1,100 rushing yards heading into the postseason while Spell has groundout nearly 400 yards.

“It has been solid and getting better,” Miller said. “Spell and Boyd are getting better every week and more comfortable. Both are only first-year starters.”

Like his brother, Anthony Boyd will lead the Tigers in rushing as a junior. Much like Bobbie, Miller believes Anthony will find success in a few years at the next level.

“Without a doubt, because he plays just like Bobbie, and colleges will get a great player and a good kid,” Miller said.

Boyd also plays safety on defense and was part of the reason the Tigers limited the Jaguars quarterback duo of Brody Evans and Luke Kosko to 189 passing yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

With the win and the conference championship, the 9-1 Tigers earned the No. 2 seed in the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs and a first-round bye.

“Early in the week, we’ll do some lifting, watch film and take care of our bodies,” Miller said. “In the middle of the week, we will stay on course with a lot of physical practices and then get ready for our next game.”

The Tigers host the winner of Friday’s game between No. 7 North Catholic and No. 10 Trinity in the quarterfinals Nov. 10.

“We are familiar with Trinity,” Miller said. “They have a great offensive line, an outstanding quarterback and a stout defense. I do not know much about North Catholic, but I’ll be learning a lot over the next couple of days.”

WPIAL Week 9 Honorable Mention

Jake Wolfe, Montour

Four days before Halloween, the West Allegheny football team was mauled by the Wolfe man. Montour senior quarterback Jake Wolfe continued his dominant season with a monster performance in a 4A Parkway Conference showdown against West A. Trying to contain Wolfe has been a scary undertaking for opposing defense as the Indians found out in Week 9. Wolfe threw for 320 yards and five touchdowns, plus he rushed for 116 yards and a score as the Spartans rolled to a 49-17 win.

Da’sjon Craggette, Southmoreland

In a playoff-like atmosphere at Mt. Pleasant in Week 9, Southmoreland standout Da’sjon Craggette stole the show and made history in clinching a winning record for the Scotties. The senior running back carried the ball 20 times and rushed for a school-record 335 yards. He scored on runs of 80, 92, 14 and 22 yards as the Scotties clinched third place in the Class 3A Interstate Conference with a one-sided victory over the host Vikings, 40-3.

Carlo Buzzato, Riverview

Talk about ending a season and a career with a bang. Riverview running back Carlo Buzzato rushed for 412 yards on 32 carries Saturday in leading the host Raiders to a 40-21 win over rival Springdale. It was the second time in three weeks Buzzato ran for more than 400 yards. In his final three games, he ran for 980 yards, but Riverview lost two of the three games and finished in fifth place in the Class A Eastern Conference.

2023 HSSN Players of the Week

Week 8 – Armand Hill, West Mifflin

Week 7 – Donald Barksdale, Steel Valley

Week 6 – Ethan Varesko, Beth-Center

Week 5 – Jay Wrona, Mohawk

Week 4 – Elijah Faulkner, Central Catholic

Week 3 – Jonah Williamson, Trinity

Week 2 – Jake Wolfe, Montour

Week 1 – Bruce Giles, Connellsville

Week Zero – Cameron Epps, South Allegheny


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