Trib HSSN Football Player of the Week for 2022 Week 4

Sunday, September 25, 2022 | 2:34 PM

The smart little pig that built his house with brick was able to survive and thrive the menacing big bad wolf.

Beaver Falls football coach Nick Nardone was just as wise four years ago when he decided to build his offense around a freshman that has been a rock for the Tigers, Jaren Brickner.

“Yeah, he’s been a huge part of our success over the last four years,” Nardone said.

The dual-threat quarterback came up big in an early Class 2A Midwestern Athletic Conference showdown in Week 4, connecting on 5 of 6 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 104 yards and a score as Beaver Falls shut out host Neshannock, 22-0.

The scoring pass was to senior wide receiver Trey Singleton on a 66-yard hook-up top open the scoring in the second quarter. Later in the half, Brickner scored on a 15-yard run to increase the Tigers lead to 14-0.

“He’s running the ball and throwing the ball really effectively,” Nardone said. “He was a huge part of our win against Neshannock.”

In his first two years, running back Josh Hough was the focal point of the Beaver Falls offense that helped the Tigers win the 2020 WPIAL Class 2A championship.

But he exploded a year ago and became the focal point for opposing defenses, throwing for 2,579 yards and 25 touchdowns while rushing for 428 yards and eight scores.

At a school that once had Hall of Fame quarter Joe Namath lead the Tigers to a 1960 WPIAL championship, Brickner became the school’s all-time leading passer last season.

This season, Brickner has 545 passing yards and 373 on the ground.

Brickner’s play at safety as well as his other Beaver Falls teammates on defense were a huge part of the win Friday. The Lancers came into the game undefeated and averaging 44 points per game, but they were shut down by the Tigers defense.

“Honestly, we didn’t expect to hold them down to zero,” Brickner said. “We we’re hoping to hold them to seven or 14 points, so it was a big accomplishment.”

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound left-handed quarterback and safety also excels on the baseball diamond and in the classroom at Beaver Falls with a 3.7 GPA. Brickner has not decided on a school for next year, but he definitely wants to continue his football career at the next level and will make his selection from several offers after the season.

WPIAL Week 4 Honorable Mentions

Brad Birch, Gateway

The one thing you can safely say about the Gateway football team here in the 2022 season, they keep their fans on the edge of the seats down to the end. The average margin of victory in Gators games this season has been 10 points, and Week 4 came down to only two points.

Gateway junior quarterback Brad Birch connected on 12 of 16 passes for 250 yards and three long touchdown tosses — 45 yards to senior wide receiver Anez Jordan, 75 yards to senior WR Dallas Harper and 65 yards to senior WR Leonard Sherrod as the Gators jumped out to a 28-7 halftime lead, then held on to beat visiting Plum, 28-26, in a 5A Big East Conference matchup.

DelRon White, West Mifflin

There are workhorses on certain high school teams in which coaches try to get the ball in their hands to make something big happen. In choosing to have junior running back DelRon White be the West Mifflin bell cow in a Week 4 Class 3A Western Hills Conference opener, the coaches made the right, albeit exhausting call.

White toted the ball 35 times while pounding out 206 yards and scoring all four of his team’s touchdowns, including scoring runs of 4 and 20 yards in the second quarter and a 3-yard run in the third quarter. His icing on the cake carry for the Titans was a 4-yard run in overtime, the only score beyond regulation as West Mifflin stunned No. 4 Beaver, 31-24.

Capone Jones, Clairton

The Clairton vs. Leechburg Class A Eastern Conference rivalry has been as one-sided as it gets. Coming into their Week 4 battle for first place, the Bears led the all-time series, 27-0-1, with the lone 6-6 tie coming 30 years earlier in 1992.

History meant nothing to Clairton quarterback Capone Jones. The senior rolled up his sleeves and went to work, rushing for 161 yards and a 9-yard touchdown run, while connecting on 7 of 13 passes for 108 yards and a 3-yard touchdown pass to senior Devon Dean that proved to be the game-winner in the fourth quarter as the Bears notched another win over the Blue Devils, 20-13.

2022 HSSN Players of the Week

Week 3 – Jake Phillips, Hempfield

Week 2 – Luke Cignetti, Shaler

Week 1 – Cruce Brookins, Steel Valley

Week Zero – Conlan Greene, Penn-Trafford

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