Trib HSSN Football Team of the Week for 2022 Week 4

Monday, September 26, 2022 | 6:09 PM

Following a winless 2019 season and a total of four wins in 2020 and 2021 combined, losing the first three games of this season made it seem like another long fall was ahead for West Mifflin football.

However, these Titans decided that recent struggles weren’t going to define them. After a Week 3 victory over Ringgold, West Mifflin opened up Class 3A Western Hills Conference play Friday with a bang.

West Mifflin made the long trek to Beaver, stunned the No. 3 Bobcats in overtime and then enjoyed every mile on the return back home.

“We have a team that’s growing and maturing right in front of us,” West Mifflin coach Rod Steele said. “They’re having an understanding of what our concepts are and they are playing together as a unit.”

Steele said he was not concerned with his team’s start because despite some key injuries, he thought the Titans were playing competitive football against some elite teams in McKeesport, Elizabeth Forward and Thomas Jefferson.

“If you go back and recap those games, we were down by 12 right before halftime against McKeesport, in the EF game, its 15-7 at the half before that game got away from us, and even in the TJ game, it was 10-0 at halftime.”

After shutting out another old conference foe, Ringgold, in Week 3 for the Titans’ first win of the season, West Mifflin opened up conference play against Beaver, which had won its conference opener the previous week, was 3-1 overall and had won three straight.

The Bobcats jumped out to an early touchdown lead before a pair of DelRon White touchdown runs in the second quarter gave the Titans the advantage.

White added a third touchdown, but West Mifflin trailed, 24-21, late in the fourth quarter when senior kicker Nick Kosuda tied the score with a 29-yard field goal.

The only points of overtime came on a fourth scoring run for White, a junior running back who rushed for 206 yards on 35 carries.

“DelRon’s a horse,” Steele said. “He’s 220 pounds and a 350-pound bencher who can run. Give some credit to the guys up front getting off the ball and doing the things we had to do to move the sticks and get the ball in the end zone.”

Another challenge lies ahead for West Mifflin. On Friday, the Titans will play for first place in the Western Hills Conference when they host Avonworth (2-0, 4-1).

WPIAL Week 4 Honorable Mentions

North Hills Indians

High school football is not horseshoes, nor is it hand grenades, so close doesn’t count. Moral wins or good efforts never replace a victory when it comes to trying to makes the district playoffs.

North Hills knows all about close. The Indians came close to tasting victory in three of their four losses heading into Week 4. But in a battle of the Indians against host Penn Hills, North Hills didn’t blink after falling behind and ended up pulling out a huge upset win in overtime.

Senior quarterback John Green rushed for a team-high 76 yards and threw for only 90 yards, but three of his completions went for touchdowns, including one in overtime as North Hills wiped out a 20-0 second quarter deficit to stun 5A No. 2 Penn Hills, 27-26, in OT.

Belle Vernon Leopards

Now playing in Class 3A and ranked by most as the team to beat, Belle Vernon began its tough four-week nonconference schedule with a win against Laurel Highlands in Week 1. The Leopards then dropped back-to-back games against McKeesport and defending 5A champion Penn-Trafford.

The task to avoid a third straight loss heading into 3A Interstate Conference play was a tad daunting as Belle Vernon hit the road to square off with former conference rival Thomas Jefferson in Week 4.

Any Leopards’ shaken confidence concerns were returned to sender thanks in part to a 97-yard punt return in the opening quarter by Belle Vernon junior Quinton Martin that got the ball rolling in a third straight win for BVA over TJ, 21-7.

Monessen Greyhounds

It looked like the stage was set for a Week 5 battle of the unbeaten showdown in the Tri-County South Conference between upstart Mapletown and California.

The only problem is, nobody notified Monessen of these midseason plans between the Maples and Trojans. While Mapletown did its part in Week 4 with an impressive win over Carmichaels, California was stunned by the surging Greyhounds.

Monessen overcame five turnovers by scoring 16 points in the third quarter and holding on from there to hand California its first loss of the season, 28-20. The Greyhounds have now won three straight and are 2-0 in the TCS after winning only three conference games a year ago.

2022 HSSN Teams of the Week

Week 3 – McKeesport Tigers

Week 2 – Ellwood City Wolverines

Week 1 – Bethel Park Black Hawks

Week Zero – Mars Fightin’ Planets

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