Westinghouse tops University Prep for 1st City League title since 1996

Saturday, October 26, 2019 | 8:04 PM

It was like old times late Saturday afternoon for Pittsburgh’s Homewood-Brushton area.

Westinghouse brought home its 36th City League football title with a 12-2 victory over University Prep at Cupples Stadium.

The Bulldogs generated two big plays on offense, and the defense held University Prep to minus-2 yards rushing to win their first City title since 1996.

On the first play after an interception by Cameron Jones, Westinghouse unveiled a flea-flicker play that had been on the back burner for more than a month.

Quarterback Troy Lanier found Tarick Hamilton alone in stride after two fake reverses for a 57-yard scoring play with 4 minutes, 31 seconds left in the second quarter.

“I can’t take credit for that one,” Westinghouse coach Donta Green said. “That was offensive coordinator James Cowart. We’ve been working on that the last five weeks. I’m happy we ran it.”

Said Hamilton: “I just felt like if the ball’s thrown at me, I’ll catch it. We always were practicing that, but we never ran it in a game.”

With 2 minutes to go in the third quarter, Lanier threw to Cameron Jones for the game’s other score.

But it was the Westinghouse defense that ruled the day, led by Pitt recruit Dayon Hayes.

The Bulldogs tackled the Panthers nine times for losses and held Akron recruit Michael Snowden to 18 yards on 11 carries. Snowden entered the game with 1,160 rushing yards.

“I thought the more physical team won the game,” University Prep coach Louis Berry said. “Westinghouse came out on a mission, and they were hungry for a title. I think both programs understand that defense wins championships.”

Said Green of his team’s defense: “This was expected. For the past six or seven weeks, we’ve been tightening the screws. We’ve taken the opportunity to get guys in the right places and game plan, and the guys have fared well on defense.”

The Bulldogs (4-1, 7-3) will play a PIAA Class 3A subregional game Nov. 2 at Cupples Stadium against an undetermined opponent.

University Prep (4-1, 8-2) has qualified for the PIAA Class 4A tournament and will play at a later date.

The Panthers had favorable field position several times but couldn’t convert.

A 7-yard punt in the third quarter gave University Prep the ball on the Westinghouse 41, but it couldn’t move the ball. Later, the Panthers started a drive on the Bulldogs 28 but lost the ball on downs at the 5.

Westinghouse defensive back Jaray Henry picked off a University Prep pass at the 3 with 1:44 left to ice the game.

“At times when we’d do something positive, it (soon) became negative,” Berry said. “We stop them on third down and get a facemask penalty. We had a good stop on first-and-goal, but we bailed them out with a personal foul 10 yards out of bounds.”

“Basically, our gameplan was to stuff the middle,” Hayes said. “Our coaches took a linebacker over their tackles so we could just clog it up, and it worked. We all studied (film) all week, and the coaches had it all set up for us.”

Hayes added he and his teammates appreciated the large turnout of students and alumni from the area.

Said Hayes: “They’ve been waiting a long time.”

Panthers quarterback Kenny William-Pipkins threw for 81 yards.

The only University Prep score came when punter Lanier took a knee in the end zone with 2:40 left in the game.

University Prep was seeking its fourth title in its nine-year existence.

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