Westmoreland County high school football notebook: Keefer-to-Keffer connection sparks Southmoreland

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Thursday, October 13, 2022 | 11:01 AM


Keefer to Keffer.

Yes, Southmoreland will take some more of that.

It’s become the connection heard throughout Alverton on Friday nights, the tandem everyone is talking about around the Scotties’ program.

In their first year playing together at the varsity level, Kadin Keefer and Ty Keffer have become a formidable big-play combination for Southmoreland (3-4, 1-1 Class 3A Interstate Conference), with the quarterback and receiver making big plays every week.

Fly and corner routes, slants, deep posts — you name it, they’ve probably done it. The Scotties have found a tandem that can get first downs and score touchdowns.

Get used to the pair, too: both are juniors.

“They are both big, around 6-3, and I think that helps Kadin with his vision over the line, and it gives Ty an advantage over most defensive backs,” Scotties coach Tim Bukowski said.

Keefer also plays baseball for the Scotties. Bukowski and Keffer like his “baseball arm.”

“Kadin has been in the system for three years, so his knowledge of the system has helped and his passing numbers are right on par with our previous quarterbacks,” Bukowski said. “He gets more confident every week and he is making the right reads.”

Keefer has completed 88 of 145 passes for 1,071 yards and eight touchdowns, while the 6-foot-4 Keffer has a WPIAL-leading 49 receptions for 695 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The two extra TDs are because the Scotties have scored on a pair of trick plays.

Last week, Keefer was 13 of 17 for 206 yards and four touchdowns, three of which went to Keffer, who had eight receptions for 165 yards. Southmoreland thumped South Allegheny, 36-6.

A talented basketball player, Keffer is a go-up-and-get-it receiver who has warmed up to contact.

“Ty was the unknown because he hasn’t played since midget league,” Bukowski said. “But he is one of the most competitive players that I’ve ever coached. He wants to win at everything he does.”

Keefer said he played with Keffer until sixth grade, when Keffer opted to focus solely on basketball.

“Finally this year I got him to come back out, and it’s like he never lost it from the first practice until now,” Keefer said. “We just connect, and it’s always been like that. He can juke anyone out. But he can also go for the deep ball and out-jump anyone.

“When I see he’s in single-cover, I have trust in him to go up and get the ball, and he trusts me to throw a good ball.”

Keffer is glad he decided to play football again.

“When I came back to play high school, the connection just needed to be sparked again,” Keffer said. “I like the so-called ‘Keefer to Keffer’ saying. It just sounds good.”

Keffer said being close friends with his quarterback helps their chemistry.

“He trusts me, and I trust him,” Keffer said. “So when he throws the ball, I can trust him to make a good throw, and he can throw it and trust me to catch it. Also furthering our connection, sometimes we stay after practice and get some extra work while everyone else is done with practice.”

Martin to narrow list

Belle Vernon star junior Quinton Martin announced via social media he will soon narrow his list of 20-plus Power 5 scholarship offers to a top 10.

Martin, a gifted athlete who plays running back and defensive back for the Leopards, has offers from the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and other major conferences.

Pitt, Penn State and West Virginia are among his suitors, along with Ohio State, Texas, Notre Dame, Florida State, Wisconsin and more.

Tarabrella offered

Penn-Trafford wide receiver and outside linebacker Daniel Tarabrella has his third Division I scholarship offer.

Georgetown offered the 6-3, 215-pound senior, joining other chasers Duquesne and St. Francis (Pa.).

Tarabrella leads the Warriors with 29 receptions for 435 yards and three touchdowns. He also is the team’s leading tackler with 43 stops.

Rubrecht still out?

Greensburg Salem quarterback Cody Rubrecht missed last week’s game against Belle Vernon with an ankle injury. The senior is questionable for this week, as well, after limited practice.

Rubrecht is the top dual-threat QB in the county with 806 yards rushing and 758 passing. He has accounted for 16 touchdowns.

‘Making the days count’

Jeannette (2-5, 2-1) plays at Greensburg Central Catholic (5-2, 3-0) Friday in the latest installment of a longstanding rivalry.

But can Jeannette, which had won seven in a row against the Centurions before last year’s 49-3 defeat, pull the Eastern Conference upset?

GCC is averaging 43.4 points per game.

Jeannette first-year coach Tom Paulone wants to win but will settle for his team competing. He is preaching assignment football and fundamentals this week, but also perspective.

“Besides our game plan points that we have been harping on, we spoke about the rivalry in our weekly meetings,” Paulone said. “The focus quickly shifted to daily development and making the days count to get better as a team. We have not lost sight of the big picture of getting better as a team and doing it together.”

Dlugos tradition

Liz Dlugos throws the shot put and discus for Greensburg Central Catholic, but she comes from a football family.

Dlugos committed to Bucknell this week, the same school where her father, Joe, played football in the late 1990s.

Current GCC receiver and defensive back Nate Dlugos — Joe’s nephew and Rob Dlugos’ son — committed to Williams College, a Division III school in Massachusetts.

Williams plays in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, the same league that houses Amherst, where his brother, Zach plays.

That means Nate and Zach’s teams will play against each other, just like Joe and Rob’s did when Rob played at Harvard.

Keefer Bowl

Greensburg Salem will visit Southmoreland Friday in a Class 3A Interstate Conference game.

Some pregame fun: Count the Keefers.

Southmoreland has quarterback Kadin Keefer and assistant coaches and brothers Dave and Mark Keefer.

Greensburg Salem’s head coach is Dave Keefer.

Here’s the catch: Other than the brothers, none are related.

Rush hour

Three Westmoreland running backs are jockeying for the county rushing title, and the race is tightening.

Robbie Labuda of Mt. Pleasant holds a slim lead with 1,065 yards, with Burrell’s Devin Beattie inching close with 1,036 and Robert Fulton of Latrobe lurking in third at 1,030.

All three have visited the end zone regularly. Beattie has 15 touchdowns, Fulton 14 and Labuda 10.

Beattie is the workhorse of the bunch with a WPIAL-leading 152 carries, compared with 125 for Fulton and 114 for Labuda.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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