Westmoreland County high school football notebook: Penn-Trafford’s Conlan Greene settles in under center

Thursday, September 15, 2022 | 5:23 PM

Conlan Greene was a backup quarterback last year at Penn-Trafford but didn’t truly embrace the position because he was more valuable as a tight end and defensive end.

He is, after all, heading to Temple on a scholarship to play on the defensive line. Public address announcer P.J. Downs calls him “Mean” Conlan Greene.

“I saw some mop-up time,” Greene said.

But now, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound senior is the full-time starter, and he is slinging the football all over the yard, looking more the part with each game.

Does he feel like the quarterback now?

“Yeah, I kind of do,” Greene said sheepishly as he walked off the field after last week’s 48-14 win over Woodland Hills. “Coach (John) Ruane has really helped me. He is so smart and knows the position because he played it.”

Greene has thrown for 581 yards and four touchdowns on 44-of-80 passing in three games for the Warriors (2-1).

After the Warriors had some passes dropped in a 19-7 loss to McKeesport — a game in which Greene threw three interceptions and was just 12 of 38 — he returned to form while managing the offense with a running game rounding into form behind him.

“We’re going to take what the game gives us,” Ruane said. “Conlan is super-poised in the pocket, and we know he can throw it or run it. The play of the game (last week) was our first third down when he faced a heavy rush and made a (13-yard) throw to Tasso (Whipple) for a first down. That really gave him confidence.”

Greene will go against another super-sized quarterback this week in Belle Vernon junior Braden Laux.

Like Green, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Laux also plays defensive end.

Rubrecht doing it all

Another first-year starting quarterback also has found his rhythm.

Greensburg Salem senior Cody Rubrecht, one of the most productive receivers in the WPIAL last season, has been a dual threat for the Golden Lions.

He has completed 25 of 48 passes for 354 yards and a touchdown but also has rushed for 247 yards with two TDs on 28 carries.

He also has a pick-six score to his credit. He intercepted two passes last week against Ligonier Valley, one he took back 90 yards.

He had another interception return that would have been a 100-yard score, but it was called a touchback.

“Cody as a playmaker is so explosive,” Greensburg Salem coach Dave Keefer said. “He can change the course of the game at any moment on both sides of the ball.”

Rubrecht also returned a punt for a score.

“He is fortunate to have amazing athletic ability to ad lib in difficult situations,” Keefer said. “He is becoming more comfortable with his reads and progressions.”

Rubrecht also punts for the Golden Lions and is averaging 42 yards per attempt.

“It’s been pretty smooth,” Rubrecht said of the position switch. “I haven’t been hating it, and it’s been working. I had to learn a different set of skills, and I had to learn how to lead the offense.

“My coaches and teammates have made it an easy transition for me.”

Dlugos commits

Nate Dlugos, a senior wide receiver and defensive back at Greensburg Central Catholic, announced he will play at Division III Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.

This season, Dlugos has six receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown and 11 tackles and a 91-yard fumble recovery TD on defense.

Helicopter sister

Mt. Pleasant brothers Jackson and Brody Hutter had a special guest at their game last week, and that guest made a special entrance.

Flyouts by softball players generally are bad. This one was good.

Katie Hutter, a former Mt. Pleasant softball standout now at Bowling Green, flew to the game by helicopter.

She is studying and training to become a pilot.

A family friend who owns a small plane flew Katie to last week’s home game against McGuffey.

“Isn’t that how all kids commute these days?” her father, Aaron Hutter, said. “She is doing great, and we are very proud of her and happy to have home for a few days.”

The family drove Katie back to Ohio on Sunday.

Sanders contributing

Jeannette senior Noah Sanders wasn’t sure if he would play football this season after sitting out last year.

But the 5-foot-8 receiver and defensive back has made a significant impact for the Jayhawks.

Last week, Sanders pulled in six receptions for 127 yards and how has 23 receptions for 276 yards, which makes him one of the leading receivers in the WPIAL. He has the second-most receptions in the league through three games.

Jeannette connections

A byproduct of transfers, moves and family, two area teams are loaded with players and coaches who have ties to Jeannette.

Take Hempfield, or as some have called it “Jeannette West.” (It’s actually “Jeannette Southeast” on a map.)

The schools are only 3 miles apart and have been in the news lately over talk of a merger between them.

The Spartans have coaches Ray and Ryan Reitz on staff, and both used to coach at Jeannette, as did other Spartans assistants Trevor Petrillo and Mike Mariotti.

Running back/linebacker Eli Binakonsky is a Jeannette transfer.

In addition, quarterback Jake Philllips has family from Jeannette. His father, Seth, played quarterback for the Jayhawks.

And running back Gino Caesar has family from the next town over. His father, Nick, also is a Jeannette alum.

A number of Jeannette players transferred to GCC in recent years, including senior linebacker Ryan Kimmel, running back Jaydin Canady and wide receiver Samir Crosby. Amari Mack also has ties to Jeannette.

Extra points

Injured WR/DB Jake Otto will be a game-time decision this week for Penn-Trafford. … Hempfield leads Westmoreland County in scoring (49 points per game) and defensive average (5.7 ppg). … Norwin senior tight end Noah Vogel received a scholarship offer from West Virginia State, his first Division II offer. … Greensburg Central Catholic is averaging 385.7 total yards per game. … Mt. Pleasant is averaging 316 rushing yards per game. … GCC lineman Ryan Kimmel returned a kickoff 40 yards for a touchdown last week in a 57-21 win over West Greene. … Ligonier Valley announced changes to its junior varsity schedule. The Rams will host Washington at 11 a.m. Saturday and travel to California for an 11 a.m. kickoff Oct. 29. … Former Yough head coach Chris Chunko is now an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Chunko was on staff with Chargers coach Donny Militzer for four years when the pair coached at Charleroi. … Yough senior Gavin Roebuck is back at quarterback for the Cougars. He is the team’s leading rusher and scorer.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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