Westmoreland County high school football notebook: Short-handed GCC happy with win

Saturday, October 29, 2022 | 3:07 PM

All things considered, Greensburg Central Catholic coach Marko Thomas was thrilled with his team’s result Friday night — a 48-21 win over Leechburg that clinched the Eastern Conference title.

“When you have so many guys out and guys playing different positions, you never know,” Thomas said. “We know we can play better, but we’ll take it after a short week.”

A short week, meaning four days of practice for the Centurions (8-2), who celebrated their first conference title in 12 years.

“We didn’t even practice Monday because we had 18 kids out sick,” Thomas said. “We couldn’t do much of anything.”

Thomas said the players tested and their ailment was flu-related, not covid-19. Even workouts Tuesday through Thursday were not at full strength.

“We had to wait to get some guys back,” he said. “We had so many come in and out. We’re glad to come out and get that win.”

Top of the mountain

Yough broke a five-game losing streak and improved to 3-3 at home this season with a 15-12 victory over Imani Christian.

The Cougars (3-7) had not won three games in a season since 2018.

Winning season

Hempfield, despite its headline-grabbing 5-0 start and late-season slide that kept it out of the WPIAL playoffs in its first year in 5A, toppled Norwin, 34-7, to finish at 6-4.

It is the first winning season for the team since 2013.

Happy returns

Southmoreland clinched a playoff spot in Class 3A.

This is the first time in program history the Scotties have made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

In a rush

Eight local players rushed for over 100 yards on the final Friday night of the regular season.

They included Robby Fulton of Latrobe (184 yards), Quinton Martin of Belle Vernon (174), Gino Caesar of Hempfield (157), Da’sjon Craggette of Greensburg Central Catholic (157), Robbie Labuda of Mt. Pleasant (155), Carson Heinle of Kiski Area (121), Connor Flemm of Kiski Area (112) and Amari Mack of Greensburg Central Catholic (112).

Martin scored five touchdowns, including an 80-yard run and two receptions, while Caesar and Labuda found the end zone three times.

Caesar had 33 carries.

Cody Rubrecht of Greensburg Salem did not reach 100 yards (he had 93), but he scored four TDs three ways — on two rushes, a punt return and an interception return.

He finished the season with over 1,000 yards rushing and passing.

About the Ws

GCC (8-2) finished the regular season with the most wins among Westmoreland teams.

Belle Vernon (7-2) and Ligonier Valley (7-3) were next, while Franklin Regional (6-4), Penn-Trafford (6-4), Latrobe (6-4), Burrell (6-4), Mt. Pleasant (6-4) and Monessen (6-4) all won a half-dozen games.

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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