Westmoreland football notebook: Derry continues to roll despite injuries

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Saturday, September 28, 2019 | 6:15 PM


Before the start of the season, Derry’s strength appeared to be the offensive and defensive lines.

Injuries are starting to deplete that strength.

Nick Detore and Justin Fallat were two-way starters lost to season-ending injuries before the season-opener against Latrobe, and Seth Loughner sustained injuries to his right ankle and knee in Derry’s 26-17 victory Friday against Elizabeth Forward.

“We’re banged up,” Derry coach Tim Sweeney said. “We dress players that we can’t play. I don’t know how we’re doing it.”

A knee injury sidelined senior running back Justin Huss in the Trojans’ 13-3 loss Sept. 20 at North Catholic. Huss returned to the lineup Friday, scored three third-quarter touchdowns on runs of 80, 2 and 1 yards and finished with 129 yards rushing.

His play helped the Trojans rally from a 17-7 deficit.

“Justin is a game-breaker,” Sweeney said. “We needed a spark, and he provided one.”

Injuries have provided a couple of sophomores more playing time: Noah Cymmerman on the line and Eric Catone at inside linebacker.

Both made huge plays on defense against EF. Cymmerman recovered a fumble and had a sack, and Catone was in on numerous tackles.

“Noah is a two-way player, and, when Seth went down, he came in and played well,” Sweeney said. “Eric started his first game in a big game like this.

“We just can’t stay healthy. We have so many guys that are hurt. We have an injury bug right now.”

•••

Ruane tops charts

Penn-Trafford football coach John Ruane became the program’s all-time wins leader when the Warriors dumped Plum, 47-17.

Ruane, who began coaching at Penn-Trafford in 2010, passed Art Tragesser and has an 84-25 record. Tragesser was 83-52.

Ruane is a Gateway graduate and teaches at his alma mater. He teaches a lot of the football players from Gateway, making the Penn-Trafford/Gateway game special every year.

A record was set at Warrior Stadium as Plum kicker Tyler Kolankowski booted a 47-yarder in the second quarter.

The previous record of 41 yards was held by Penn-Trafford’s Dustin Pozzuto in 2004 and Ron Rupp in 1980.

•••

19 and counting

Jeannette (6-0) posted its fourth-consecutive shutout Friday, defeating Class 2A Brownsville, 49-0, in a nonconference game.

The Jayhawks have not allowed a point in 19 consecutive quarters.

Leechburg was the last team to score on the Jayhawks, and that was on a kickoff return.

Jeannette has defeated Imani Academy (48-0), Avella (54-0), Springdale (43-0) and Brownsville during the streak.

Jeannette’s defense should be tested Saturday against Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in a nonconference game at Moon.

•••

34 and counting

The beatdowns continue in the Heritage Conference at the hands of Ligonier Valley.

The Rams won their 34th consecutive conference game Friday, running over Purchase Line, 48-0.

Happy Saturday morning!#RelentlessEffort #G1M pic.twitter.com/o2pnMDlyGr

— Ligonier Valley Rams Football (@LVRamsFootball) September 28, 2019

Kyrie Miller had a huge game, rushing for 256 yards on 11 carries and scored on runs of 75, 63, 1 and 38 yards. He also caught an 89-yard touchdown pass on the Rams’ first play. He has 925 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns this season.

Ligonier Valley is 6-0, which included a forfeit, and has outscored its five opponents 273-26.

•••

Big performances

Norwin senior quarterback Jack Salopek was 19 of 23 for 410 yards and six touchdowns. His main targets were Connor Chrisman (5 for 147) and Declan O’Brien (5 for 107). Belle Vernon senior Jared Hartman and Hempfield senior Blake Remaley also had big games. Hartman was 12 of 17 for 254 yards, and Remaley was 14 of 30 for 225 yards.

Yough’s C.J Waldier had 12 catches for 146. Hempfield’s Roman Pellis had 9 catches for 110 yards.

•••

Coming attractions

Jeannette (6-0, 3-0 Eastern) at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart 5-1, 4-1 Big Seven)

7 p.m. Saturday, Moon Stadium, Moon

This is a nonconference matchup between the past two WPIAL Class A champions. No. 1 Jeannette has allowed only 26 points and OLSH, coming off a 41-33 win against Laurel, is averaging 32.8 points. This could determine seeding in the playoffs.

Marion Center (5-1, 5-1) at Ligonier Valley (6-0, 6-0)

7 p.m. Friday, Weller Field, Ligonier

Ligonier Valley hasn’t been challenged, but Marion Center comes into the game with one loss. The Stingers wouldn’t mind stinging the Rams, but that’s not an easy task. The high-powered Rams are averaging 54.6 points.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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