Westmoreland H.S. football notebook: P-T still savoring win over Gateway
Saturday, October 9, 2021 | 5:52 PM
Penn-Trafford’s Warrior Stadium was alive with goings-on Friday night. It was the hub of Harrison City as the stadium lit up a rainy community.
It was homecoming, which featured the annual parade that comes with it. Nearby roads were closed for a short time for all of the bells and whistles.
There was a pregame Victory Bell ceremony with family members of players from Trafford and Pitcairn teams that started the rivalry game.
A halftime ceremony recognized 50 years of Warriors football.
Even newly crowned WPIAL golf champion Nick Turowski was recognized.
Oh, by the way, there also was a football game. A big football game.
The Warriors defense closed Gateway’s road to victory with a 15-10 triumph that was fueled by a hard-hitting defense.
Needing an inspired effort from its defensive unit to take down the No. 3 Gators, No. 5 Penn-Trafford (5-2, 2-0) responded as it stuffed Gateway (4-3, 1-1) on downs with about two minutes to play to take over first in the Class 5A Big East.
“To win by 28 is nice, but you play defense on this team, you love winning a game like that,” Warriors coach John Ruane told his team after the game. “That effort was remarkable.”
Delay of games
Several local teams had to sit through delays Friday night as lightning and storms moved through Allegheny County.
In McCandless, Norwin and North Allegheny were cruising along when several lightning strikes forced the teams into the locker room for an hour and 20 minutes.
By rule, each strike is a 30-minute delay.
The teams resumed played at 10:52 p.m. and the game did not end until about 11:30.
North Allegheny won 42-17.
Norwin cut it to 28-17 late in the third on a 36-yard field goal by Joey Castle.
The Brownsville at Mt. Pleasant game scheduled for Friday night was canceled and ruled a no contest by the WPIAL.
Brownsville told Mt. Pleasant it did not have enough players to compete because covid-19 concerns.
Mt. Pleasant did not pursue another opponent on late notice for Friday night or Saturday, athletic director Chris Brunson said. The fourth-ranked Vikings (4-2, 2-0) will wait until next week to play again when it travels to No. 5 Elizabeth Forward (4-2, 2-0) for a key Class 3A Interstate Conference game.
Brownsville is 0-5, 0-3.
GCC-Clairton up next
A team looking to be part of the conference championship conversation in the Eastern A, Greensburg Central Catholic, will get a shot at a statement game next week.
The Centurions (5-2, 3-1), who have yet to crack the top-five rankings this season, will travel No. 1 Clairton (4-2, 4-0).
GCC pummeled Riverview, 66-0, on Friday.
The Bears will play after a week off. They accepted a forfeit from Imani Christian last week.
Clairton beat GCC last year, 57-18, but only 21-14 in 2019.
Belle Vernon No. 2 in state
Belle Vernon continues to surge in rankings far and wide. The Leopards (6-0, 4-0) are No. 2 in Trib HSSN Class 4A state rankings, behind No. 1 Jersey Shore of District 4.
The WPIAL is well-represented, with the power apparently tipping the scale toward the west side of the commonwealth.
Thomas Jefferson is No. 3, Aliquippa No. 4 and Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt No. 5.
Wehner set to return
Next week will mark the return of quarterback Payton Wehner to the area. Wehner, who is from North Huntingdon but plays at Central Catholic, will join the two-time defending WPIAL champion Vikings for a road trip to Hempfield.
Wehner has made tremendous strides after returning from a broken leg. Heading into Friday’s game at No. 2 Mt. Lebanon, he had completed 62 of 98 passes for 724 yards and seven touchdowns. He also had three rushing touchdowns.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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