WPIAL Class 5A football championship breakdown: Pine-Richland vs. Peters Township

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Thursday, November 12, 2020 | 5:25 PM


Peters Township (8-0) vs. Pine-Richland (8-0)

7 p.m. Saturday, North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium

On the air: Audio stream at TribHSSN.triblive.com

Winner plays: Governor Mifflin (7-0) in PIAA semifinals Nov. 20-21.

WPIAL titles: Peters Township 0; Pine-Richland 4 (2003, ‘14, ‘17, ‘18)

Peters Township (8-0)

Player to watch: Donovan McMillon

Senior, 6-2, 195, WR/FS

One of the better athletes on the field in any game in which he plays, McMillon is a Florida recruit. The returning all-state safety had more than 50 scholarship offers before choosing the Gators. He can cover a lot of ground, which will be necessary against Pine-Richland’s receivers, especially standout Eli Jochem. McMillon and Jochem is a matchup to watch. McMillon also is a big-play receiver. He caught a diving, 38-yard touchdown in the third quarter last week as the Indians came back to edge Gateway.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Logan Pfeuffer 72-123, 1,110 yards, 9 TDs

Rushing: Nico Pate 72-442 yards, 3 TDs

Receiving: Breylen Carrington 20-435 yards, 2 TDs

How they got here: No. 3 Peters Township came back to beat Gateway, 20-19, in the WPIAL semifinals.

Probable starting lineup

Coach: T.J. Plack

Offense

RT, 50, Austin McKinnon, 6-0, 240, sr.

RG, 55, Ethan Spangenberg, 5-11, 210, sr.

C, 60, Anthony Brunette, 5-10, 210, jr.

LG, 63, Dylan Wente, 5-10, 240, sr.

LT, 74, Nick Dicio, 5-9, 220, so.

WR, 3, Donovan McMillon, 6-2, 200, sr.

WR, 19, Breylen Carrington, 5-10, 170, sr.

TE, 14, Luke Petrarca, 6-3, 210, jr.

HB, 10, Corban Hondru, 6-1, 230, sr.

RB, 7, Nico Pate, 6-0, 2-5, jr.

QB, 8, Logan Pfeuffer, 6-2, 180, sr.

Defense

DE, 50, Austin McKinnon, 6-0, 240, sr.

NG, 55, Ethan Spangenberg, 5-11, 210, sr.

DE, 52, Dante Lahet, 5-11, 220, jr.

OLB, 14, Luke Petrarca, 6-3, 210, jr.

OLB, 7, Nico Pate, 6-0, 2-5, jr.

ILB, 10, Corban Hondru, 6-1, 230, sr.

S, 3, Donovan McMillan, 6-2, 200, sr.

S, 2, Jacob Macosko, 6-0, 175, jr.

S, 1, Vinny Siriannu, 5-9, 200, sr.

CB, 5, Sam Miller, 5-11, 175, jr.

CB, 19, Breylen Carrington, 5-10, 170, sr.

Special teams

K, 17, Andrew Massucci, 5-10, 170, jr.

P, 10, Corban Hondru, 6-1, 230, sr.

LS, 62, Stephen Shilling, 5-10, 230, sr.

Notable: Peters Township rallied for the game-winning touchdown with 4.7 seconds remaining to beat Gateway, 20-19. Logan Pfeuffer’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Corban Hondru was the difference. … Kicker Andrew Massucci kicked the game-winning extra point two days after scoring two goals for the Indians’ soccer team in a 2-1 win over Fox Chapel in the WPIAL Class 4A soccer semifinals. … The Indians return to the title game after falling to Gateway last year, 21-20, at Norwin. … Defensive back Breylen Carrington had four interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns, in a 24-21 win over Penn-Trafford in Week 2. … Hondru is a Miami-Ohio recruit. … Peters Township is one of the better defensive teams in the WPIAL, allowing just 10.9 points per game.

Pine-Richland (8-0)

Player to watch: Eli Jochem

Senior, 6-1, 185, WR/DB

The sure-handed wideout is the favorite target of quarterback Cole Spencer, and the duo is dynamic. Jochem is tied for the most receptions in program history (149) with Mike Merhaut. Former Pittsburgh Pirates player and Rams alum Neil Walker is second on the list with 147. Jochem had eight catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns last week in the semifinals.

Statistical leaders

Passing: Cole Spencer 114-154, 2,066 yards, 27 TDs

Rushing: Tristen Taylor 50-326-3 TDs

Receiving: Eli Jochem 42-910 yards, 14 TDs

How they got here: No. 1 Pine-Richland rallied from a 7-0 deficit to hammer Penn-Trafford, 49-14, in the semifinals.

Probable starting lineup

Coach: Eric Kasperowicz

Offense

LT, 57, John Swisher, 6-0, 255, sr.

LG, 53, Spencer King, 5-11, 280, sr.

C, 52, Isaiah Kerns, 6-0, 240, so.

RG, 56, Miguel Jackson, 6-2, 265, sr.

RT, 55, Harrison Hayes, 6-3, 275, sr.

HB/TE, 7, Luke Miller, 6-2, 205, sr. OR 8, Jeremiah Hasley, 6-2, 205, jr.

WR, 5, Eli Jochem, 6-1, 185, sr.

WR, 18, Charlie Mill, 6-0, 170, sr.

WR, 15, Alexis Gochis, 6-2, 180, jr.

RB, 2, Caden Schweiger, 6-0, 190, sr.

QB, 4, Cole Spencer, 5-10, 180, sr.

Defense

NT, 75, Cole Schurman, 6-0 ,300, sr.

T, 68, Jacob Domer, 6-2, 265, jr.

DE, 54, Connor Lenz, 6-2, 230, jr.

DE, 56, Miguel Jackson, 6-2, 265, sr.

LB, 44, Zach Waryanka, 6-1, 205, sr.

LB, 7, Luke Miller, 6-2, 205, sr.

LB, 8, Jeremiah Hasley, 6-2, 205, jr.

FS, 5, Eli Jochem, 6-1, 185, sr.

CB, 3, Sam Neill, 6-0, 165, sr.

CB, 18, Charlie Mill, 6-0, 170, sr.

S, 2, Caden Schweiger, 6-0, 190. sr.

Special teams

K/P, 82, Tony Nicassio, 5-11, 170, sr.

Notable: Spencer is second in program history in total yards behind Phil Jurkovec. … Miguel Jackson is the Rams’ all-time leader in sacks with 33. He and lineman Harrison Hayes are headed to Liberty. … Pine-Richland is averaging 50.5 points and winning by an average of 40 points. … Senior linebacker Luke Miller, a Kent State commit, has 54 tackles including 10.5 for loss. … Kasperowicz, a former North Hills quarterback, is 82-18 as the Rams coach, with three WPIAL titles. … The Rams won WPIAL and PIAA titles in 2017 with a 16-0 record.

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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