WPIAL Football Plays of the Week – 10/11/2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | 5:10 PM

We’re here.  The conclusion of week six.  Two third of the way through the 2011 football season.  The eve of the stretch run.  Whatever you want to call it, this is the place where we now know who the real contenders are and who the pretenders are.  The smoke and mirrors of fast starts have faded fast, and the teams that have “come out of nowhere” have stood the test of the first two thirds of the season and are poised to make their Cinderella season a one to remember.  By now, teams that have gotten off to slow starts have either righted the ship or their season has faded to one that’s a lost cause.  This pivotal sixth week served as the scene setter for what can be a memorable final three weeks.  There’s no tricks here.  It’s the Plays of the Week – Version No. Six.

AAAA –  “A Warriors’ Night”
Penn Trafford Warriors  17 – McKeesport Tigers  13

The Penn Trafford Warriors have had their lunch money stolen and had been consistently checked into the lockers at gym class by the bully that was the McKeesport Tigers the last few years.  As a matter of fact, the Tigers had won the last six contests, outscoring the Warriors over that streak by the tune of 192-44.  It all changed Friday.  Many thought it would, but those that forecasted a Warrior win, probably had some doubt cast their way.  A game that featured five different lead changes found the Tigers leading at the half.  The Warriors pulled away.  After trailing 13-10, Manny Simpson, who was held to a thankless 98 yards on 30 carries came through with 99 seconds left in regulation.  A four-yard touchdown run by the Warriors tailback proved to be the difference.  Perhaps Simpson’s run will be the one that will raise a Foothills Conference banner on the campus of Penn-Trafford for the first time since 2000.

AAA  “Category 5 at Taggart”
New Castle Red Hurricane 32 – Hopewell Vikings 28

Ah, the Parkway Conference.  You truly never know.  While the WPIAL’s all-time leading rusher was on the sidelines Friday night at Taggart Stadium as the Red Hurricane hosted the Hopewell Vikings, one would think that the Vikings would still be able to pull off a win without the might Rushel Shell.  Shell, sitting out with concussion-like symptoms saw the Red Hurricane in the late stages of the game upset the Vikings 32-28.  The play that made the difference was New Castle’s John Matarazzo’s 44-yard pass to Stew Allen with 1:07 left.  It’s important to keep in mind that not only did the win for New Castle tie them with the Vikings in the Parkway Conference (both teams with 2-2 marks in league play), but the four point margin of victory could prove to be pivotal with tie breaking points in the next few weeks.

AA – “Causing Traffic?”
Waynesburg Central 22 – Charleroi Cougers 19 in Overtime

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, motorists are used to traffic on the interstate.  Waynesburg is doing their best to cause traffic in the AA-Interstate Conference and because of a thrilling overtime win against Charleroi, they provided themselves an outside shot at doing just that.  While Waynesburg is in fifth place, their overtime win against the Cougars has provided them with a shot at controling their own destiny.  While it’ll be difficult, if Waynesburg does rally to make the post-season, they’ll look back on Friday night and the toe of Pat Herson.  He kicked a 32-yard field goal in overtime to keep the light at the end of the tunnel lit for Waynesburg.

A – “Stayin’ Alive”
Neshannock Lancers 13 – Union Scotties 12

The Neshannock Lancers were able to salvage any hope of a post season berth on Friday in a dramatic come-from-behind victory against conference rival Union.  Mike Sanfilippo brought the Lancers back from the dead.  After the Scotties jumped out to an early two score lead, Sanfilippo found Ernie Burkes twice in the end zone.  Once from six yards out and the decisive strike from 47 yards away.  The Lancers grab their first conference win of the year.

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