WPIAL Football Team of the Week: Week 6
Monday, October 7, 2019 | 6:37 PM
This season has turned into another successful one for tradition rich football programs just south of the City of Pittsburgh like Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park and Upper St. Clair.
Well, there is a new kid on the South Hills block that is making some noise and playing winning football as well.
Welcome to the land of purple, also known as Baldwin High School.
The Highlanders shut out West Allegheny on Friday, 23-0, to improve to 3-2 in the tough Class 5A Allegheny Eight Conference and move into fifth place, a half-game out of second.
“We still haven’t played a complete game,” Baldwin third-year coach Loran Cooley said. “We have a ton of stuff to clean up. A positive about this year is we are learning how to finish games. That is huge during this part of the season.”
That was evident Friday when the Highlanders built a 13-0 lead at the half, but instead of wilting in the second half, came out strong and added 10 third-quarter points.
“Our team knew that we had to finish this game,” Cooley said. “The seniors knew what was as stake.”
One of those seniors is running back Angelo Priore. He rushed for 178 yards and scored on an 82-yard run in the third quarter.
“Angelo played well. He is a game breaker,” Cooley said. “He knew a play needed to be made and he made it. Extremely proud of his progress up to this point and he is just getting better every week.”
Priore has 783 yards rushing with nine touchdowns through seven games.
Another senior playing well for the Highlanders is quarterback Mason Stahl.
“Mason is a warrior,” Cooley said. “He plays with a lot of passion and fire. He does a lot for us on both sides of the football. He is a true leader of our football team. Our offense goes as far as he takes us.”
Against West Allegheny, Stahl connected with Naseer Penn on a 76-yard touchdown pass and also scored on a 32-yard run.
For the season, he has thrown five touchdowns and run for 10 more.
Baldwin had allowed an average of 30 points per game heading into Week 6, so the whitewash of West A was a bit of a stunner.
“I don’t think we played our best game defensively,” Cooley said. “We just answered the bell in key moments. We still have a tone of room to improve defensively.”
The victory is the third straight triumph for Baldwin, the first time they accomplished that many wins in a row since 2005.
More importantly, the win lifts the Highlanders into the top five in the Allegheny Eight in a classification that takes the top five teams from each conference.
Another challenge is up next for Baldwin in Week 7 when it hosts first-place Bethel Park.
“Our conference is the best conference in the state in 5A,” Cooley said. “Bethel Park is a great football team. They are very well coached and it should be an exciting game. They are extremely physical up front on both sides of the football.
“We need a great week of practice.”
2019 Trib HSSN football teams of the week:
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