WPIAL Friday Night HighLights – Week Eight 2015
Saturday, October 24, 2015 | 9:57 AM
What a night for high school football in District 7. The skies were clear and the temps above average for late October, some teams clinched conference titles while others earned home field advantage in Round One and others still earned the right to participate in the upcoming postseason. Plus it turned out to be a record setting night for one junior running back. All this and the real fireworks don’t begin for another two weeks. Here are some of the top standouts from the eighth Friday of the WPIAL football season.
Duane Brown – Apollo-Ridge
Records are meant to be broken, correct? Well we have a NEW WPIAL all-time single game rushing leader who point a LOT of into writing his name into the record book. Duane Brown carried the ball FORTY-SIX times (I’m tired from just typing that) for a new record 460 yards (besting Marcus Furman of Connellsville two decade mark of 455) plus he scored all EIGHT of his teams touchdowns as the Vikings stayed alive for a Class AA Allegheny Conference playoff berth with a 56-35 triumph over the host Deer Lakes Lancers.
Troy Fischer – Pittsburgh Central Catholic
Coming into this Class AAAA Northern Eight Conference battle for first place, everybody was rightly talking about super sophomore quarterback Phil Jurkovec of Pine-Richland and everything he has done leading his team this year. Perhaps now some light can be shed on another terrific tenth grade signal caller. Pittsburgh Central Catholic quarterback Troy Fischer completed 9 of 18 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns, plus he scampered 16 yards for the game winning touchdown with only 26 seconds left in the game as the Vikings edged the Rams 35-28 in a thriller.
Miles Sanders – Woodland Hills
During This Week in the WPIAL this past Wednesday, Mount Lebanon coach Mike Melnyk was very worried about the explosive one-two punch Woodland Hills posses in their running attack that won’t make many boxers envious. And while Jo-El Shaw did open the scoring with a 33-yard touchdown run, it was the right cross delivered by Miles Sanders that led to a knockout victory. Sanders rushed for 216 yards and scored what proved to be the winning touchdown on a 41-yard run as the Wolverines held on to beat the Blue Devils 21-17 to win the Class AAAA Southeastern Conference championship.
Bryan Milligan – Canon-McMillan
The mind set of a team playing the spoiler role is very simple…if we aren’t making the trip on the Highway to Heinz, then neither are you. Canon-McMillan played that role perfectly Friday night thanks in large part to Bryan Milligan, who didn’t need a single mulligan by rushing for 301 yards and scoring three times on touchdown runs of 8, 15 and 20 yards as the host Big Macs eliminated the Baldwin Highlanders from the playoff chase with a 28-14 Class AAAA Southeastern Conference triumph.
Josh Russo – Altoona
Despite a record of 3-4 coming into their Week Eight contest, Hempfield was in a good spot for the postseason. Even if they didn’t get help elsewhere, the Spartans would find themselves in great shape for at least a wild card berth with a win on Friday. Easier said then done. Josh Russo exploded with 234 yards on the ground and three touchdown runs of 2, 3 and 66 yards as the host Altoona Mountain Lions have flipped the script and are still alive for a playoff berth following their 35-32 Class AAAA Foothills Conference shootout win.
Geno Stone – New Castle
It’s no secret, New Castle has been playing shorthanded the last two weeks following a nasty pregame brawl two weeks ago against Central Valley. back-to-back losses had put NeCa High’s playoff hopes in jeopardy. Back at full strength on Friday, Geno Stone had that ‘whatever it takes’ mentality as he caught eight passes for 53 yards, returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown and returned an interception 77 yards for a score as the Red Hurricanes cruised to a 28-9 win over the host Chartiers Valley Colts in a key Parkway Conference tilt.
Kaezon Pugh – Aliquippa
Late season non-conference games can be a drag. Add in the fact that you are traveling from one side of the district to another and your one week away from playing your bitter rival for a conference championship, and you are ripe for the picking. Unless of course you are Aliquippa, where running back sensation Kaezon Pugh did what he needed to do to keep the focus to the tune of 301 yards rushing with six touchdowns on runs of 66, 9, 52, 22, 16 and 4 yards and the Quips remained undefeated in a 50-38 Class AA Non-Conference victory over the host Mount Pleasant Vikings before next weeks showdown against Beaver Falls.
Darius Wise – Beaver
Word to the wise…Beaver not only can hurt you on the ground, but can also do damage in the air. Word from the Wise…Hey, I can throw the rock too. Quarterback Darius Wise connected on 15 of 25 passes for 231 yards with a 6-yard scoring pass. But Wise can do it all for the Bobcats and usually does, including a 45 yard kickoff return for the games first score and a 27 yard punt return for a touchdown for the games final score in a 27-0 whitewash of the host Freedom Bulldogs that clinhched a Class AA Midwestern Athletic Conference playoff berth for the ‘Cats.
Tryvon Brown – Brownsville
While a lot of attention is paid to the big showdowns around the district at this time of year, there are a lot of teams that have had their postseason tiki torches snuffed out and are playing the game old school…just for school and community pride. That was the case Friday in Republic, Pa where Tryvon Brown of Brownsville represented his name and school with a big game, rushing for 231 yards and three touchdowns on runs of 55, 11 and 74 yards as the Falcons won for the second time this season in a 61-15 rout of the Charleroi Cougars in a Class AA Interstate Conference matchup.
Tom Pellis – Greensburg Central Catholic
You could say the postseason started early for Greensburg Central Catholic. Not that they have their backs to the wall and have to win to get in, they had already clinched heading into Week Eight. However, GCC is closing out the regular season against a pair of fellow Class A Eastern Conference playoff teams in hosting Springdale and Jeannette before the actual postseason begins. It was a good start for the Centurions as quarterback Tom Pellis hit on 16 of 19 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns along with a scoring run in a 56-21 rout of the visiting Dynamos.
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