WPIAL Friday Night HighLights – Week Four
Saturday, September 26, 2015 | 10:17 AM
The fourth Friday of the 2015 WPIAL football season was a night filled with Firsts and Lasts. On the first Friday of Autumn, six teams got off the deck and won their first game of the season including one team winning for the first time in four seasons (more on that later). But without question on this last Friday of September, all of the nights winners are hoping this wont be their last taste of victory in 2015. Speaking of taste, here are ten performances that were absolutely delicious to all except the opposing team.
FINALLY! A win has comeback to Shaler High School. After nearly four calender years filled with defeat, Shaler headed north Friday night for a Northern Eight Conferernce contest at Butler and returned down Route 8 in championship celebration mode. Killian Bozzo caught a 20-yard touchdown pass in the first half, then returned a fumble 10 yards to paydirt in the second half as the Titans won for the first time since beating Erie McDowell October 8th, 2011, snapping a nasty 34-game losing streak with a 30-20 sound the horns triumph over the Golden Tornados.
Levi Metheny – Bethel Park
While some of his best play in the first three weeks was on defense as a stud linebackers, Bethel Park head coach Jeff Metheny’s son was razor sharp on offense in guiding his team to an easy victory. Senior signal caller Levi Metheny was near perfect as he hit on 10 of 11 passes for 237 yards and four touchdown passes of 17, 63, 39 and 2 yards as the Black Hawks evened their overall record with a one-sided 69-21 win over the host Canon-McMillan Big Macs in a Class AAAA Southeastern Conference cruise control contest.
George Martin – Ringgold
Sometimes it doesn’t always go as scripted. In a Class AAA Big Ten Conference battle of the unbeaten, all of West Mifflin’s focus was correctly spent on slowing down Ringgold running back Chacar Berry…and for the most part, it was mission accomplished as Berry gained a modest by his standards 118 yards and was kept out of the end zone. But the Rams did their scoring damage through the air as quarterback George Martin threw a 17-yard touchdown in the second quarter to tie the game, then tossed a 7-yard scoring strike in the third that proved to be the difference in the Rams 14-7 triumph over the Titans.
DeWayne Murray – Steel Valley
Steel Valley junior running back DeWayne Murray was like a portable heater in a cold room, it took a while to heat up, but once he got going, he was sizzling. In a huge Class AA Century Conference showdown that could eventually decide a postseason home game in Round One, Murray rushed for 196 yards and scored two touchdowns, including a 35-yard jaunt that turned out to be the game winning score in the Ironmen’s hard-fought 27-21 win over the host Seton-LaSalle Rebels at Peters Township High School.
Kaezon Pugh – Aliquippa
Usually Kaezon Pugh’s evening is over by halftime with a handful of carries in his back pocket as his Aliquippa teammates steam roll through another opponent. So it was a sweet night at ‘The Pit’ for Pugh on Friday as he broke a sweat by carrying the ball 17 times for 283 yards and two long second half touchdown runs of 70 and 67 yards as the host Quips prevailed in a rare Class AA Midwestern Athletic Conference competitive game for them by the score of 35-14 over the game Quaker Valley Quakers.
Brad McLaughlin – Burgettstown
After years of struggling in Class A and after moving up to Class AA, there is something special in the air at Burgettstown this year. Perhaps it is the airial succes of quarterback Brad McLaughlin, who is filling the stat sheet and the air with impressive passes. Friday he hit on 17 of 31 passes for 330 yards and five touchdown passes of 4, 30, 20, 19 and 32 yards, plus he scored on a pair of touchdown runs in the Blue Devils 62-18 dismantling of the host Charleroi Cougars in a Class AA Interstate Conference runaway.
Alex Smith – Keystone Oaks
OK, we made the mistake last week of thinking this signal caller was moonlighting as the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs, however if he keeps putting up these kind of numbers…just sayin. Keystone Oaks quarterback Alex Smith hit on 20 of 26 passes for 327 yards three touchdown passes of 10, 74 and 11 yards as the host Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles took over fourth place in the Class AA Century Conference with a 26-7 victory over the winless South Park Eagles.
Zach Chandler and Jamal Hughley – Avonworth
In a Class A non-conference battle of Top Five teams with perfect records through three weeks, Avonworth turned to the lethal combination of Zach Chandler to Jamal Hughley to remain undefeated at 4-0. Quarterback Chandler hit on 16 of 30 passes for 337 yards and four touchdown passes, three of which went to running back Hughley, who caught 7 passes in all for 247 yards and long scoring receptions of 88, 63 and 58 yards and rushed for 113 yards as the Antelopes dashed to a 28-20 thriller over the visiting Shenango Wildcats
Montrail Strozier – Rochester
Rochester was expected to bounce back this year and possibly making a run to returning to the playoffs after a couple of down years, but through the first three weeks, they kept taking the wrong path in search of a victory. That all changed Friday when they finally happened upon a Victorious ‘trail’. Montrail Strozier busted open for a HUGE game as he rushed for 313 yards while scoring four tochdowns on jaunts of 7, 74, 49 and 28 yards as the Rams scored a Class A Big 7 Conference upset by stunning the host Riverside Panthers 38-22.
Tony Welsh – Beth-Center
Not only do we tip our cap to Beth-Center running back Tony Welsh, we also go our of our way to fill up one bath with frozen cubes and the other with hot steamy water for his ice-bath followed by a visit to the bubbling hot tub. Welsh earned it by carrying the rock 36 times and hammering out 294 yards and two touchdowns on first quarter runs of 22 and 10 yards as the Bulldogs remained unbeaten in Class A Tri-County South Conference action with a hard-fought 28-0 whitewash of the host Carmichaels Mighty Mikes.
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