WPIAL Saturday’s Scholastic Starz for 8/30

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Sunday, August 31, 2014 | 10:24 AM


Saturday football continues to become more rare with each passing school year. Now that Geibel Catholic is not fielding a team this season (moment of silence), the WPIAL now only has four schools that play a majority of their home games on Saturday afternoon: Summit Academy, Wilkinsburg, Riverview & Western Beaver. But that doesn’t mean good things don’t happen the day after Friday night lights. Here are the top five performances from a rather busy first Saturday of 2014.

Tyler Perone – Seton-LaSalle

One of the better quarterbacks in the WPIAL that you don’t hear much about is Seton-LaSalle gunslinger Tyler Perone. Part of that is because a coupe of elite district quarterbacks in Brett Brumbaugh and Dane Jackson play in the same Class AA Century Conference. Perone started his 2014 season by hitting on 15 of 25 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns in the Rebels 19-8 victory over the visiting South Park Eagles.

Nick Ioanilli – Ellwood City

Ellwood City headed to Herman Pa not knowing what to expect as they faced Class AA Midwestern Athletic Conference newcomer Summit Academy, a school coming off their first ever playoff berth a year ago. But it was the Wolverines who were in postseason form thanks to quarterback Nick Ioanilli, who connected on a 35-yard scoring strike to Mario Street, scored on a 7-yard run and returned a kickoff 82-yards in a 35-0 rout of the Knights.

Dylan Cleckner – Shenango

Sometimes you are rewarded for steady work throughout a game and sometimes it comes down to just one moment. While teammates Hunter Waskin and Tyler Root each rushed for over one hundred yards, it was kicker Dylan Cleckner who saved the day for visiting Shenango, as he booted a 20-yard field goal as time expired to give the Wildcats a 23-22 upset victory over the host Western Beaver Golden Beavers in a Class A Big 7 Conference opener.

Robert Higginbotham – Wilkinsburg

100 years ago, Wilkinsburg was awarded the very first WPIAL football championship. The 2014 version of the Tigers is not on anybody’s list to bring gold back to their East hills community, but they can dream after a good start Saturday. Robert Higginbotham delivered two daggers as he scored on a 72-yard touchdown pass from Jonathan Carpenter, then returned an interception 62-yards to the house as Wilkinsburg beat the Leechburg Blue Devils 24-14 in a Class A Eastern Conference fray.

Garrett Bishop – Riverside

The final game of the Week One high school football  schedule in District 7 came Sa-Sa-Saturday night at Dormont Stadium as a couple of teams that struggled in 2013 collided in a Class A non-conference game looking for a good start in 2014. And what a start for Riverside thanks to Garrett Bishop, who picked off a pass on the second play of the game and returned it 35-yards for a touchdown and the Panthers never looked back as they beat the host Bishop Canevin Crusaders 21-12.  

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