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Baldwin visits Penn Hills in Root Sports game

| Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012, 8:59 p.m.
South Hills Record
Baldwin senior John Smith looks to turn the corner against Plum in the Fighting Highlanders' home opener. The Fighting Highlanders defeated the visitors, 35-7

Baldwin begins one of the most grueling stretches of any WPIAL football team tonight, Thursday, against conference foe Penn Hills.

The Fighting Highlanders visit Penn Hills in a Root Sports televised game of the week at 7 p.m.

“Root Sports does a great job with the broadcast,” Jim Wehner, Baldwin's fourth-year head coach, said. “We're excited about the recognition that the program and school district will get. It's awesome for the kids.”

Penn Hills is celebrating its 75th season in 2012, and is aiming to extend its WPIAL playoff streak. The Indians have qualified for the playoffs for 14 straight years.

“Penn Hills is very talented on both sides of the ball,” Wehner said. “They have speed, and they are physical.”

Following tonight's Quad Central Conference matchup, Baldwin faces, in succession, conference foes Mt. Lebanon at home, Upper St. Clair on the road, and Woodland Hills at home.

“The next four weeks are going to be very tough,” Wehner said. “Hopefully, we can stay healthy and compete.”

All four of Baldwin's opponents in the next month traditionally are football powers in the WPIAL's highest division.

Penn Hills was ranked eighth in Class AAAA in the Tribune-Review's high school football rankings prior to last week's 14-0 conference loss to an up-and-coming Peters Township squad.

Mt. Lebanon (No. 7), Upper St. Clair (No. 3) and Woodland Hills (No. 6) all are ranked in the Tribune-Review's top 10 in Class AAAA.

Penn Hills, which defeated Canon-McMillan, 20-13, in Week 1 this season, dropped to 1-1 in the conference and 1-1 overall with last week's loss to Peters Township.

Baldwin, which lost a 40-12 decision to Peters Township in its season opener, socked Plum last week, 35-7, to improve to 1-1 in the Quad Central and 1-1 overall.

“The kids played well. We (had) talked all week about getting back on track,” Wehner said. “The offensive line opened the holes, and the running backs made it happen.”

Senior running back Dorian Brown rushed for 167 yards on 14 carries, and scored three times, for the Fighting Highlanders.

Through two games, Brown has run for 308 yards on 33 carries and has scored five touchdowns.

Stephon Harris, on a 52-yard dash, and Nick Barca, on a 40-yard jaunt, also reached the end zone for Baldwin last week.

Sophomore quarterback Doug Altavilla connected on 7 of 13 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown.

Baldwin outscored the Mustangs by a 21-0 difference in the second half.

The local squad was propelled by Jay Morrison defensively. Morrison, a junior defensive back, led the team in tackles with seven.

Penn Hills is led offensively by seniors Darius Holloway at quarterback, Aaron Bailey at running back and Jordan Davenport at wide receiver.

Holloway (119 yards) and Bailey (110 yards) combined for 229 yards on the ground in their season opener at Canon-McMillan.

Through two games, Holloway has passed for 194 yards, completing 15 of 22 tosses.

The Indians' offensive line is anchored by Lynwood Barron, a 6-foot-4, 315-pound senior.

And athletes such as senior Toreek Hester and junior Marshall Thompson also are on the radar screens of college scouts.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or

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