Seton-La Salle seeking third consecutive shutout in home opener
Two familiar foes — Seton-La Salle and Keystone Oaks — will clash in a Century Conference game Friday at 7 p.m. at Chartiers Valley Stadium.
This is a McNeilly Road football rivalry that's been dominated by the Seton-La Salle Rebels in recent years.
The two teams have clashed on the final week of the regular season as Century Conference members since 2008.
Seton-La Salle has won three of the four contests, including the past two decisions by scores of 49-14 and 32-22.
The Rebels, who have shut out their first two opponents this season, look to make it 4-of-5 wins against the Golden Eagles this Friday at Chartiers Valley High School.
After opening up with a 35-0 win at South Allegheny, Seton beat Burgettstown last week, 42-0. The Rebels are 2-0 in the Century Conference and 2-0 on the year.
It has gone from bad to worse for Keystone Oaks. After starting off with a 35-0 loss at Steel Valley, the Golden Eagles fell at home to South Fayette last week, 53-0.
Keystone Oaks has a new head coach in Matt Taylor this season. He is familiar with the Century Conference; he formerly coached at Burgettstown for eight seasons.
Dale Klobuchir gives the Golden Eagles a rushing threat on offense. The senior has been a starter since midway through his sophomore season, and racked up more than 1,000 yards last season.
“We had a plan against Dale last season, and it wasn't fun,” Taylor said. “He had about 170 yards, so having him on my team this season (is) great. He will have the ball in his hands as much as possible.”
Senior Cory Sevacko is a 6-foot-4, 185-pound wide-receiving threat for the Golden Eagles, who are breaking in a new quarterback — sophomore Kobe Phillipps.
While Phillipps is young and inexperienced, Taylor said he has shown progress.
“I like how he is taking charge,” Taylor said. “He has a really accurate arm. He is a sophomore who is paying nothing like a sophomore.”
Taylor said the Golden Eagles' 4-4 defense offers plenty of weapons.
“We have a few home run hitters at each level of the defense,” he said.
The Seton-La Salle defense has been sparked by the likes of seniors Nick Sywyj and Lou Rotunda, sophomore Matt Reinmund, senior Matt McGervey and junior James Ross, among others, this year.
Offensively, the Rebels have been led by senior quarterback Luke Brumbaugh, who completed 15 of 24 aerials for 271 yards and three touchdowns last week.
On the year, Brumbaugh has accounted for 371 yards and four touchdowns in the passing department.
His favorite targets have been senior wideouts Rotunda, with six receptions for 131 yards and one touchdown, and Tim Blair, who caught four passes for 68 yards in the Rebels' season opener.
Rick Mellick, a sophomore running back, scored three times last week.
Senior wideout Tyler Slagle, senior tight end Scott Orndoff and junior running back Brandon Aiello added one touchdown apiece.
Another offensive weapon for the Rebels is junior placekicker Dom DelGreco, who is 9-for-9 in PAT attempts.
Seton-La Salle defeated Keystone Oaks in Week 9 last season, 49-14.
Seton tripped up the Golden Eagles in 2010, 32-22, also in Week 9.
BRENTWOOD at IMANI CHRISTIAN Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Imani Christian, a first-year WPIAL and Black Hills Conference squad, has a group of talented skill players that won four 7-on-7 competitions this summer.
Imani lost to Bishop Canevin on the road in its season opener, 21-6, before rebounding with a 57-0 triumph at Serra Catholic last week.
The Saints (1-1, 1-1) face Brentwood (1-1, 1-1), which fell to Monessen by a 35-28 score last week, this Friday in their first home game of the 2012 season.
“We played against teams (last year) that weren't in the WPIAL. Now, we're in the SEC of Class A football,” Harvey Smith, Imani's head coach, said. “Our issue is not being familiar, it's not being on the field playing against WPIAL teams.
“We have some big kids up front; they're all freshmen and sophomores. But we can throw the ball around with the best of them.”
Imani is led by one of the best cover corners around in 5-8, 175-pound Brendan Edwards, has a strong-armed quarterback in 6-foot, 170-pound senior Khari Hicks, and speed at running back with Ron Brown and at wide receiver with Edwards, Eric Scott and Michael Wright.
The development of 6-7, 300-pound sophomore tackle Brannon Murphy and 6-4, 225-pound freshman linebacker are vital to the Saints' season.
Against Serra Catholic, Ron Brown ran for 132 yards on 12 carries and scored four times. He kicked off the Saints' scoring with an 84-yard punt return in the first quarter, then added touchdown jaunts of 14, 34 and 50 yards.
Troy Simon, a 6-3, 185-pound junior wideout, also scored on an 89-yard kickoff return, while Lafayette Goode, a 6-1, 230-pound junior linebacker, scored on a 50-yard fumble recovery.
Brentwood (1-1, 1-1), which blanked Serra Catholic, 48-0, in its season opener, lost to Monessen (2-0, 2-0) in a Black Hills Conference thriller last week.
The Greyhounds made a late defensive stand inside their own 20-yard line that made the difference.
Brentwood never led, but never was out of the game.
None of Monessen's five touchdowns was less than a 25-yard effort.
Clintell Gillaspie reached the end zone on 79- and 87-yard pass receptions, Chavas Rawlins darted to a 26-yard touchdown, Brandon Lenhart scored on a 41-yard interception return, and Javon Brown manufactured the game-winning touchdown on an 85-yard punt return.
Monessen's speed was devastating for the Spartans.
“It's nice to have,” said Andy Pacak, Monessen's head coach. “It's a game-changer. Between Clintell on those two runs, Brown on the return and Chavas doing what he does, it's a nice combination.”
Rawlins, a 6-3, 188-pound senior quarterback and West Virginia recruit, passed for 205 yards and two touchdowns on a 6-for-19 performance.
Gillaspie, a 5-11, 222-pound junior running back, ended up with three receptions for 172 yards.
“Big plays killed us,” Kissel said, “and not getting in from the 1-yard line at the end of the first half, that hurt.”
Brentwood countered with junior running back Justin Vickless, who ran for 197 yards on 33 carries and scored twice, and senior quarterback Chris Shortley, who completed eight of 19 passes for 182 yards and two TDs with three interceptions.
Bill Madeja, a sophomore running back, also scored on a 21-yard touchdown reception with 7:34 left in the game, but the Spartans were unable to complete the comeback.
Shortley's pass to Mike Andrews in the end zone fell incomplete on a fourth-and-10 play from the Monessen 11 with 35 seconds remaining in the game.
On the season, Vickless has run for 307 yards on 44 carries, and has scored six touchdowns.
Shortley has hit on 12 of 23 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns.
Imani is on WPIAL probation and ineligible for the playoffs the next two seasons.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.