Penn-Trafford offense shines in victory
First halves don't come much better than the one the Penn-Trafford offense produced.
The Warriors gained 442 yards before halftime -- 457 total -- and scored a touchdown on all six of their first-half possessions, cruising past visiting Peters Township, 42-12, in a Class AAAA nonconference matchup.
Senior running back Manny Simpson rushed for 204 yards and three touchdowns on only 10 carries for 10th-ranked Penn-Trafford (1-0), while senior quarterback Zach Emerick was a perfect 10-for-10 passing for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The win sets up a big nonconference matchup for the Warriors next week at fourth-ranked Mt. Lebanon, which won its opening game over Pine-Richland.
"We've worked hard all summer for this, and I guess it showed today," Emerick said. "You don't expect something like this, but we played strong on both sides of the ball."
"We knew they had guys coming back, with the quarterback, Manny Simpson and some borderline Division I linemen," First-year Peters Township coach Rich Piccinini said. "That doesn't change the fact that we arm tackled, and we didn't play to our potential."
Peters Township (0-1) was led by Andrew Erenberg, who ran for 51 yards and a score, and Marcus Ubinger, who had 70 yards rushing and a score in the fourth quarter.
Penn-Trafford did the job on offense in large chunks, running 13 plays in the first half that went for 10 yards or more. Simpson provided the three largest of those, breaking runs of 55, 60 and 51 yards before taking the second half off with the rest of the Warriors' first team.
"We just went out and did what we had to do to get the job done, then get our second-string guys out there," Simpson said.
The defense also did its share for the Warriors, as first-half interceptions by Brian McDonough and Dorian Stevens helped Penn-Trafford hold Peters Township scoreless until the final quarter, when both teams began rolling in substitutes.
"That pick that Brian had was huge. We punched it in right after that, and that's what really got the ball rolling," Emerick said.