PIAA Class A quarterfinals preview: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic vs. Tussey Mountain
TribLIVE Sports Videos
PIAA A quarterfinals
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (13-0) vs. Tussey Mountain (11-2) 7 p.m. Friday at Hampton
If defense wins championships, then Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic has as good a shot as anyone to add to its trophy case.
Less than one week after winning the school's first WPIAL Class A championship, the Trojans begin their quest for a PIAA title at 7 p.m. Friday against District 5 champion Tussey Mountain (11-2) in Friday's state quarterfinals at Hampton.
North Catholic (13-0), which has allowed just 10.5 points per game this season, was at its best Saturday at Heinz Field, holding the WPIAL's all-time leading passer, Sto-Rox's Lenny Williams, to 203 yards while forcing three turnovers. The Trojans also had six sacks and held Sto-Rox to just 19 rushing yards on 21 carries.
“Our defense played a heck of a football game,” North Catholic coach Bob Ravenstahl said.
Tussey Mountain will provide a completely different look than the pro-style Sto-Rox offense, favoring the Wing-T attack. The Titans are led by three skilled players out of the backfield — QB Quinn Barnett and RBs Darrin Sipes and Dan Taylor.
Sipes, a PIAA track and field medalist in the 100-meter dash, is the team's all-around performer on both sides of the ball. He has rushed for 1,606 yards and 20 touchdowns, caught 16 passes for 460 yards and five scores and has made 115 tackles as a safety.
“Darrin is a very physical-style runner,” TM coach Josh Smith said. “He has a ton of speed but is very physical and also blocks well and can catch the ball out of the backfield. It's a pleasure to have him. Defensively, we move him all over the field and he makes plays.”
Taylor complements Sipes well offensively, offering a speedy, more elusive option in the Wing-T, Smith said. He has rushed for 1,329 yards and 20 scores.
North Catholic will rely on its defensive leaders to set the tone Friday night. The group includes tackles Ryan Long (2 sacks Saturday) and Jarred Fragapane (3 tackles for loss), linebacker Joshua Churchin (captain) and defensive backs P.J. Fulmore (6 tackles), Ryan Kirby (interception) and Timon Gribbin (5 tackles).
— Bill Hartlep
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
- Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
- Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
- Inside the Steelers: Williams’ quickness out of backfield evident in drills
- McCutchen, Pirates cruise to interleague victory over Twins
- Steelers notebook: LB Dupree sits out backs-on–backers drill
- Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
- West Liberty pitcher hones skills in South
- Pirates notebook: Melancon bails out Watson with extended outing
- Vallozzi’s Pittsburgh transfers great fare it’s been known for in the Pittsburgh region to the Steel City
- Gameday: Pirates at Reds, July 30, 2015