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With help from Cornell co-op, Quaker Valley optimistic about playoff push

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Quaker Valley's Dane Jackson.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review</em></div>Quaker Valley's Dane Jackson.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Quaker Valley receiver Blake Lipke.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review</em></div>Quaker Valley receiver Blake Lipke.

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Schedule

Coach: John Tortorea

2011 record: 3-7, 2-5

Date Opponent Time

8.31 at South Park* 7:30

9.7 South Allegheny* 7:30

9.14 McGuffey* 7:30

9.21 at Keystone Oaks* 7

9.28 Steel Valley* 7:30

10.5 at South Fayette* 7

10.12 at Seton-La Salle* 7

10.20 Burgettstown* 1:30

10. 26 Ellwood City 7:30

*conference game

Statistical leaders

Passing Burke Moser

52-144, 786 yards, 8 TDs

Rushing Jordan Vescio*

74-405 yards, 4 TDs

Receiving Vescio*

24-390 yards, 5 TDs

*Graduated

Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Rick Shrum
Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, 8:08 p.m.
 

The evening of Sept. 2, 2011, was exhilarating for the Quaker Valley football team. And a foreshadowing of sorts.

Quaker Valley defeated Cornell, 27-26, in a pulsating opening to the season and to the head-coaching career of the Quakers' John Tortorea.

Unknown at the time was that Cornell, the team that nearly beat the Quakers, would join them three months later.

Under a cooperative sponsorship, about 15 players from Cornell will play for Quaker Valley beginning this season. The agreement was forged in December, and the influx of talent from a Class A playoff team could enhance the performance of a Quakers squad that already had seven starters returning on both offense and defense. A number of those first-teamers, Tortorea said, were freshmen forced to play last year because of injuries.

“We couldn't be happier about where we've come since the beginning of last season,” said Tortorea, whose Quakers finished 3-7 but improved markedly over the previous two years, when they were a collective 1-17.

“We missed the playoffs by one game. With the addition of players from Cornell, we feel our team is significantly improved.”

Good enough to reach the postseason for the first time since 1999? Quarterback Burke Moser is optimistic.

“We have a single goal — playoffs,” said Moser, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior. “We're prepared, and we think we can make a run.”

Moser and the Raiders' offense will benefit from the addition of two swift sophomores — receiver/defensive back Dane Jackson, of Cornell, and running back Trevon Marshall, a transfer from Ambridge. Blake Lipke also should make an impact.

“We now have a lot of kids who can turn a 5-yard run into a 60-yarder,” said Tortorea, who plans to groom Jackson as the “quarterback of the future.”

The Quakers coach also expects quality play from Rocco Brown, who has switched from guard to tight end/defensive end as a senior.

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