Highlands whips Derry
By Dave Yohe
Published: Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, 11:36 p.m.
Highlands sophomore quarterback Blake Leri doesn't play hockey, but he did put up a hat trick.
Leri rushed for, threw and caught a touchdown pass in Highlands' 41-13 win over Class AAA Greater Allegheny Conference foe Derry on Friday night at Golden Rams Stadium.
“That's pretty impressive for a sophomore. He's a competitor,” Highlands coach Sam Albert said. “I haven't seen that type of competitiveness since Jeff Sinclair, or Luke Westerman when I had him at Freeport. That type of kid, they rally around him no matter what age he is.”
Sinclair, a 2009 Highlands grad, is a starter at Robert Morris, and Westerman, a 2004 Freeport graduate, played at Slippery Rock.
The play where Leri caught a touchdown pass is the only play designed for him — as a receiver. But no one was as surprised to see the ball come his way as Leri.
“I knew I was going to play a few positions,” Leri said. “I didn't think it was going to happen at all (Friday night).”
Junior tight end Allan Cratsenberg, who lined up in the backfield, hit Leri with the pass after taking the direct snap when Leri went in motion to the slot receiver position.
“It's nice to have somebody like Cratsenberg, who's versatile enough to come in and throw,” Albert said.
Leri ended up completing just four passes on 11 attempts for 66 yards. His last completion was a 28-yard strike to sophomore receiver Chris Fick.
“The nice thing about quarterback: People only remember your last throw,” Albert said. “You can throw five bad balls, but when you hit that one, you're back to being the hero.”
Leri rushed seven times for 40 yards.
Adding to the Highlands (2-4, 2-4) ground total was sophomore running back Elijah Jackson.
The 5-foot-7, 143 pound runner had 151 yards on 11 carries and scored twice.
“He runs inside hard. He runs hard every play,” Albert said. “He's hard to bring down. He runs with authority.”
Jackson opened the second half with an 86-yard touchdown.
“They aren't going to catch Elijah,” Albert said.
He wasted little time scoring again with a 7-yard touchdown on his next carry following a Derry (1-5, 0-5) turnover.
Senior kicker Mike Masarik hit two early field goals for Highlands, a 27- and 31-yarder.
“That's two (wins) now,” Albert said. “We just have to keep that momentum going into Greensburg (Salem).”
Dave Yohe is a freelance writer
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.
- Penguins stave off Ducks’ shooting barrage to win in shootout
- Steelers restructure Brown’s contract to become salary cap compliant
- Trade to Penguins caps frenetic period for winger Stempniak
- Pirates seek to tap Alvarez’s remaining upside
- Ex-tow truck operator says Pittsburgh officer, city put him out of business
- Greensburg woman accused of assaulting nurse in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital
- Penguins notebook: Maatta leaves lasting impression with Selanne
- Gorman: Pitt should be happy with Dixon
- Health research at state’s universities at risk if tobacco settlement funds axed
- Free-throw shooting keys Fox Chapel’s opening-round win
- Web of surveillance videos helps ensnare suspect in East Liberty slayings