Head-to-head matchup to highlight Parkway battle
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Montour's Devin Wilson relishes games against Central Valley and the blossoming rivalry between the schools.
“It's not so much a mean-type of rivalry,” Wilson said. “It's two good teams, and we both know we're pretty good. So, when we play, sparks fly.”
The Parkway foes meet again tonight at Central Valley in a game televised by Root Sports. Central Valley is ranked No. 1 in Class AAA, and Montour is No. 2. The winner inherits WPIAL favorite status.
But Wilson, a talented receiver and cornerback, also has built his own personal rivalry with Central Valley star Robert Foster. When their teams met four times in the past two seasons, seldom were the two far apart. When Foster was at wideout, Wilson was at corner. When Wilson was playing receiver, Foster was at safety.
“He's just fun to go up against,” Wilson said. “He's so fast and elusive and athletic. He's someone I actually look forward to playing against.”
That eagerness shows. Because, while Foster is a five-star recruit, a national preseason all-American and ranks among the country's best receivers, Wilson has defended him better than anyone.
It's a fact Foster doesn't deny.
“I'll give it to him, he's a good corner,” Foster said. “He's locked me down a few times, but I've got to get revenge this year.”
“Locked” is a relative term.
In two games last season, Foster had 286 combined rushing and receiving yards, a solid total for most athletes. But the 6-foot-3, 185-pound senior had only two offensive touchdowns.
For the most part, Wilson prevented big plays, his strategy when facing Foster. Wilson tried to limit Foster to 5- or 10-yard gains, “and make him work for everything he gets.” Foster is too strong to jam, but too fast to play loosely, he said.
“You never know what he's really going to run,” Wilson said. “He could take you deep or he can stop short and then take a play 50 yards.”
In last year's WPIAL semifinal, Foster had nine catches for 91 yards. But his only touchdown was a 40-yard run. In their Week 6 game, Foster had two catches for 47 yards and scored with a 55-yard run and a 70-yard interception return.
The damage could have been worse.
“Devin really impressed me,” Central Valley coach Mark Lyons said. “I think he was the one kid who was a challenge for Robert, no question. I know he was a challenge for our staff.”
A week ago against Hopewell, Wilson caught three touchdowns. Against New Castle, Foster had eight catches and a 2-yard touchdown run.
At 6-4, 185, Wilson has the size and athleticism to rival Foster. He's a true two-sport star and has Division I scholarship offers in both football and basketball. Those hoops skills help him with Foster. Those skills showed late in last November's semifinal, when Wilson made two interceptions. Also, on the next-to-last play, Wilson tipped a pass away from Foster, helping to preserve a 21-14 victory.
“Robert might have had him a step,” Lyons said, “but what Devin did well was he high-pointed the ball better. His basketball skills came out.”
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-5666.
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.
- Tipton, Brown run for 518 yards to lead Apollo-Ridge past Kittanning
- Highlands defense dominates West Shamokin
- Early score sets dominant tone in Springdale’s victory over Wilkinsburg
- Greensburg Salem starts slow in loss to Hollidaysburg
- Valley Independent roundup: California, Yough stay winless with routs
- HS highlight reel: Peters, USC rivalry resumes Thursday
- Gorman: Quitting not the answer