Upper St. Clair QB dominates Peters Towship
TribLIVE Sports Videos
If there were lingering doubts about Pete Coughlin being one-dimensional, he tossed them aside.
The Upper St. Clair quarterback threw five touchdown passes in Friday night's 42-14 victory over Peters Township, contradicting the run-first tag applied to him when his legs carried USC to victory in last year's playoffs.
And those legs still work. The senior ran 68 yards for another touchdown Friday in a performance certain to open eyes around Class AAAA.
“For sure,” said Coughlin, who completed 9 of 11 passes for 249 yards, “because now they'll have to respect the pass and the run from our offense.”
USC scored on four of its first five possessions, including touchdown throws from Coughlin to three different receivers. Mike McGuire caught a 32-yard touchdown, Morgan Lee had a 9-yarder and Mike Krenn had a 72-yarder. Most came with Coughlin outside the pocket.
“Pete is opportunistic,” USC coach Jim Render said. “He's got an accurate arm. He's not a pocket passer, per se, but he causes a lot of problems when he's got the ball on the run.”
Coughlin rushed for 110 yards as USC built a 28-7 halftime lead.
When Coughlin added a third-quarter touchdown pass to Tim Witenske (32 yards) and another to McGuire (65 yards), the Panthers' lead reached 35 points, enacting the mercy rule. The clock ran continuously for the game's final 15 minutes.
“The first two games people might have said they didn't know if Pete could throw the ball,” McGuire said, “but I think he really proved it tonight. He threw a lot of great passes.”
The victory keeps No. 3 USC (3-0, 3-0) atop the Quad Central.
For at least 14 seconds Friday, No. 8 Peters Township (2-1, 2-1) seemed prepared for its first ever victory over USC. Mike Minjock returned the opening kickoff 95 yards, sprinting along the left sideline to give his Indians a 7-0 lead.
Victories over conference opponents Baldwin and Penn Hills had boosted the Indians' confidence. But USC dashed those upset dreams.
On USC's first possession, Coughlin led the Panthers 61 yards in nine plays, including a 19-yard pass to junior Ben Haus. Facing fourth-and-11, the drive nearly stalled at Peters' 32-yard line, but Coughlin lofted a pass to McGuire deep in the end zone. The touchdown tied the score, 7-7, with 7:14 left in the first quarter.
The second possession covered 66 yards in nine plays — eight runs and a 9-yard touchdown pass to Lee. The third possession lasted just two plays, ending with a 68-yard touchdown run by Coughlin to lead, 21-7, just 2:11 into the second quarter.
Peters couldn't keep pace. The Indians offense lost yardage on two of its first three possessions and gained just 1 yard on the other.
Minjock added a 47-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.
“We knew they were going to focus on him,” Peters Township coach Rich Piccinini said, “because he's been our workhorse so far.”
Chris Harlan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com 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.
- PIAA quarterfinalists Central Valley, Conneaut sharing success after mergers
- South Fayette, Karns City set for rematch in PIAA quarterfinals
- Penn Hills relishes conference title, reflects on season
- Thomas Jefferson gridders post 3rd straight 11-1 record
- Brentwood’s Conroy shares top conference award on defense
- WPIAL’s Top 10 football champions of all time
- WPIAL Class AAA notebook: Central Valley to face another merger in PIAA playoffs
- Scoring record within reach for Clairton
- Thomas Jefferson, Mars running games out of this world
- From venues to playoff format, much has changed in 100 years of WPIAL championships
- End of an era for Ford City football and its coach; Bartolovic steps aside