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Burrell's Bush flashes his versatility

| Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, 10:53 p.m.
Burrell's Cody Wolfe rushes towards the end zone to score a touchdown against Shady Side Academy's Doc Szlachetka during the first half of the football game at Burrell High School on Friday September 21, 2012. Erica Hilliard | Valley News Dispatch

Those who might have had the impression that Burrell's Cole Bush, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior running back/outside linebacker, only makes big plays on offense were given evidence to the contrary Friday night.

Bush made a touchdown-saving play during a 27-6 win over Shady Side Academy in a key Class AA Allegheny Conference game at Buccaneer Stadium.

Burrell (4-0, 3-0), ranked No. 8 by Trib Total Media, took sole possession of first place in the nine-team conference with the victory over No. 10 Shady Side (3-1, 3-1).

Late in the third quarter with Burrell leading by the final score, Shady Side quarterback Matt Granato broke loose for what nearly ended up being a 60-yard touchdown run. But Bush chased down Granato at the 4-yard line and knocked the ball from his hands and out of the end zone for a touchback.

Oh, and Bush also rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries.

“He's a great athlete,” Shady Side coach Dave Havern said. “That was a magnificent defensive play. He caught him from behind, and Matty Granato isn't slow. Cole Bush is the kind of player who makes those plays.”

With the exception of a few big plays, Shady Side Academy (3-1, 3-1) struggled to move the ball. The Indians' top two running backs — juniors Dennis Briggs and Jarred Brevard — received limited playing time while nursing ankle injuries. Briggs finished with 61 yards and a touchdown on five carries, and Brevard had one attempt for 8 yards.

Burrell junior Cody Wolfe provided a momentum-changing, 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. And in his first extended action at fullback this season, sophomore Ryan Sowol gained 88 yards on five carries.

“It was an all-around great victory for us,” Burrell coach Kevin Horwatt said.

Burrell dominated the first half and took a 27-6 lead into halftime. The first quarter was a defensive affair until the Bucs put together a 79-yard scoring drive. Bush capped the march with a 15-yard touchdown run as time expired. He added two more touchdown runs in the second quarter.

Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at pkogut@tribweb.com.

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