Penn-Trafford, Gateway to play for Quad East title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In the Quad East Conference, it's come to this.
No. 2 Gateway will be matched against No. 10 Penn-Trafford on Friday night in Harrison City, with the winner clinching the conference crown.
Penn-Trafford narrowly defeated Gateway, 16-14, at P-T's Warrior Stadium during the 2011 regular season. Gateway avenged the loss by trouncing P-T, 34-9, in a WPIAL quarterfinal playoff game at Hempfield.
Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane is on the faculty at Gateway. This is his Warriors' fourth confrontation with the Gators since he was named coach at P-T in 2010.
“They know me. I know them. It's kind of a non-factor now,” Ruane said.
Both teams acknowledge that their preparation time has intensified this week.
That chatter started just as soon as they had wrapped up victories last Friday night to remain unbeaten (6-0) in the conference.
“We love this. Any true competitor loves this,” Gateway coach Terry Smith said. “All my life I've dreamed of being in situations like this. These are the moments that bring out the best in you. It's a chance for the kids to raise the level of competition and succeed. Games like this are not normal high school games.”
Gateway, led by Arizona-bound quarterback Thomas Woodson, is coming off a 62-14 rout of Norwin despite the absence of leading rusher Andre Martin, who was sidelined with an ankle injury.
Smith said seniors Martin and running back Darin Franklin, who also didn't play last week, would return for the Penn-Trafford game.
It all adds to the potency of an already-powerful Gateway attack.
“We have to play our best game of the year to be in it,” Ruane said. “We're happy to be where we are. It's a big-time deal for us to go to a conference championship game. It's a big deal for the school.”
Penn-Trafford has been riding the steady play of quarterback Dorian Stevens, who benefitted from a big effort by sophomore Devin Austin in a 27-0 shutout of Kiski Area last Friday.
He returned the opening kickoff 80 yards to the Kiski Area 5, setting up the Warriors' first touchdown, then caught a 91-yard scoring pass from Stevens on the next possession.
It came a week after Austin rushed for 174 yards and scored twice in a victory over Connellsville.
“He's been a big-play guy the last four or five weeks,” Ruane said. “Returning kicks, running the football, he's a good target out of the backfield. He has a little confidence and you trust him, where you might not expect that much from a sophomore.”
Stevens, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior, is a familiar face to Smith going back to the days of youth football in the Gateway School District.
“We know all about Dorian Stevens,” Smith said. “He played in the Gateway midgets. We thought he'd stay here, but he went to Penn-Trafford. They have some playmakers over there. They know how to win games.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-380-5617.
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.
- Heavyweights West Allegheny, Central Valley meet in test for Parkway
- Schoolboy pick of week: BV Area
- Leader Times notebook: Tickets going fast for FC-Kittanning series finale
- A-K Valley football notebook: Christy has best of both worlds as coach, father
- Gorman: Rivals North Hills, North Allegheny join to battle cancer
- Ford City, Kittanning matchup to be part of SI.com’s ‘Underdogs’
- Guido: Kittanning-Ford City rivalry packed with memories
- HS highlight reel: Sarra returns to coach Waynesburg
- Valley News Dispatch Q&A: Springdale’s Austin Kline
- Longtime rivals Kittanning, Ford City set for final act
- DC Picks: Playoff picture begins to take shape