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Seton-La Salle advances as conference runner-up

| Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
South Hills Record
Seton-La Salle's varsity football team finished with an 8-1 record during the 2012 regular season, and takes a four-game winning streak into the WPIAL Class AA playoffs. Randy Jarosz | For The South Hills Record
South Hills Record
Integral members of the Seton-La Salle defensive unit include, left photo, from left, Nick Swywj (44), a senior linebacker, and Mike Kalnas (51), a junior lineman, shown teaming up to tackle a Keystone Oaks player in an early season game; and, right photo, Dom DelGreco (20), who is a junior defensive back and kicking specialist.
South Hills Record

Seton-La Salle, which closed out its regular season as the Century Conference runner-up, will host Greensburg Central Catholic in the first round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs.

The game will be held Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Chartiers Valley Stadium.

The 8-1 Rebels, who have qualified for the WPIAL playoffs in eight of the past nine years, are ranked No. 5 in Class AA in the Trib Total Media high school rankings. The local squad is the No. 6 seed in the Class AA playoffs.

“We are playing pretty well, but we lost Tim Blair for seven games and don't know if he is returning,” Greg Perry, Seton-La Salle's head coach, said. “Rob Beck has missed three weeks, but we may be getting him back. We are nicked up like; hopefully we can stay focused.”

Greensburg Central Catholic, the No. 11 seed in Class AA, finished in fourth place in the Interstate Conference behind Washington, Jeannette and Mt. Pleasant.

The Centurians saw their six-game winning streak end in their regular-season finale, a tough 7-6 loss to rival Jeannette.

“There were two great football teams on the field,” Matt Federico, GCC's co-head coach, said. “Unfortunately, we came up a little short. Our team showed a lot of heart; we struggled with some things.

“We turned things around in the second half, but Jeannette played 48 minutes. We have to do a better job getting the ball to our playmakers.”

Federico and Dan Mahoney were elevated to co-head coaches in early August following a swift move to replace longtime field boss Muzzy Colosimo.

Colosimo, who coached the Centurians for 17 years, compiled a 143-46 record following a 10-2 mark in 2011.

GCC, 6-3 overall, is a virtual one-man show this season thanks to the offensive exploits of Chase Keller, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound junior quarterback.

Keller has passed for 1,246 yards and 15 touchdowns, and also is the Centurians' leading rusher and has produced three touchdowns on the ground.

Junior Tyler Balla complements Keller in the rushing department, while seniors Zach Herman and Zach Guiser are the team's leading receivers.

Guiser, an Akron recruit, and Corey Marshall also are defensive catalysts.

Seton-La Salle's team leader on offense is 6-2, 190-pound senior quarterback Luke Brumbaugh, who has thrown for 1,545 yards and 17 touchdowns to rank with the WPIAL's leading passers.

The Rebels are averaging 34 points per game, and are allowing just 8.7 ppg.

Seton-La Salle's leading receiver is 5-11, 200-pound senior Lou Rotunda, who has 39 catches for 780 yards and eight scores, and is complemented by senior Tyler Slagle.

Scott Orndoff, a 6-5, 250-pound senior tight end, also has nabbed 16 receptions for 273 yards and five scores.

Junior Tom Rizza has emerged as a threat at running back, rushing for close to 300 yards in the past three games.

Rizza was in playoff form against South Park last week, rushing for 102 yards in a 19-7 win.

“We have Tom Rizza healthy, who missed three early games, so we really haven't had our starting 11 on the field together,” Perry said.

Rizza and senior Nick Sywyj provide a solid one-two punch on the ground for local squad, thanks in large part to the blocking antics of sophomore Jacob Blahut, at center; seniors Dustin Miller and Rob Beck, and junior Jake Parks, at the guard positions; and seniors Nick Agliori and J.T. Colosimo, at the tackle positions.

Sywyj, a 6-foot, 230-pound running back, has scored five times on short TD jaunts.

Other leading scorers for the Rebels are junior Dom DelGreco, with 32 PAT kicks; Brumbaugh, with four touchdowns; and sophomore Dequay Broadwater, who has reached the end zone on two runs, a 7-yard pass, and a 74-yard interception return.

Broadwater, Sywyj, sophomore Rick Mellick and either Beck or sophomore Adam Ottaviano make up the Rebels' starting linebacking corps, with support from Rizza, junior James Ross and DelGreco in the secondary.

The defensive line is fortified by Agliori, and junior Trey Imler on the inside; along with Orndoff and junior Mike Kalnas at the end positions.

Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or rfisher@tribweb.com.

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