WPIAL Class A semifinal matchup: Neshannock vs. Clairton
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Class A semifinal: (13) Neshannock (10-1) vs. (1) Clairton (11-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday at Chartiers-Houston
Neshannock coach Fred Mozzocio is desperate to slow down Clairton superstar Tyler Boyd in the WPIAL Class A semifinals Friday at Chartiers-Houston.
Boyd's versatility has become the stuff of legend in Clairton — he thrives while playing running back, quarterback, wideout and free safety and also returning punts.
He'll be looking to add more touchdowns Friday.
In two dominant performances to begin the WPIAL postseason, Boyd has produced 11 touchdowns. He isn't showing any signs of slowing down.
“I've been able to coach against and see a lot of great high school football players,” Mozzocio said. “(Rochester's) Essex Law, (Aliquippa's) Chico Williams, (West Allegheny's) Mike Caputo and (Hopewell's) Rushel Shell were all great. And I'd put Boyd right up there with any of them.”
For all of Mozzocio's lavish praise of Boyd, his Neshannock team doesn't figure to let Clairton smell any fear.
“When I became the head coach here, I said that we'd always respect our opponents,” he said. “But that doesn't mean you have to fear your opponent. And we fear no team. That includes Clairton. We just won our first ever playoff game in school history. We're hungry for more.”
If ever there was a team worth fearing, Clairton would be it. The Bears have won 58 straight games, leaving them just one shy of the state record. Coach Tom Nola's team hasn't lost since Week 1 in 2009 and is playing its best football of the season, fresh off shutouts in three of its past four games.
Clairton, though, has plenty of respect for Neshannock.
“Look at the points that team puts up,” Nola said. “They have a very, very explosive offense.”
Neshannock doesn't have a player of Boyd's caliber but does boast star power. Quarterback Ernie Burkes has thrown for almost 1,500 yards and rushed for almost 800 more. Nola is well aware of Burkes' ability and the fact that Neshannock has exceeded 40 points in seven of its 11 games.
Boyd is averaging an astounding 14.3 yards per carry.
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.
- Burrell looks to rebound from winless season
- Plum tackle Tecak ready to make impact
- Gorman: Clairton’s Wade makes case at cornerback
- Big doings on tap for BVA’s home opener
- HSFB preview: New coaches set to lead teams to victory
- From football savvy to smarts, Freeport’s Thimons seems to have it all
- Gorman: Don’t judge WPIAL by the cover
- Class AAAA breakdown: Wealth of talent places target on Central Catholic
- Class AAA breakdown: Armstrong merger shakes up Greater Allegheny Conference
- Class AA breakdown: Dynamic offense to again lead 2-time PIAA champion South Fayette
- Knoch tailbacks look to ‘take it and run with it’ in battle for No. 5 jersey