District 2 champion Dunmore to provide final challenge for Clairton
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Several times this season, opposing coaches have compared Clairton senior Tyler Boyd to former Jeannette standout Terrelle Pryor.
On the surface, it might seem a bit farfetched, but in reality, the similarities far outweigh the differences.
Pryor and Boyd are converted wide receivers who moved into the backfield. Pryor played under center as a quarterback for his final three years with the Jayhawks and racked up more than 4,000 yards both rushing and passing, Boyd is a multidimensional running back who also takes shotgun snaps out of the wildcat and can throw when called upon. He has rushed for a personal-best 2,459 yards this season and has scored a WPIAL-record 116 career touchdowns.
Defensively, both wreaked havoc on opposing teams at free safety and regularly made plays against the running game.
Strangely enough, though the two played in different classifications, they will end their high school careers the same way, as Clairton (15-0) will take on District 2 champion Dunmore (14-1) in the PIAA Class A championship game at 1 p.m. Friday at Hersheypark Stadium. Boyd can only hope the result will mirror Pryor's last game, when his Jeannette squad rolled Dunmore, 49-21, in the 2007 state Class AA finale.
“I would say the Pryor kid was probably the best high school player I've ever coached against, and he was outstanding,” Dunmore coach Jack Henzes said. “Pryor was much bigger than this young man (6-foot-6 to 6-2), and he could do so many things and, though I think the two are very comparable, Pryor was just a much bigger kid.”
Size is something that will come into play as Clairton makes its preparations for this matchup. Dunmore players average nearly 250 pounds across the offensive front and featuring one of the top prospects in the classification in 6-5, 265-pound right tackle Mike Boland, who has been on the radar of Pitt and Penn State, among others.
“You try to make sure you have all the gaps covered naturally and just try to get all 11 guys to the ball,” Clairton defensive coordinator Wayne Wade said. “We played a couple of teams like this in the past, like Sharpsville and Southern Columbia, that were a little bigger that just try to get after you, but we'll be prepared.”
Dunmore may run the ball more effectively than most teams Clairton has faced this season as it has two players — junior Daiqwon Buckley and senior Austin Seamon — who have eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau and have combined for 40 touchdowns. Though the Bucks throw the ball infrequently — junior starting quarterback Brandon Kujawski has completed half of his 82 attempts for 675 yards — they are efficient. Kujawski has 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions.
Clairton, meanwhile, is still shuffling its defense as senior defensive back Titus Howard (elbow) has been ruled out and senior lineman Devontae Harvey (knee) might not be available.
Even without those two, Clairton was able to effectively shut down Port Allegany quarterback Matt Bodamer, the state's all-time single-season and career passing yardage leader, in the state semifinals. The Gators senior finished with 192 yards, but 77 of those and Bodamer's lone touchdown pass came against the running clock on the team's final drive.
“He got the Gatorade Player of the Year and there was a lot of talk we took that real personal,” Boyd said. “We just hate to see when people say they can beat us, and just because they've got stats doesn't mean they can play with us.”
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-664-9161, ext. 1977.
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.