Sto-Rox QB chasing WPIAL title, passing record
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Someday, Sto-Rox football players will tell tales about their championship clashes with the dynastic Clairton Bears. After losses to Clairton in the WPIAL Class A title game the past two years, though, the Vikings are hoping 2013 brings with it a victory story.
Coach Dan Bradley stopped short of calling the losses — which came by 42-6 and 58-21 margins in 2011 and '12, respectively — motivating factors for this season. But now that his team has played on the mammoth Heinz Field stage in consecutive seasons, he said he believes the experience can help them bridge the gap between contending for and winning a title.
“It's always tough to end the season on a loss, and the further you go in the playoffs, the harder it is to absorb that loss,” Bradley said. “But we're anxious to get this season under way.”
Once they do, they'll use the same formula that's helped them win 23 of their past 26 games: Follow Lenny Williams.
The senior quarterback, who threw for 2,237 yards last season, could challenge the WPIAL's all-time record for passing yardage, a milestone he's openly shooting for.
“I was never much of a personal stat person,” said Williams, who has 5,632 career yards and is chasing South Fayette grad Christian Brumbaugh's record of 7,164. “But this is a big thing, so to be able to get that would be big for me and my team, so I'm definitely going to try and get it.”
However, a hand injury could cause him to miss a couple weeks.
If Bradley has his way, though, Williams will make his presence felt not only in the passing game but also the running game.
The coach noted his signal caller has a tendency to hold onto the ball despite possessing the athleticism to scramble a bit more, so he's encouraging Williams to look for open space when designed passing plays break down.
“I'd like to see him run a little bit more when the third or fourth guy isn't open,” Bradley said.
Williams said film study in the offseason revealed numerous situations where running lanes were open last year. Though he likes to make the big plays, he said he believes recognizing the medium gains when they present themselves will be important.
“This year, I'm going to try to be way smarter in everything,” Williams said. “If it's easier for me to just pick up 15 yards instead of throwing 70 yards down field, I don't have a problem with that.”
But when throwing, senior wideout Mallory Claybourne, a transfer from Perry, will be among Williams' top targets.
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.
- High school notebook: WPIAL adjusts to accommodate Armstrong merger
- Pine-Richland falls short in PIAA Class AAAA final
- From venues to playoff format, much has changed in 100 years of WPIAL championships
- Central Valley advances to PIAA Class AAA title game
- High school football lifts spirits in Western Pennsylvania’s former industrial towns
- Pine-Richland has new look for defending champ St. Joseph’s Prep
- Clairton falls short vs. Bishop Guilfoyle in PIAA Class A title game
- Archbishop Wood runs past Central Valley in PIAA Class AAA final
- Close loss in title game cannot diminish Clairton’s ‘great season’
- High school notebook: Records tumble during PIAA football title games