Clairton's streak stays intact
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Late in the first quarter, supposedly vulnerable Clairton already had taken a three-touchdown lead, silencing talk that the team's youth would lead to the nation's longest winning streak coming to an end.
“Looks like Clairton to me,” Clairton assistant coach Eric Fusco shouted from the sideline.
Looks like Clairton to everyone else, too.
The four-time defending PIAA Class A champions raced to an early lead and easily handled Chartiers-Houston, 35-0, at Neil C. Brown Stadium. This marks Clairton's 64th consecutive victory, 34 of which have come via shutout.
“I know they're a different team now, and they're really young,” Chartiers-Houston coach Terry Fetsko said. “But still, who's going to beat them? I'm not sure anyone will.”
A couple of young Clairton players lived up to their hype. Sophomore Aaron Mathews stood above the rest.
The 6-foot-5 standout threw a pair of 30-yard touchdowns and caught a 30-yard score. He also rushed for 59 yards while splitting time with Ryan Williams at quarterback.
“He's just a heck of a player,” Clairton coach Tom Nola said. “You could see tonight, he probably could have thrown, rushed and caught 100 yards each. He's just that kind of player.”
Clairton has a funny way of always producing that kind of player.
And Mathews isn't alone. Although he was likely the game's best player, another youngster was impressive.
Freshman Lamont Wade played shutdown corner, rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown and threw for a touchdown pass.
The cousin of defensive coordinator Wayne Wade clearly wasn't rattled by the stage.
“Not at all,” Nola said. “He's really going to be a good player for us. He'll keep getting better.”
Clairton wasted little time in taking control.
After forcing a punt, Clairton struck for its first touchdown when Mathews found JoJuan Bray for a 30-yard strike. Bray is Clairton's only senior starter.
“And he's an important player for us,” Nola said. “Very important.”
Clairton recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and needed only one play to score again, as Bray scored on a reverse from 22 yards.
Mathews hit Williams, who normally plays quarterback, for a 30-yard scoring strike later in the half.
Clairton recovered two fumbles in the first half, and Wade's 13-yard touchdown run made it 29-0 before halftime.
“I actually thought we did some things well,” Fetsko said. “But they're still going to do some things that are tough to stop. That team speed of Clairton's is always there.”
The last time the Bears lost came in Week 1 in 2009 against Laurel. They looked shaky in last season's Week 1, holding on for a 22-20 victory.
Of course, they played without a number of ineligible players on that night.
Nola was pleased to have a complete squad for this game and was even happier to see how well his Bears played.
For the first game of the season, Clairton looked fairly crisp.
“It wasn't perfect, but I really am very happy with how we played,” Nola said.
Clairton's defense recorded three sacks and produced nine plays that resulted in negative yardage.
“Our defense really looked good,” Nola said. “The whole team did, really.”
Note: Former Clairton star Tyler Boyd, who will start at wide receiver as a freshman for Pitt on Monday against Florida State, attended the game.
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JoshYohe_Trib.
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 roundup: Seton-La Salle captures Century Conference win
- Previewing Week 1 high school football matchups
- Jackson brothers lead way as Highlands rolls in Class AA debut over Ford City
- Penn Hills takes advantage of turnovers, routs Upper St. Clair
- Murray runs wild in Steel Valley victory over Carlynton
- Through the years: Heard’s TD capped Valley rally
- H.S. Picks ‘tunes’ up for new season
- Wilkinsburg holds off Leechburg
- Century-old rivalry ending this season with Kittanning, Ford City meeting one last time
- Gorman: Podgorski to ‘punish’ foes
- Riverview football team benefits from McCombs’ versatility