Alle-Kiski football notebook: Local teams use 2 QBs in Week 1

Knoch quarterback Dan Farinelli throws during practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.
Knoch quarterback Dan Farinelli throws during practice on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013.
Photo by Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
| Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 12:26 a.m.

A couple of Alle-Kiski football teams took the two-is-better-than-one approach at quarterback in Week 1.

Looking to utilize the differing talents of their two signal-callers, Knoch went with juniors Dan Farinelli and Troy Hixon, while Fox Chapel played senior Brandon Mitchell and junior Billy Urso.

Farinelli, a transfer from Valley, completed 8 of 23 passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns, and Hixon was 3 for 4 for 25 yards in a 20-14 loss at Greensburg Salem.

Mitchell and Urso are about as different as a pair of quarterbacks can be. Mitchell is a lanky 6-foot-6 and 215 pounds, while Urso is 5-10, 185.

Both have unique skills.

Mitchell saw limited snaps at quarterback, spending most of the Foxes' 49-18 season-opening loss to Pine-Richland out wide but showed his versatility, catching four passes for 102 yards and a score.

Urso was a drop-back machine, going 16 of 33 for 253 yards and two touchdowns.

In the numbers

Urso's big game led all WPIAL passers last Friday. But he wasn't alone among local stat leaders.

Kiski Area senior receiver Joey Brungo tied Norwin's Logan Deri with eight catches. Brungo totaled 84 yards and two touchdowns.

Valley's Demetrius Houser, meantime, had the second-highest rushing total in the WPIAL in Week 1 when he ran for 297 yards.

Only West Mifflin's Jimmy Wheeler had more, with 359.

Accuracy counts

Three local quarterbacks nearly upped their ratings in Week 1.

Kiski Area's Chad Kuhn was 13 of 14 for 165 yards and three touchdowns in a 53-20 win over Connellsville; Apollo-Ridge's Jesse Zelonka was 12 of 15 for 108 yards and two scores in a 22-21, double-overtime loss to North Catholic; and Burrell's Cody Wolfe was 13 of 15 for 190 yards and a score in a 46-14 win over Brownsville.

Jersey sure

Knoch senior lineman Kraig King, the son of coach and Knoch alum Mike King, thought about wearing his dad's jersey No. 77.

But he doesn't want to mess with luck.

“When I was a sophomore, I wore 57,” Kraig said. “We ended up going to Heinz Field so I thought maybe there was a connection there with the Heinz, 57, so I kept it.”

And speaking of following his father, Kraig said he has every intention of becoming a coach.

Extending the play

Apollo-Ridge's double-overtime loss to Class-A No. 3 North Catholic was the first overtime defeat in school history. Previously, the Vikings were 4-0 in overtime, the most recent in 2007 over Riverview. They topped North Catholic in overtime in 2002.

Extra points

Apollo-Ridge (1-0) dropped one spot to sixth in the Trib Total Media WPIAL Class A Top-10 rankings, while Springdale (0-1) fell out of the top 10 after its loss to West Shamokin. ... Freeport senior tailback Josh Brestensky has a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee, but said he is optimistic he could return by Week 5.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

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