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Greensburg Tribune-Review Q&A: Penn-Trafford's Devin Austin

| Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn-Trafford running back Devin Austin breaks a tackle attempt by Norwin defender Zach Hall for extra yardage on a long gain during the fourth quarter of their WPIAL Class AAAA game Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, at Warrior Stadium in Harrison City. Penn-Trafford defeated Norwin, 17-3.

Devin Austin rushed for 137 of his 182 yards in the second half to help Penn-Trafford beat rival Norwin 17-3 last week. In two weeks, the 5-8, 170-pound junior running back has carried 37 times for 309 yards and one touchdown to lead the Warriors to a 1-1 record, 1-0 in the Quad East. Austin also wrestles at 152 pounds for Penn-Trafford and finished fifth at the WPIAL Class AAA individual championships, narrowly missing a chance to advance to states.

Q: What's been behind the hot start?

A: Definitely have to thank the linemen. Running the ball starts there, and they do a great job blocking every single week along with the receivers and everyone else. It's taken a couple games to start coming together.

Q: What's your running style?

A: Everyone says my strength is my speed. I guess I'll just do anything; if I have to lower my shoulder to pick up some tough yards, I will. But I'd definitely rather take it outside and avoid the tackles.

Q: What happened in the second half last week?

A: The adjustments we made in the locker room at halftime helped out a lot. It was also a close game, so I knew and the rest of my teammates knew that it was a rival, and we had to go out there and finish the game strong. I think that's what it is. The whole week in practice, coach (John) Ruane was really stressing finishing the game strong, and I think that we did that last week.

Q: How has coach Ruane changed the culture?

A: Every day we stress high expectations. We just have to keep working hard every day to try and achieve those goals.

Q: What are those goals?

A: There are a lot of tough teams in Class AAAA. Our goals are definitely to make it down to Heinz Field and win. That's obviously a tough goal. We need to keep working hard every single day, and we will.

Q: Will you pursue football or wrestling in college?

A: Right now, I'm just leaving my options open. I haven't got into it too much. It really just comes down to what's the better opportunity for me whether it's football or wrestling.

Q: What's the nicest thing you've done for one of your linemen?

A: I bought one of my linemen, Adam Polakovsky, dinner before. So that would probably be the nicest thing that I've done that I can think of other than thanking them and things like that.

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