Penn-Trafford offense trying to find ways to score
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The biggest issue facing the Penn-Trafford offense through four games is as clear as numbers on a scoreboard.
After last week's 34-14 loss to McKeesport, the Warriors are averaging 16 points per game. The team's biggest scoring output came in Week 3, a 19-7 victory over Altoona.
“It's a problem,” coach John Ruane said. “We have statistics and 100 yards here and there, etc., but the bottom line is points are all that matter. We have to do a better job at putting the ball in the end zone.”
Penn-Trafford (2-2, 2-1) is moving the ball early this season. Top running back Devin Austin rushed for 590 yards in the first four games, while Tom Stinelli added 226 of his own. Quarterback Brett Laffoon passed for 462 yards and rushed for another 75.
Ruane said the team's offense is struggling mostly when it gets inside its opponent's 30-yard line.
Against McKeesport, penalties and turnovers especially cost the Warriors. Two turnovers ended possessions inside McKeesport territory, while the Tigers (4-0, 3-0) turned another one into a score.
Penn-Trafford also committed an unusually high number of penalties against McKeesport, one of which led indirectly to another touchdown.
“We've turned the ball over too much this year,” Ruane said. “It's really cost us some games. I'm not saying it's a ton, but one's enough. We might be averaging two a game, which is terrible. Penalties, I don't think (are an ongoing trend). Friday was a little bit more than normal, but you've got to eliminate them. You have to be a disciplined football team.”
While the Warriors only found the end zone twice against McKeesport, the offense did show positive signs. Sophomore wide receiver Timmy Vecchio caught seven passes for 122 yards and scored a touchdown for the third straight week.
“When (Laffoon) stepped up in the pocket and delivered, he did a nice job,” Ruane said. “We'll take what they give us, and it seemed like they were giving us some stuff on the perimeter. (Laffoon and Vecchio) are doing a nice job, especially as sophomores.”
Ruane said he thought the defense played well overall against McKeesport, except for a couple of blown assignments that led to big plays.
“(The) bottom line is we didn't win,” Ruane said. “I don't think anyone's satisfied with that, regardless of statistics or anything like that. The whole team, collectively, and staff, always want to win football games. Certainly there were positives, but the loss outweighs all of that.”
Penn-Trafford will look to get back on track this week when it hosts Latrobe (1-3, 0-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Wildcats are led by quarterback Logan Carns, who rushed for 137 yards and a touchdown in a 21-13 loss to Norwin last week.
“I think they're dangerous,” Ruane said. “Their whole show starts with their quarterback, who might be the best athlete as quarterbacks go in the conference. He does a ton for them, and he's really good at it. They have some deception on offense — not triple option like McKeesport, but again difficult to defend.
“Defensively, they're very aggressive. They attack. We'd better have our eyes open picking up blitzes because if you don't, they'll make a living in the backfield. We've seen that on film.”
Ruane said he believes his own team is a strong one and will be motivated to bounce back after last week's loss.
“I don't see a quit in anyone's eyes or anything,” he said. “We just have to put it together, and I think once we do, things will go smooth for us. But we really have to put it together now.”
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.
- WPIAL football teams are adjusting to mid-cycle realignment
- Connellsville linebackers Mauro, McKnight hope to lead Falcons to success
- Gorman: Friday night to be strange without Fedko
- A-K Valley high school football notebook: New quarterbacks set to make debuts
- Don’t miss matchups for Week 1 of WPIAL football season
- Game of firsts approaches for Armstrong football
- Montour seeks early Parkway edge against Central Valley
- Gorman: The most important sports story
- Dillow hoping to rebuild California Area
- Connellsville football team prepares for difficult stretch to start season
- Burrell-Valley rivalry matchup built on respect