Streaking Scotties end regular season at Yough with shot at playoffs
Before the 2013 high school football season kicked off Labor Day weekend, every team in Pennsylvania had high hopes for having a good season and making it to the playoffs.
For many teams, those hopes have been dashed and they are just playing for pride and experience heading into next season.
For the Southmoreland Scotties and Yough Cougars, the regular season has been less than spectacular, but both teams still may have a shot at the playoffs heading into tomorrow night's Class AA Interstate Conference clash on Cougar Mountain.
Southmoreland opened its season 0-3, falling to Jeannette, Washington (with Shai McKenzie healthy), and Mt. Pleasant. In week 4, the Scotties suffered a heartbreaking 9-6 loss in a non-conference to Ford City.
Since then, the Scotties have won three of their last four (two straight), with the loss being by a single point to Greensburg Central Catholic.
Yough enters the contest 4-4 overall, 4-3 in the Interstate Conference. The Cougars are coming off of a stunning 37-31 win over Greensburg Central Catholic.
The Cougars are on a two-game winning streak and have turned their season around. After starting the season 2-0, Yough dropped three straight games to Washington, Mt. Pleasant and Allegheny Conference power Valley. With a win over Southmoreland, Yough can assure itself of a berth in the WPIAL playoffs.
The Cougars are led by the strong arm of quarterback Tyler Donahue. Donahue was 20 for 30 for 190 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the upset of Central Catholic last week. Donahue has attempted at least 25 passes in every game he has started this season, and that could cause problems for the Southmoreland defense, which was torched by Matt Carr of Charleroi last week.
Donahue likes to run the ball too. He finished with 134 yards rushing against GCC, including a 64-yard touchdown run.
Joining Donahue in the backfield is hard running Clayton Waldron. Waldron finished last week with 103 yards rushing and one touchdown. His best game of the season came Oct. 5 against Valley when he rushed for 150 yards and scored three touchdowns.
When Donahue drops back to pass, he will have a talented trio of receivers to chose from. Erik Borkovich, Joe Pleva, and Jordan Bryan all caught touchdown passes last week. Bryan hauled in five passes for 101 yards against the Centurions, including the game-winner on a Hail Mary from Donahue on the final play of the game.
On defense, Yough has been prone to give up big chunks of yardage at the most inopportune times. Central scored on a 51-yard pass and Tyler Balla broke a big 73-yard run for a touchdown against the Cougars last week.
Yough has decent size all along the offensive and defensive lines, so Southmoreland will be in for another dogfight for field position and clock management.
This one may come down to whoever has the ball last.
Mark King is a contributing writer.