Penn-Trafford wins WCCA 7 on 7 tournament title
Murrysville has been kind to Penn-Trafford quarterback Brett Laffoon.
He has led his team to two tournament victories at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association seven-on-seven football tournament, doing so again Thursday at Franklin Regional.
Laffoon looked in tune with his receivers throughout the day, earning four straight pool play wins before helping Penn-Trafford defeat Latrobe in the championship game 21-7.
“His timing improved a lot over the course of the summer. I was happy (Laffoon) was delivering the ball when he should've,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said.
“Much better vision than he had earlier in the summer. He's an experienced guy now, so we have big expectations for him.”
Early against the Wildcats, the junior's accuracy appeared to carry over from his first five games of the day.
On the Warriors' first possession, Laffoon connected with senior H-back — and 2013 all-Quad East Conference honorable mention linebacker — Sam Guzik for a short touchdown pass.
He wasted no time getting to the end zone on Penn-Trafford's next possession, heaving a deep throw down the left sideline that fell into the hands of junior wide receiver/defensive back Tyler Bruno to build a quick 14-0 lead.
“I try to improve on just being more accurate with my throws. Not a lot of mistakes, not a lot of interceptions,” said Laffoon, who led his team to the Class AAAA semifinals a year ago. “Bruno got separation and caught a nice touchdown pass and put us up 14-0. It was very important and we never looked back.”
Latrobe got on the board in its third possession of the game when quarterback Craig Stevens hit running back Lucas Monteparte for a short touchdown.
He then found wide receiver Joshua Shivetts to convert the point-after and narrow the score to 14-7.
The Wildcats showed life on defense, knocking away three straight would-be Penn-Trafford touchdowns on the Warriors' next drive, but Laffoon completed a fourth down pass for an 11-yard touchdown — his third — to Austin Zegarelli to close the door on a Latrobe comeback.
Ruane said his team cut back on its seven-on-seven schedule after working through several injuries last summer.
He added that he was pleased with his team's performance Thursday, but said it didn't carry much weight with him.
“Honestly, no big deal,” said Ruane, whose team opens its 2014 season Aug. 29 at Kiski Area. “Football in shorts, that's all.”
But Thursday's pad-less tournament at least allowed quarterbacks and wide receivers to practice their route timing and gave linebackers and defensive backs from 13 area schools a chance to use their hands against live offense.
“It was a great day, and a lot of people got a lot of work. That's what it's about,” Franklin Regional coach Greg Botta said of the tournament.
“I'll tell you what, you go to Pitt and places like that, but as far as county tournaments, I don't know that there's another county that does this.”
Andrew Erickson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.