Peters Township looking to take next step in postseason
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Reaching the playoffs isn't enough for Peters Township senior linebacker Jake Uhler.
“Since we've been going to this high school, we've been going to the playoffs every year,” Uhler said. “We've lost the first game every time. We don't want to just get to the playoffs; we want to win games, make an impact and prove people wrong.”
Though Peters Township has reached the postseason every year since 2010, the Indians haven't won a playoff game since 2003.
The return of Division I quarterback recruit Cory Owen offers plenty of hope, but Peters Township will need contributions from a large group of first-year starters if it plans on making a serious playoff run.
Peters Township finished 5-5 overall, 4-4 in the Quad Central last season — and has to replace 22 seniors from that team.
Back is Owen, who holds scholarship offers from Albany, Buffalo, James Madison, Toledo and New Hampshire. In addition to his passing numbers, Owen was second on the team last season with 762 rushing yards and 10 scores.
“He's a Division I quarterback,” fourth-year coach Rich Piccinini said. “We feel we can put a lot on his shoulders because he's a leader. We're anticipating a big season out of him.”
Owen will hand the ball to 5-foot-9, 175-pound sophomore running back T.J. Kpan, who steps into a prominent role once occupied by workhorses Andrew Erenberg, Mike Minjock and Marcus Ubinger.
Piccinini said Kpan bench presses more than 300 pounds, runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, has a 35-inch vertical leap, and his broad jump measures 9 feet, 6 inches.
“He has all the tools, but he's going to be learning on the fly. Any time you get thrown in there that early, as a sophomore, you're going to be learning as you go.
“As usual, our tailback has some big shoes to fill. But I think he'll be fine.”
Kpan will run behind a line that lost four starters. The only holdover is three-year starter Christian Phelps (6-0, 275) at tackle.
Owen has a ton of targets, three of them listed at 6-4: seniors Connor Freely and Tim Swoope and junior Ethan Anderson.
Uhler was the team's best defensive player a season ago after accumulating 60 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries.
He will get help from Swoope at the other outside linebacker spot and cornerback Nick Kirsch, another returning starter.
“We need to come together as a team, know what we're doing, and a lot of that is on the seniors,” Owen said. “We need to know what we're doing. And to win in the playoffs, we have to minimize mistakes.”
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.
- Williams tosses 6 TDs as Clairton sets state scoring record
- Led by Whitehead’s 4 TDs, Central Valley cruises into PIAA semifinals
- South Fayette wins 30th in a row, moves closer to title defense
- Pine-Richland hopes to avoid ‘drop off’ against State College
- High school football notebook: Official’s decision impacts WPIAL Class AAAA title game
- Through the years: A look at final games of A-K Valley schools
- WPIAL Class AAA notebook: Central Valley to face another merger in PIAA playoffs
- Scoring record within reach for Clairton
- South Fayette, Karns City set for rematch in PIAA quarterfinals
- Pine-Richland’s ‘Neil’ the ram has happy home