Seton-La Salle looking for fourth shutout
Seton-La Salle hasn't been scored upon this season, and looks to continue that defensive dominance this week against Steel Valley.
The Rebels, ranked No. 2 in Class AA in the Trib Total Media weekly football rankings, will visit Steel Valley at Campbell Field on Friday in a Century Conference matchup. Game time is 7 p.m.
Seton-La Salle (3-0, 3-0) clipped Keystone Oaks in its home opener last week, 45-0, after blanking South Allegheny, 35-0, and McGuffey, 42-0, in its first two games.
Steel Valley lost at South Fayette last week, 50-0, to drop to 2-1 in the conference and 2-1 overall. The Ironmen had started off with impressive 35-7 and 41-0 wins against Keystone Oaks and McGuffey.
“We don't really talk about the shutouts; we're just trying to maintain the wins,” Greg Perry, Seton's head coach, said. “Steel Valley will test our defense with their run game. We will have to play a solid all-around game, plus for whatever reason we have struggled a little over at Campbell Stadium.
“I look for a physical game, and hopefully we keep getting better. Obviously, we need to stay healthy and see how this all plays out.”
Steel Valley's impact players include senior QB Patrick O'Malley and junior RB D'Andre Pickens, who leads the team in scoring with four touchdowns.
Vinny Steele, a 5-11, 250-pound sophomore and the son of head coach Rod Steeler, anchors a veteran offensive line for the Ironmen.
Not only has Seton-La Salle not surrendered a single point through three contests, the Rebels have scored three times on defense — including senior linebacker Lou Rotunda's 31-yard interception return and 19-yard fumble recovery.
Jake Blahut, a sophomore lineman, also has reached paydirt on a fumble recovery.
The Rebels' defense is spurred by the linebacking corps comprised of seniors Nick Sywyj, Rob Beck and Rotunda, and sophomore Dequay Broadwater.
They are flanked in the secondary by juniors Dom DelGreco and James Ross and senior Tom Rizza.
Rotunda, Sywyj and Ross have interceptions, as do Matt Reinmund, with two, and Matt McGervey.
“Nick Sywyj has really been tremendous on defense from his linebacker spot,” Perry said, “and Dom DelGreco has steadily improved at safety.”
The starters on the defensive line are senior Nick Agliori (6-3, 250) and junior Trey Imler (6-3, 270), on the inside, and senior Scott Orndoff (6-5, 250) and junior Mike Kalnas (6-3, 215), on the outside.
“Nick Agliori has been a steady force on the defensive line,” Perry said.
Seton-La Salle, which has outscored its first three opponents by a 122-0 margin, is averaging 40.7 points per game.
Senior QB Luke Brumbaugh has passed for 621 yards and six touchdowns for the Rebels — with Orndoff and Rotunda reeling in two TD receptions, and Rick Mellick and Tyler Slagle owning one apiece.
Mellick, a 5-10, 175-pound sophomore running back, is the team's leading rusher and scorer. He has scored five touchdowns.
The Rebels' receiving corps is led by seniors Mike Reinmund, Slagle, Rotunda and Tim Blair, who is injured, with Orndoff, a Pitt recruit, at tight end.
Brumbaugh and Mellick are joined in the offensive backfield by Sywyj, at the fullback position.
The offensive line in anchored by junior center Jake Parks (5-11, 250), with seniors Rob Beck (5-10, 225) and Dustin Miller (6-0, 240), at guard, and seniors J.T. Colosimo (6-2, 260) and Agliori, at tackle.
“Offensively, we are improving although I am still not totally happy with our pass game, which needs to get better,” Perry said. “We will get Tom Rizza back at running back so that should help also.”
The Rebels, who blanked Steel Valley last season, 28-0, have defeated the Ironmen seven times in the past decade.
Seton-La Salle has won three of the past four decisions in the series.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Medla. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.