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University Prep tops Brashear behind QB Young

| Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, 11:01 p.m.
USO's Miles Catlin tries to slip a tackle attempt of Brashear's Ryan Mandarino in the first half of the game at Cupples Stadium on Friday September 21, 2012.

University Prep coach Lou Berry trusts his punter to make big plays.

Not in the punting game, either — in the passing game.

Noah Stewart rewarded his coach Friday night, connecting with wide receiver Nicholas Stallworth on an 84-yard scoring strike that paved the way to a 40-12 victory over Brashear at Cupples Stadium.

“He has the green light at any time to pull the trigger, and he found the open man who wasn't covered,” Berry said.

“The rest was history.”

The third-quarter score broke open a close game, and it was the biggest play on a night on which University Prep (2-0, 2-0) passed for nearly 400 yards along with four touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Akil Young led the way, going 25 of 34 for 309 yards and three touchdowns and completing passes to six different receivers. Marcus Johnson and Stallworth eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark.

The biggest plays came early in the third quarter. University Prep led, 8-6, at halftime and got the ball inside Brashear's 40-yard line after a second-half kickoff return combined with a Brashear penalty.

On the Wildcats' first play from scrimmage, Young found Clay Moorefield for a 39-yard touchdown reception.

“Akil Young has matured into that position as our leader, as our quarterback,” Berry said. “He's an extension of our offensive coordinator — he's like a coach on the field and puts kids in a position to make plays.”

After a Brashear punt, University Prep went three-and-out. But Stewart fielded a low snap and found Stallworth, who raced down the right sideline for a score.

Brashear (1-3, 1-1) put up some gaudy passing numbers of its own; Russell Page threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns. But the Bulls couldn't overcome four lost fumbles, including two inside the Prep 5.

“You can't give up the ball on the goal line like that and expect to win football games,” Brashear coach Rick Murphy said. “That's 14 points right there.”

Brashear scored on its third possession of the first half after fumbling on its first two. Page found receiver Adam Tajuddin, who weaved through the University Prep defense for a 58-yard score.

University Prep got on the board with a second-quarter safety, when Brashear punter Aaron Lagnese had to go to a knee to field a low snap in his end zone.

Less than a minute before halftime, Young found Johnson for a 3-yard touchdown on fourth down after another Brashear fumble.

Moorefield added two fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns for University Prep.

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at dgulasy@tribweb.com or 412-380-8527.

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