Seton-La Salle, South Fayette to clash at Baldwin Stadium
By Ray Fisher
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
It's “Brumbaugh vs. Brumbaugh” this week at Baldwin Stadium.
Seton-La Salle (4-0, 4-0) will host rival South Fayette (4-0, 4-0) in a Century Conference football showdown Friday at 7 p.m.
The Rebels are ranked No. 2 in Class AA in the Trib Total Media football rankings. The Lions are No. 4.
“It looks like a great night for high school football — two good teams in a great venue,” Greg Perry, Seton-La Salle's head coach, said. “I am sure it will feel like a November playoff atmosphere.”
Brett Brumbaugh — younger brother of South Fayette grad and WPIAL record-setter Christian Brumbaugh and Seton-La Salle starter Luke Brumbaugh — is a sophomore quarterback at South Fayette.
Brett Brumbaugh, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound sophomore, has completed 42 of 66 passes for 854 yards and 14 touchdowns this season.
“What he brings to the team with leadership and a big, strong arm is great,” Joe Rossi, the Lions' head coach, said.
Luke Brumbaugh, a 6-2, 190-pound senior, has connected on 38 of 73 aerials for 751 yards and eight touchdowns.
Both talented athletes rank among the leading passers in the WPIAL.
“Football is the ultimate team game and the quarterback is just a part of it,” Perry said. “They are two great kids that happen to be on opposing teams but share the same bathroom. I'm sure they will look back on this and really enjoy the battles we have had when that are older.”
South Fayette, which is averaging an astounding 50.3 points per game, has other offensive weapons besides Brumbaugh, including the likes of Zach Challingsworth, a senior wide receiver, along with juniors Conner Beck and Justin Watson.
Grant Fetcher and Zach Walker, both juniors, provide the Lions with a solid ground attack.
And South Fayette's defense is littered with experienced players, including Beck and Challingsworth in the secondary, and seniors Dylan Nock and Shane Girman in the linebacker corps.
The Lions have surrendered only 12 points so far this season.
“South Fayette is rolling on all cylinders,” Perry said. “They have three very good receivers; they're all about 6-2, and they go get the football.
“They seem to be healthy, which is an advantage for them. We are nicked up a bit, but we will show up on Friday and play our game, and try to bring one home.”
Seton-La Salle's starting lineup also is a star-studded cast with Brumbaugh and running backs Tom Rizza, a junior, Rick Mellick, a sophomore, and Nike Sywyj, a senior, in the backfield.
Seniors Lou Rotunda, Tyler Slagle, Scott Orndoff and Mike Reinmund rotate at the receiving positions.
Seton-La Salle has outscored the opposition by a 156-7 overall margin, and posted shutouts in its first three contests.
The Rebels' defense is led by linebackers Rob Beck, a senior, Dequay Broadwater, a sophomore, Sywyj and Rotunda.
Rizza and two juniors, James Ross and Dom DelGreco, provide ample support in the secondary.
“We are down some key players,” Perry said. “Tim Blair has had two surgeries on his ankle. Tim was a key wide receiver and defensive back for us. Also, we may have lost our top two tailbacks (Tom Rizza and Rick Mellick) against Steel Valley.”
Seton-La Salle defeated the Lions twice last season, 33-10 in Week 8, and 21-13 in the WPIAL quarterfinals.
South Fayette beat the Rebels in 2010 and 2009, by scores of 42-35 and 21-14.
BRENTWOOD at CHAR.-HOUSTON 7:30 p.m., Friday
Chartiers-Houston is 1-3 in the Black Hills Conference, with the losses coming in close calls against three of the conference's top teams.
Chartiers-Houston nearly upset defending WPIAL and PIAA champion Clairton in their 2012 season opener, falling by a 22-20 score.
The Buccaneers then dropped a 10-4 decision to Bishop Canevin, and, last week, lost a tight 18-16 verdict to Imani Christian.
“There are no off-weeks in our conference,” Terry Fetsko, C-H's head coach, said. “Every week is a playoff game for us because we know there are eight legitimate playoff teams in our conference, and four of them won't make it this year.”
Kaleb Susko, a junior, has taken over for graduated three-year starter Danny Lis at the quarterback position.
Susko has passed for 445 yards and three touchdowns, including a 23-yard scoring strike to 6-5, 175-pound junior wideout Miles Williamson last week.
Two other leading receivers for the Buccaneers are seniors Garrett Volcano and Conner Craig.
Chartiers-Houston has three first-year starters on the offensive line, including sophomores Noah Deep, at center, and Tyler Stegenga, at tackle.
Brentwood rebounded from back-to-back losses to Monessen and Imani Christian to whip Fort Cherry last week, 35-7.
Four players scored touchdowns for the Spartans (2-2, 2-2) — juniors Justin Vickless and Jack Murano, and seniors Mike Andrews and Justin Bauer.
Vickless accounted for 167 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, giving him 658 yards and 10 touchdowns overall.
Murano and Bauer reached the end zone on 55- and 1-yard runs, while Andrews scored on a 10-yard reception.
Brentwood senior QB Chris Shortley passed for 176 yards last week and has thrown for 518 yards on the year, an average of 129.5 yards per game.
The Spartans, who are tied for fifth place with Fort Cherry in the conference, edged Chartiers-Houston last year, 27-24.
The Buccaneers clipped the local squad during the 2010 season, 21-7.
BALDWIN at UPPER ST. CLAIR 7:30 p.m., Friday
Upper St. Clair is undefeated and ranked No. 3 in Class AAAA in the Trib Total Media football rankings.
Baldwin has lost two consecutive conference games, and is 1-3 overall.
USC, the WPIAL Class AAAA runner-up in 2011, has won two in row against the Fighting Highlanders, by scores of 42-0 and 38-22, and three of the past four matchups.
“This is the best team in the conference,” said Jim Wehner, Baldwin's head coach, about the Panthers. “They are big, strong and fast. They are very well coached in all aspects of the game.”
Baldwin and Upper St. Clair have played two of the same conference opponents this season, with opposite results.
USC blanked Penn Hills, 27-0, one week after Baldwin fell to the Indians, 10-8. The Panthers also socked Peters Township, 42-14, while Baldwin opened the year with a 40-12 loss to the Indians.
Upper St. Clair's catalyst is Pete Coughlin, a 5-10, 165-pound senior quarterback.
Coughlin has been labeled as quick and elusive.
“That's what makes him dangerous,” Jim Render, the Panthers' head coach, said. “He is just so quick, and he can break the other guy's ankles.
“We need to run our base stuff and be creative with what we do with him.”
Coughlin completed 9 of 10 aerials for 114 yards and one touchdown last week, and he has been highly efficient on the year with 31 completions in 39 attempts (79.5 percent), 509 yards and nine touchdowns.
He also has scored five times.
Coughlin's top targets include seniors Tim Witenskie, who hauled in a 34-yard touchdown toss last week, and John Rutkowski, along with juniors Mike McGuire and Morgan Lee.
Baldwin lost at home to Mt. Lebanon last week, 42-7, and will be fighting to remain in the WPIAL Class AAAA playoff hunt this week.
The Fighting Highlanders trail USC, Mt. Lebanon (3-0), Peters Township (2-1), Woodland Hills (2-1), Bethel Park (2-2) and Penn Hills (2-2) in the Quad Central Conference standings.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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