South Allegheny looks to stay hot vs. McGuffey
TribLIVE Sports Videos
South Allegheny has done what any team with WPIAL playoff aspirations must do to move into the postseason: It has beaten up on the teams at the bottom of the standings.
South Allegheny (4-1, 3-1 Century Conference) has been impressive since its opening-night, running-clock loss to Seton-La Salle and enters Friday's 7:30 p.m. matchup with McGuffey (2-3, 1-3) at Glassport Stadium riding a four-game winning streak. Not including a nonconference win over New Brighton, the Gladiators have pummeled Quaker Valley, South Park and Burgettstown teams that are a combined 4-11 by a score of 129-35.
McGuffey coach Ed Dalton credited South Allegheny coach Pat Monroe.
“Winning sometimes makes you sloppy, but losing makes you look at the film with a more critical eye,” Dalton said. “But South Allegheny, Pat has got a nice blend of everything.”
McGuffey also had a tough start — opening with blowout losses to powerhouses South Fayette and Seton-La Salle would give any team nightmares — but unlike South Allegheny, the team has had difficulty rebounding. The Highlanders won their next two games after those defeats but suffered a setback last week with a 20-14 home loss to South Park.
“This is only my first year here, and we have a 42-man roster of which 24 kids didn't play football last year, whether they were freshmen coming in or older kids who just didn't play, and early on, we had our hands full,” Dalton said. “We're getting better, but there isn't much of a difference between winning and losing in that you've got to put it all behind you every week.”
South Allegheny has reached this point with a solid offense, led by senior quarterback Dustin Anderson, who has more than 400 yards running and passing to go with seven touchdowns. Senior running back Brandon Murn also has made it tough to stop the Gladiators' ground game, as he is averaging 8.8 yards per carry and has scored six times.
Outside of Seton-La Salle, no conference team has scored more than seven points against the South Allegheny defense. Sophomore DaVonte Johnson is tied for 14th in the WPIAL with two interceptions.
“They've got skill kids,” Dalton said. “He's got six or eight players like that. He's got a big, physical quarterback and a physical running back.”
McGuffey will attempt to counter with quickness as 5-foot-10, 165-pound sophomore running back James Duchi has 584 yards and three touchdowns since becoming a starter in the second game.
Still, McGuffey knows it will have its hands full as South Allegheny closes in on its first postseason berth in 36 years.
“I think you have to make one offensive and one defensive play on special teams, whether you block a punt or return a kick or a punt, because that's usually how upsets occur,” Dalton said. “We have not played the run well, and we'd better play the run well this week or we'll get annihilated.”
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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.
- Seven in custody after New Kensington drug raid
- Steelers use 3 late first-half TDs to stun Texans
- North Catholic High School lists interim principal
- Rookie Bryant sparks deep passing game for Steelers in victory
- Rossi: Steelers’ season all about going big
- Bill Clinton to campaign next week for Tom Wolf in Pittsburgh
- 12-year-old’s donated heart joins families, lets her memory live
- Steelers notebook: Adams replaces concussed Gilbert
- Chevron puts $20M into educating, training Appalachian workers
- Bortuzzo could provide much-needed physical presence for Penguins
- Sheriff’s sale delayed for historic Conneaut Lake Park