TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Penn-Trafford, Gateway to play for Quad East title

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Title quest

The Quad East Conference championship will be decided Friday night, when Gateway plays at Penn-Trafford in a battle of co-leaders. Both teams are 6-0:

Conf. Overall PF-PA

Gateway 6-0 6-1 310-84

Penn-Trafford 6-0 6-1 189-87

Top high school sports
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, 11:00 p.m.
 

In the Quad East Conference, it's come to this.

No. 2 Gateway will be matched against No. 10 Penn-Trafford on Friday night in Harrison City, with the winner clinching the conference crown.

Penn-Trafford narrowly defeated Gateway, 16-14, at P-T's Warrior Stadium during the 2011 regular season. Gateway avenged the loss by trouncing P-T, 34-9, in a WPIAL quarterfinal playoff game at Hempfield.

Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane is on the faculty at Gateway. This is his Warriors' fourth confrontation with the Gators since he was named coach at P-T in 2010.

“They know me. I know them. It's kind of a non-factor now,” Ruane said.

Both teams acknowledge that their preparation time has intensified this week.

That chatter started just as soon as they had wrapped up victories last Friday night to remain unbeaten (6-0) in the conference.

“We love this. Any true competitor loves this,” Gateway coach Terry Smith said. “All my life I've dreamed of being in situations like this. These are the moments that bring out the best in you. It's a chance for the kids to raise the level of competition and succeed. Games like this are not normal high school games.”

Gateway, led by Arizona-bound quarterback Thomas Woodson, is coming off a 62-14 rout of Norwin despite the absence of leading rusher Andre Martin, who was sidelined with an ankle injury.

Smith said seniors Martin and running back Darin Franklin, who also didn't play last week, would return for the Penn-Trafford game.

It all adds to the potency of an already-powerful Gateway attack.

“We have to play our best game of the year to be in it,” Ruane said. “We're happy to be where we are. It's a big-time deal for us to go to a conference championship game. It's a big deal for the school.”

Penn-Trafford has been riding the steady play of quarterback Dorian Stevens, who benefitted from a big effort by sophomore Devin Austin in a 27-0 shutout of Kiski Area last Friday.

He returned the opening kickoff 80 yards to the Kiski Area 5, setting up the Warriors' first touchdown, then caught a 91-yard scoring pass from Stevens on the next possession.

It came a week after Austin rushed for 174 yards and scored twice in a victory over Connellsville.

“He's been a big-play guy the last four or five weeks,” Ruane said. “Returning kicks, running the football, he's a good target out of the backfield. He has a little confidence and you trust him, where you might not expect that much from a sophomore.”

Stevens, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior, is a familiar face to Smith going back to the days of youth football in the Gateway School District.

“We know all about Dorian Stevens,” Smith said. “He played in the Gateway midgets. We thought he'd stay here, but he went to Penn-Trafford. They have some playmakers over there. They know how to win games.”

Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at dmackall@tribweb.com or 412-380-5617.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
  2. Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
  3. Motorcycle runs off road in Butler County, kills Shaler man
  4. Suspended Penn-Trafford teacher charged with stalking student
  5. Crash closes one lane of westbound I-376 in Beaver County
  6. Route 22 accident in Monroeville causes traffic jam
  7. Pirates’ Melancon has been consistent since moving into closer’s role
  8. North Huntingdon woman charged with threatening to burn down officer’s house
  9. Carjacked vehicle hits Philly crowd, kills 2 children
  10. Small plane goes down near Grove City
  11. LaBar: John Cena leaving WWE for Hollywood?
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.