Brentwood set for another showdown
It was recovery time for the Brentwood football team.
The Spartans, who host Bishop Canevin in a key Black Hills Conference matchup Friday at 7:30 p.m., played a sound game, both offensively and defensively, against Carlynton last week.
The local squad, which had been beaten by the Clairton Bears the previous week, improved to 4-3 in the conference and overall by cruising past the Cougars, 35-0.
Bishop Canevin, meanwhile, was hammered by visiting Clairton last week, 53-15, at Dormont Stadium.
The Crusaders, who opened the season with four consecutive wins, bring a 5-2 conference and overall record into this week's contest.
It's an important matchup with playoff implications against a quality opponent for the Brentwood football team.
Bishop Canevin finished 11-1, won the Eastern Conference championship, and reached the WPIAL semifinals last year. The Crusaders went 9-2 in 2010, shared the conference title with Avonworth and Springdale, and advanced to the WPIAL quarterfinal round.
“The seniors and juniors have been through the playoffs as sophomores and juniors. They provide the leadership we need,” Bob Jacoby, Bishop Canevin's head coach, said.
The visitors' only losses this year were to Clairton and Rochester.
Senior Nico DiPaolo has stepped into the quarterback role after playing wide receiver last season.
“We like to do that with our backup quarterbacks as it gives them a chance to learn the routes,” Jacoby said.
DiPaolo has developed into one of the leading passers in Western Pennsylvania with close to 950 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Crusaders' running game is powered by what has been billed as the “thunder and lightning” combination of fullback Jim Tersak, a former lineman, and halfback Giovanni DeMarzo.
“(DeMarzo) is the fastest kid on the team,” Jacoby said. “He has developed physically from last year.”
Tersak leads the team in scoring.
DiPaolo's favorite targets are seniors Mike Tambellini and Matt DeCello, who both sat out last season with torn ACLs.
Brentwood was powered at Carlynton by junior running back Justin Vickless, who rumbled to 206 yards and scored twice on 19 carries.
Vickless leads the Spartans in rushing, with 965 yards, and scoring, with 14 touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Chris Shortley hit on 9 of 14 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 812 yards and eight touchdowns in the passing department.
Senior tight end Mike Kish had three receptions for 51 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown catch.
Justin Bauer, a senior wide receiver, accounted for two scores — on a 47-yard reception and 1-yard run.
The Spartans posted their second shutout of the season.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.