Plum to face once-beaten Upper St. Clair
The Plum varsity football team will make its fourth and final trip to the South Hills on Friday, as the Mustangs tangle with WPIAL power Upper St. Clair in a Quad Central battle.
The search continues for win No. 1, as the young Plum squad fell to Penn Hills, 35-7, last Friday in its home finale.
Upper St. Clair, on the other hand, tasted defeat for the first time this season, as Bethel Park stunned the Panthers, 24-17, despite being outgained, 335-108.
Plum and Upper St. Clair meet for the eighth time in the history of both programs. The Mustangs are 0-4 against the Panthers since 2002.
The teams met in the 2006 WPIAL Quad-A first round, with Upper St. Clair scoring a 35-6 victory.
The Panthers also toppled Plum in the first round in 2004 and during the regular season in both 2002 and 2003.
The Mustangs will have to contend with a dual-threat quarterback in senior Pete Coughlin.
The WPIAL got a good first look at Coughlin in the Quad-A playoffs last year, as he filled in for standout Dakota Conwell and led the team to an upset victory over nationally ranked Pittsburgh Central Catholic in the semifinals.
Through seven games this season, Coughlin has completed 51 of 68 passes for 811 yards, 10 touchdowns and only one interception. He also has been a running threat, as he leads the team in rushing attempts (71), yards on the ground (353) and rushing touchdowns (7).
Coughlin is complimented in the running game by juniors Steve Mackowick and Mac Pope.
Mackowick has 33 carries for 320 yards and two touchdowns, while Pope has rushed 44 times for 218 yards and four scores.
Mackowick and Pope each had a rushing touchdowns against Bethel Park last week.
Plum senior running back Jake DiGuilio helped the Mustangs avoid a shutout against Penn Hills by scoring on a 9-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Senior Darius Holloway led the Indians with 17 carries for 143 yards and two touchdown runs.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.