Penn-Trafford and Gateway to battle again for conference title
The Victory Bell might be the heaviest, but it isn't the biggest thing on the line when Penn-Trafford and Gateway meet this week.
The No. 10 Warriors and No. 2 Gators will play for a guaranteed share of the Quad East Conference title when they meet at Warriors Stadium on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
It is the second straight season that Penn-Trafford and Gateway, both 6-1 overall and 6-0 in conference, will finish 1-2 in the league, and for the Warriors, it serves as chance to win back-to-back conference titles.
“It's been a tremendous season for us, especially because expectations from the outside were low because of (only five starters) coming back,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said.
“(Gateway) is a team that walks on the field and expects to win. They play hard, fast and don't worry about mistakes.”
The Gators are led by quarterback Thomas Woodson, who is having a breakout year, including a five-touchdown game last week against Norwin.
On the other side, Penn-Trafford quarterback Dorian Stevens had a big passing day of his own last Friday in a 27-0, homecoming night win over Kiski Area (3-4, 3-3).
Stevens was 7-for-9 passing for 192 yards and touchdowns to Dom Cima and Devin Austin. He also ran for a score, as did Tom Stinelli for the Warriors.
The game was the first shutout of the year for Penn-Trafford's defense, which continues to improve each week.
“I thought we tackled really well, compared to the last two weeks,” Ruane said. “Our linebackers filled holes well, and there was no place for them to throw on a lot of plays.
“This is the best time of year to be playing your best, and I think we are, but we're going to have to play our best game of the season to win this week.”
One perk of Penn-Trafford's win last week was that the Warriors have clinched a home first-round playoff game, something not even the Gators have officially secured.
“We've been really successful at home, and it's a big deal for us to playing in front of our fans and our student body,” Ruane said.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.