TribLIVE

| Sports


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

Warriors ready to host Central Catholic

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn-Trafford wide receiver Brian McDonough gains yardage on a first-down catch against Hempfield during their WPIAL Quad East game on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, at Hempfield High School in Fort Allen. Penn-Trafford defeated Hempfield, 16-0.

About Matt Grubba
Picture Matt Grubba 412-388-5830
Sports Reporter
Leader Times

Top high school sports

By Matt Grubba

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 8:57 p.m.

Oakland's boys are coming to Harrison City this Friday.

Penn-Trafford's football team received the No. 6 seed in this year's WPIAL Quad-A football tournament, which means it will face 11th-seeded Central Catholic in the first round at Warriors Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

Although the Warriors (7-2) are seeded appropriately for a second-place team, the Vikings (7-2), the third-place team from the Quad North, are slightly underseeded with a pair of fourth-place teams — Bethel Park and North Hills — ahead of them on the bracket. In fact, it is the only Quad-A first-round game that features two teams with at least seven wins.

Regardless, Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane knew whoever his Warriors drew in the first round would be a challenge, and he hopes to have his team ready to battle the Vikings.

“We kind of thought we would end up with them or Bethel Park,” said Ruane, knowing the pairings committee likely wouldn't set them up with a rematch against regular-season opponent North Hills.

“Man, what a team to be playing. With the tradition that Central Catholic has and how well-coached they are — Coach (Terry) Totten is a great man — it's going to be a tough one. We've got to play our best.”

Penn-Trafford last faced Central Catholic in the first round of the 2008 playoffs, a game that the Vikings won, 42-0. That game, coincidentally, also was a 6 vs. 11 matchup, but it was Central Catholic holding the higher seed in that meeting.

While the Vikings have a long tradition of quarterbacks dating back to NFL Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino, this year's Central Catholic team is a run-oriented bunch, led by leading rusher Luigi Lista-Brinza, who has nearly 800 yards on the season.

Penn-Trafford can match up physically with the Vikings, but where Ruane said the Warriors will need to be at their best is in the mental aspect of the game.

“They're in the right position on every snap,” Ruane said. “They're so well-coached, they're so sound, and they play hard. There's no weak spots.”

The Warriors' defense didn't appear to have any weak spots in its regular-season finale last week, as Penn-Trafford defeated Hempfield on the road, 16-0, in a Quad East Conference game.

Penn-Trafford forced five turnovers by the Spartans (4-5), Tom Stinelli ran for 162 yards, and Matt Loughnane made field goals of 42, 39 and 44 yards in a strong all-around effort by P-T.

The Warriors also overcame injury, as they came out with the win despite playing without starting quarterback/defensive back Dorian Stevens and running back Devin Austin. The rest of the team picked up the slack, as senior quarterback Matt Arzenti stepped in to go 7-for-14 for 86 yards and a touchdown pass to Ryan Marasti, who also had a fumble recovery and an interception on defense.

That kind of performance, Ruane said, is what his team needs to continue to advance beyond the Vikings this week.

“We're in the playoffs, and that's all you can hope for,” Ruane said. “Everybody's 0-0 at this point, and it's going to be a tough road no matter who you play. Central Catholic is tough, and we're going to have to play our best to win.”

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or mgrubba@tribweb.com.

 

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. 4 dead in ‘horrific’ Armstrong County crash
  2. Kovacevic: Bylsma’s moves — yes, moves — pay off
  3. U.S. attorney seeks plan for reducing heroin overdoses
  4. Group wants Consol to adhere to terms of Greene County mining permit
  5. Police see no sign Franklin Regional stabbing suspect was bullied
  6. Former Pitt captain Cavanaugh blazes trail as entrepreneur
  7. Penguins rally to escape with a victory in Game 1 against Columbus
  8. Bishop Zubik urges Catholics to evangelize
  9. Authorities investigating skeletal remains found in Ohio River in Avalon
  10. Veteran North Huntingdon police officer fired
  11. Deal reached on calming Ukraine tensions
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.