Central Catholic ready for Upper St. Clair's dual-threat QB
TribLIVE Sports Videos
This time, Central Catholic knows his name.
Whether the Vikings have Pete Coughlin's number, or vice versa, is another story.
Coughlin came out of nowhere to stun Central in the WPIAL semifinals last season, making his starting debut in relief of injured star quarterback Dakota Conwell. Coughlin rushed for 209 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries and completed 4 of 8 passes for 61 yards and another score.
“It was deflating, to say the least,” Central coach Terry Totten said. “We didn't know anything about him. As the game wore on, it was just apparent that it wasn't going to be our night and it was going to be his night.”
A year later, the Vikings (8-2) are seeking revenge when they play Upper St. Clair (9-1) in a WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Baldwin.
Coughlin, a 5-foot-10, 170-pounder, is hoping for an encore of that scintillating playoff performance.
“I was a little nervous, of course, it was my first start and against a great Central Catholic team,” Coughlin said. “They were ranked nationally and had a bunch of Division-I recruits. My teammates gave me confidence the whole week. It seemed like it would be so hard to fail with the trust they put in me and how hard they played beside me.
“It was shocking to me that my team played that well and I played that well.”
Despite entering this season with a bull's-eye on his back, Coughlin has been the catalyst for the Panthers, completing 73 percent of his passes for 1,078 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushing for 483 yards and eight touchdowns on 95 carries.
“He didn't catch anybody by surprise this year. They all saw what he did in that game and how he competed at Heinz Field against North Allegheny,” Upper St. Clair coach Jim Render said of Coughlin, who rushed for 63 yards and passed for 146 yards and a touchdown in the WPIAL final overtime loss. “There's no surprise element. People have been very conscious of him this year and what he can do.”
Coughlin proved against Peters Township in Week 3 that he wasn't a one-trick pony, completing 9 of 11 passes for 249 yards and five touchdowns.
“It made the whole WPIAL realize that they had to respect the pass now,” Coughlin said.
Where Central senior linebacker Leo Loughrey said the Vikings thought they “were going to come in and win” last year only to be surprised by Coughlin's quickness and elusiveness, they have a newfound respect for him this time around.
“What he did that evening was spectacular and unbelievable to us,” Totten said. “We had no idea that he had those kinds of skills.
“First of all, he's a very gutsy kid, a game kid, but his ability to beat you, make you miss and extend plays and throw downfield can be devastating. We certainly know what he can do, so we're trying to prepare for that.”
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7812.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL notebook: Browns’ Manziel says he tried to avoid altercation
- Pitt’s challenge: Contain Miami’s Johnson, Dorsett
- OPEC decision on crude sets small producers on perilous path, analysts say
- Steelers notebook: Defense has a retro feel
- Mirai debut brings fuel cell future closer
- Fewer Dems to fight for ObamaCare
- Inside the National Cathedral ‘prayer service’
- Salvation Army in W.Pa. uses social media campaign
- Penguins notebook: Malkin clicking on power play
- U.S.-backed rebels push forward in southern Syria
- The AG-designate: Tough questions for Loretta Lynch