Upper St. Clair uses win as impetus for Moon challenge
In reviewing video from a 21-7 triumph against North Hills, Upper St. Clair head coach Jim Render was pleased with his team’s performance and sees the effort as an impetus not only for another victory on Sept. 8 at Moon but for the 2016 season as a whole.
“After we watched the film, I said to my players, ‘I could go around the room and pick out plays where virtually everyone had moments of being outstanding. We really had guys step up.”
Sean Martin and Jack Hansberry were among them.
“Sean kicked well and he had a nice tackle on a kick-off return,” Render said.
Hansberry rushed for TDs of one and eight yards. The senior signal caller also tossed a 39-yard scoring strike to Chris Pantellis. Hansberry completed 10 of 16 passes for 156 yards.
“Jack has a nice game. One of the best nights in his career,” added Render. “He ran the ball well for us. Threw great passes and centered the ball to our punter. He did a lot of things well.”
As a whole, so did the Panthers. One of the best things they did was display resilience after North Hills opened the game with an 80-yard touchdown run by Tyler Brennan.
“We got off to a bad start but we maintained our composure and competed well under tough circumstances,” Render said. “Our defense shut them down the rest of the way and our offense got better as the game went on and our special teams were outstanding. Coaches always talk about offense, defense and special teams and we did well in all three aspects of the game.”
Render thinks the effort from the NH game will impact the Moon contest.
“That’s got to have carry-over value,” he said. “If not, I’d be shocked.
Shocking has been the Tigers’ recent demise. After making back-to-back playoff appearances, Moon has posted a 5-13 record the past two seasons. The Tigers are off to a 1-1 start under Ryan Linn, who is in his first season at the helm after serving as offensive coordinator.
“Moon has a new coach and they appear to be well-coached. I don’t know much about them,” Render said. “I wish I knew more.”
After North Hills, however, Render knows enough about his team. The Panthers are 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the Allegheny Nine Conference.
“I had to be pleased,” he said. “The whole coaching staff and team itself had to be pleased with our play against North Hills.”
The only displeasure for the Panthers is the fact that Kahil Jackson suffered a “freak” knee injury in practice and is lost for the season.