Perone has Seton-La Salle passing up competition

Published Sep 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm (Updated Sep 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm)

During his debut at quarterback, Tyler Perone checked off a play sent in from the sidelines and Seton-La Salle failed to convert on a fourth-down play. Greg Perry instantly signaled time out and lectured the junior.

“At SLS, we allow our quarterbacks to change plays ... until he did what he did that day,” said the head coach with a hearty laugh because his Rebels eventually routed South Allegheny, 40-3. “Tyler made a bad check. I’m glad to see that he’s willing to make the check because who better knows than the player who is out there but he changed a play on fourth down,” he added incredulously.

Of the switch, Perone said, “I did it and hoped for the best but it didn’t work out.”

Of the chat with Perry, Perone added, “I’m used to getting yelled at by him but I realized I had made a mistake.”

Despite being a first-time starting signal caller, Perry assured that “Tyler will never make that call again. He learns fast from his mistakes.”

How’s this for quick? The 16-year-old son of Kimberly Perone completed 21 of 22 passes for 354 yards and six scoring strikes in Seton-La Salle’s follow-up victory, 41-6, over McGuffey.

And, Perone said with a chuckle, “I didn’t get yelled at.” He added, “Things went pretty awesome.”

In two victories, everything is going as expected for Perone and the Rebels. In filling the vacancy caused by Luke Brumbaugh’s matriculation to Robert Morris, Perone has completed 37 of 44 passes for 550 yards and eight touchdowns. Currently, he ranks No. 2 in the WPIAL in passing.

“What Tyler has done so far does not come as a shock to me,” Perry said. “I’ve seen him for three years. He’s just not had the opportunity because he has played behind good kids. We knew that he would be a good quarterback because he can throw the ball.”

Perone acquired some of his talent from his father, Mike. He played quarterback at Franklin Regional before Pitt turned him into a tight end. But, Perone has also honed his skills and his mobility, in part to his early participation in baseball.

“Tyler has all the tools. His strength is his arm,” Perry explained. “He’s very good. Plus, he’s more athletic than I thought he was. He can move around a lot.”

That ability enhances his wide receivers. For example, against the Highlanders, newcomer Danzel McKinley-Lewis caught scoring strikes that measured 21, 17 and 65 yards. He finished with seven grabs for 146 yards. Rick Mellick hauled in 68- and 13-yard TD aerials. Kevin Curran added an 11-yard score. Plus, Tom Rizza finished with five receptions for 46 yards.

“Tyler has a couple of kids around him that can catch the ball,” said Perry.

Perone agreed. “I have a great group of receivers,” said the Peters Township resident. “They make a lot of what I do possible.

“I owe a lot to the senior guys,” Perone continued. “They’ve worked hard and the guys in the junior class want to make sure we get them and SLS a championship because it’s been since 2004 that they’ve won one.”

While team objectives come first, Perone understands that winning is critical to his personal success, too. A potential Division I prospect, Toledo and Pitt have already expressed some interest, Perone knows how important a junior year can be so he says he wants to have a good season. “Throw as many touchdown passes as I can and eliminate interceptions and lead the team to victories,” he said are his goals. “Schools look to see if you are winning and they look at winning programs, so I want to help the team win for as long as it can.

“Statistics just come with the journey,” he added. “The main goal is to win games for the team. That’s the expectation. So far we are keeping it up.”

The Rebels look for win No. 3 in the Century Conference when they battle Keystone Oaks at 7 p.m. at Dormont Stadium. And while the teams are headed in the opposite direction with SLS at 3-0 and the Golden Eagles off to an 0-3 start, nothing is taken for granted between these two schools, which face each other on McNeilly Road in Mt. Lebanon.

“Once we get over that opening kick off and past the fact that we are rivals from across the street, I think we’ll settle down and be okay,” said Perry.

“Our first two games have been good for us because we have a lot of kids on offense that had not played a lot and the only way to get experience is to get in there and play. We’ve got some experience under our belts. Tyler has two starts. So we are expecting more in the third game.”

While he doesn’t have much experience, Perone culled knowledge from his predecessor. A two-year starter in front of Perone, Brumbaugh passed for more than 3,000 yards.

“Luke was a great role model. I looked up to him. He was a great player and teammate but mainly a good friend whom I could ask any question.

“I learned from everything he did. I learned from his mistakes and I learned from what he did well.”

For Perone, that means one thing. He’s pleasing Perry and as a result the Rebels are rolling.

Tyler Perone file

Age: 16

Parents: Mike and Kimberly

Siblings: Brendan

School: Seton-La Salle

Residence: Peters Township

Sport: Football

College interest from: Toledo and Pitt

GPA: 4.0

Favorite class: History, especially World War II

Best military branch: Air Force

What you reach for when thirsty: Ice tea. It’s a no-brainer.

Favorite food: Hamburger with a little lettuce and maybe some barbeque sauce but no cheese. I don’t like cheese.

Best social medium: Twitter. I am on Facebook but I never check it. It’s too slow and confusing with all the buttons you have to push.

If I can’t play in the NFL, then I will be: An engineer or businessman.

People may be surprised to know this about you: I enjoy video games, especially the one’s where I get to be the hero.

Big days ahead: Sept. 27 and 28. That’s the day of the South Fayette game and the day after when I hope to get my driver’s license.

Marching orders: Tyler attended Peters Township Middle School but committed to Seton-La Salle upon the advice of his cousin, Emily Nedzesky, a Rebelette in the band. “She told me it’s was a good school,” Tyler said, “and you don’t learn a whole lot about your faith in a public school.”

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