SF’s Coyne set for a busy weekend
Brian Coyne will have a busy weekend. The South Fayette senior will kick for the high school football team Nov. 1 and strike for the soccer team Nov. 2.
The Lions will battle West Allegheny for the WPIAL Class AA soccer title at 5:45 p.m. Saturday at Highmark Stadium. Coyne led the Lions in scoring during the regular season with 21 goals.
While the Indians (16-0-3) advanced to their first finals with a 1-0 win against Shady Side Academy, SF (16-2-2) reached the championship contest with a 1-0 victory over South Park (18-2). While Alex Gedrys registered his 18th shutout, thanks to five saves, Dan Pruss scored the gamewinner, off a corner kick from Jake Thomas.
The Lions and Indians are familiar foes, having competed in the same section. In their regular Section 5 meetings, the teams tied twice, 0-0 and 1-1.
Meanwhile the Lions begin their quest for a WPIAL championship in football when they host Greensburg Central Catholic at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Coyne handles the extra points and placekicking for the undefeated Lions. He has 58 points this season and has made good on 58 percent of his field goal attempts.
The Lions led the WPIAL in scoring, averaging 49 points per game, but Coyne is not their only offensive weapon.
Junior quarterback Brett Brumbaugh has thrown for 1,914 yards and 23 scores. Grant Fetchet leads the ground attack with 944 yards and 15 scores followed by Hunter Hayes and Mike Speca. Justin Watson leads the air assault with 12 TDs and 826 reception yards followed by Conner Beck, Logan Sharp and Hayden Orler.
Defensively, the Lions have recorded four shutouts this season, three in their last three games. They have allowed 46 points or 5.1 per game. J.J. and Zack Walker pace the defense with 75 and 67 tackles while Ben Berkovitz has a team-high five sacks followed by Zack Walker with four. Ryan Schmider and Orler are tops in interceptions followed by Jake Relihan and Walker.
Though the No. 15 seed, Greensburg Central Catholic enters the playoffs with a 5-4 record, they are a “dangerous” four seed out of the Interstate Conference, says SF head coach Joe Rossi. The Centurions are of particular concern because they have gotten key players back from injuries, including Chase Keller. When the quarterback injured his collar bone, the Centurions started 0-3. But, in last week’s playoff-clinching win against Jeannette, 41-14, Keller completed six passes for 113 yards and two TDs.
The versatile Tyler Balla is also a concern for the Lions. He has rushed for over 1,000 and 14 touchdowns. He rolled up 248 yards last week on 38 carries. Balla is also a top receiver with Eddie Kilkeary, averaging 20 and 17 yards a catch.
Of the Centurions, Rossi said, “they’re big and strong. They’ve been dominating teams lately.”
So have the Lions. They rolled up an undefeated 9-0 record during the regular season and clinched the Century Conference as well as garnered the No. 2 seed in the Class AA playoffs, behind Aliquippa, which is also unbeaten.
“The kids are excited,” Rossi said. “And, I am excited for them. We’re coming off a conference championship and that was our first goal. Now, we’re on to our second goal.”
Should the Lions prevail over GCC, they will face the winner of the Seton-La Salle (7-2) vs. Washington (7-2) contest on Friday, Nov. 8. The Rebels represent the Century Conference as well and were victims of a Lions’ attack, 45-3, earlier in the season.
The WPIAL Class AA championship game is set for 5 p.m. Nov. 23 at Heinz Field. Should the top seeds succeed in reaching the finals, then it would be a rematch of the 2011 title game that saw the Lions beat Aliquippa, 19-6.