Upper St. Clair, Peters Township go separate ways

By Eleanor Bailey almanac Sports Editor ebailey@thealmanac.Net 3 min read
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After meeting in a crucial clash Oct. 1, Upper St. Clair and Peters Township go their separate ways in Allegheny Six Conference football action.

The Panthers will travel to West Allegheny for a 7 p.m. kickoff Oct. 8 while the Indians host Moon at Confluence Financial Partners Stadium.

Before facing PT in a game which ended too late to be included in this edition, USC endured a turnover-riddled, 21-14 loss to Penn Hills. The Panthers spotted the Indians 21 points before overcoming their miscues — three interceptions and a fumble – and rallying for two late scores.

With 1:20 left in the third quarter, Upper St. Clair’s James Smith found Aiden Besselman for a four-yard touchdown pass. Smith hooked up with Ethan Hiester for a 24-yard scoring strike with 9:12 remaining but time ran out for the Panthers.

“We dug too big a hole to climb out,” said USC head coach Mike Junko. “Turnovers have been a big problem for us. In order for us to improve we have to be more disciplined and take care of the football.”

Against West Allegheny, Junko said the Panthers must limit turnovers. He said in games where USC has taken care of the ball, it has experienced success.

“We have had an up-and-down season in all three phases of the game. We need to play complimentary football on Friday night,” Junko said. “Field position, kicking game and offensive efficiency will play a big part in our success.

“We also need to establish our run game to keep their explosive playmakers off the field on offense,” he added.

Gavin Miller spearheads West Allegheny’s attack. An efficient passer, he has completed 35 of 62 attempts for 509 yards and four scores.

“He is a very talented and experienced signal caller that really makes things go for them on offense,” Junko said.

Junko also noted that West Allegheny’s defense has improved from last season. In 2020, the Indians finished 3-4 overall and surrendered 164 points or 23.4 per game.

“West A is still playing their aggressive attacking style of defense and that led them to many championships over the years,” Junko said.

Defense led Peters Township to back-to-back appearances in WPIAL Class 5A championship contests. The Indians allowed 13.6 points per game in going 8-1 in 2020.

In 2021, the Indians have allowed 59 points during their first five games. At 4-1, they are averaging 28.2 points per game while allowing just 11.8.

In its final tune-up before conference action, PT blasted Connellsville, 47-7.

Richie Woods rambled for three touchdowns. He finished with 140 yards rushing for the Indians.

PT’s Sam Miller rushed for one score and connected with Jacob Macosko for two more touchdowns. Miller completed 16 of 22 attempts for 174 yards.

Ethan Wertman hauled in a touchdown pass from Chris Cibrone while Andrew Massucci and Bryce Thompson converted the extra points to complete the PT scoring.


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