High School Football Notebook: Trinity finds new life, momentum
10/21/2009 3:33 AM
Trinity High School's football team knew it was capable of the type of performances the Hillers put forth last week when they shut out West Mifflin on the road.
Trinity evens knows a few of the reasons why it took so long to play up to its lofty preseason expectations.
"We were really embarrassed with how we haven't performed," Hillers coach Ed Dalton said. "We can point to a lot of different reasons but No. 1 probably is we're minus-17 in turnovers."
For all the struggles and roster upheaval, Trinity (2-3, 2-5) sits in fifth place in the Class AAA Big Seven Conference and the playoffs remain a possibility, thanks to that 28-0 win at West Mifflin.
"That was a great shot to our confidence," Dalton said. "Our confidence is growing. That said, we have nothing to be overconfident about."
Turnovers and penalties have hurt Trinity's chances in several games, including recent conference losses to Belle Vernon and Chartiers Valley.
Another problem has been offensive inconsistency.
Last week, Trinity looked to sophomore running back Tyler Yocca, who had 19 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Ken Wilkins, a Michigan recruit, caught two touchdown passes from Andrew Steratore but the first-team all-state defensive lineman from 2008 hasn't seen much time on defense.
"We've actually played really well on defense," Dalton said. "If we take away some of those short fields we keep giving the other team, we're giving up seven to 10 points a game. Realistically, that gives you a chance to win."
Trinity, whose five losses have come against teams with a combined record of 26-9, hopes to run its win streak to two this week when it hosts Yough (1-6) in a non-conference game.
It's an odd time to play outside the Big Seven, but the Hillers are looking at the game as an opportunity to build off last week.
"It's a chance to just get better," Dalton said. "There's no rule to when you can get better or get momentum. We're home for two weeks and we think things are starting to go our way."
On the defensive
With three shutouts, the McGuffey defense has been one of the best in the Interstate Conference and WPIAL Class AA. Only Beaver Falls, Center and Greensburg Central Catholic have allowed fewer points in the classification.
Each shutout - Greensburg C.C., Brownsville and South Allegheny - has come at home, where McGuffey (5-2) plays its final two games against Waynesburg and Washington. The Highlanders have not allowed one point at home this year.
As impressive as that sounds, McGuffey might have topped itself last Friday against Charleroi in a game played at Ringgold's Joe Montana Stadium because of poor field conditions at Charleroi. The Highlanders held sophomore running back Quentin Briggs to 48 yards on 14 carries, an average of 3.4 per carry. McGuffey's defensive line clogged lanes and let the linebackers roam. Logan McAnany and Nick Shuman appeared to be in on most tackles.
So did the rest of the defense as McGuffey made it a mission to gang tackle.
"I love that," McGuffey coach Derek Bochna said. "With a guy like (Briggs), you don't want one guy to hit him. You want three or four guys to hit him and that's what happened."
California and Carmichaels are tied with Jefferson-Morgan for third place in the Tri-County South Conference. Two of the three are going to clinch a berth in the WPIAL Class A playoffs.
If the Trojans or Mikes miss out, it will snap a long streak. Carmichaels leads all local teams with 11 consecutive playoff appearances, beginning in 1998. California has qualified for 10 straight playoffs.
Canon-McMillan promotes breast cancer awareness
The Canon-McMillan School District is asking all fans who attend Friday night's Great Southern Conference game between the Big Macs and Bethel Park at Canon-Mac Stadium to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness.
Canon-McMillan helmets will sport a pink ribbon sticker and there will be a fundraiser during the game.
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