McWreath leads THS to victory; Capers sits
9/11/2010 3:31 AM
Chartiers Valley junior Wayne Capers came out for pregame warmups wearing his No. 5 jersey but nothing else to indicate that one of the WPIAL's top players would be involved in Friday night's Class AAA Big Eight Conference game at Trinity.
The Hillers weren't sure what to think.
"He wasn't dressed, but we still didn't know if he'd play or not. We thought they might be pulling something," Trinity senior linebacker Kyle McWreath said. "I wasn't that worried about it anyway."
That's because McWreath beat his way through a Capers-less Chartiers Valley on both sides of the football and Trinity beat the Colts, 9-6, at Hiller Stadium.
"He's a beast," Chartiers Valley coach Chris Saluga said of McWreath. "He's a great football player. I'd love to have him on my team."
McWreath blocked a field goal attempt in the first quarter, recovered a fumble, had one series with three consecutive tackles for loss and, from the second quarter on, he refused to let Colts quarterbacks Sean Lapcevic and Bryan Liepold - filling in for Capers - do much of anything.
"He held the rope. He just willed it," Trinity coach Ed Dalton said. "Capers is good, but we would have tried to get after him."
According to Saluga, Capers is "day to day" with an ankle injury and while Chartiers Valley (0-1, 0-2) is a much different team without the dynamic playmaker, Trinity (1-0, 2-0) put together a strong defensive effort.
McWreath and Trinity's defense limited Chartiers Valley to 140 total yards and just two first downs after halftime.
Lapcevic, effective during the early portions of the game before cramps took a toll, had six of his final eight carries go for minus yards.
"They didn't change the snap count much and our game plan was to blitz the middle," McWreath said. "We really didn't make any adjustments. We just stuck to the plan."
On offense, Trinity's plan was to revert back to the smashmouth style it display earlier in Dalton's coaching tenure.
The Hillers lined up in an offensive formation with receivers on only one play in the game. They threw three passes, did not complete any and had one intercepted.
So the running game was key.
And, not surprisingly, McWreath led the way.
Bulldozing his way from the fullback position, McWreath rushed for a game-high 119 yards and his 32-yard touchdown run, which was set up by a 43-yard kickoff return from Pat Frey, put Trinity ahead one play into the fourth quarter.
"We were just pounding the ball up the middle and I just took a little spin and there was nobody outside," McWreath said.
Chartiers Valley never crossed midfield in the fourth quarter and when Taylor Davidson and Bobby Steinstraw sacked Liepold for a 21-yard loss with just under three minutes remaining, the game was effectively over.
And Trinity won its first two games for the first time since 2005, when it competed in Class AAAA.
"This win is giant. Like I said before, this is our only home game in a month so it's a giant game for us," Dalton said. "We've just got to keep winning. It's a pretty talented group but it's also a pretty young group at a lot of places. When we get to week four, week five, we'll have a better idea of where we're at." Copyright Observer Publishing Co.