CV in way of Trinity's 2-0 start
9/10/2010 3:31 AM
The last time Trinity started a football season with a win was 2006, which just happened to be the last time the Hillers knocked off Chartiers Valley.
And the last time Trinity went 2-0 to start a season was 2005. The Hillers beat the Colts that year too, and the season remains one of the best in team history. Seeded 15th in the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs, Trinity knocked off Penn Hills in the first round and nearly got past Mt. Lebanon in the quarterfinals.
So what does all this mean when Chartiers Valley travels to Trinity tonight for a 7 p.m. kickoff in the Class AAA Big Eight Conference opener? Well, not much, but this game is of great significance to both teams.
Trinity (0-0, 1-0) defeated rival Canon-McMillan, 40-22, last week to snap a three-game skid against the Big Macs.
"When you open the season with a win, no matter who you beat, it does a lot," Trinity coach Ed Dalton said. "Our first four or five weeks are just a nightmare after nightmare. There are no easy weeks and this is our only home game in the first month."
Chartiers Valley (0-0, 0-1), a 35-28 loser to Montour in its opener, certainly does not qualify as a patsy.
"This is one of those games you look back at late in the season and say, 'Wow, that's a big game,'" Colts coach Chris Saluga said. "Our first goal is to get to playoffs, and we think Trinity is one of the better teams in the conference. This is important."
The Colts have become a perennial playoff contender under the direction of Saluga and, in multipurpose quarterback Wayne Capers, boast one of the WPIAL's premier multisport athletes.
"He's good, good, good, good, good, good," Dalton said. "I actually think he throws better than (Terrelle) Pryor did at the same age. He's really good and he can really run it."
Capers, who suffered a season-ending injury during last year's 30-12 win against Trinity, leads the WPIAL with 338 passing yards, but his ability to run is equaling menacing to the Hillers' defense.
"He's just a blessed athlete," Saluga said. "Because of the situation we had last week, we had to pass. He can run, but he does have a great arm. He can throw it 65 yards."
Pitt, Penn State and Maryland have offered Capers a scholarship, and he's most likely to play receiver in college. While Trinity might not boast a blue chip on the level of Capers, the Hillers had several players emerge with strong performances against Canon-McMillan.
Mike Cleveland put together a game that needed seen to be believed. The 6-6 senior caught two long touchdown passes, finished with eight tackles, intercepted a pass, kicked a 40-yard field goal and regularly placed kickoffs in the end zone.
"That's a pretty awesome coming out party," Dalton said. "He's always been talented but maybe there was a little performance anxiety before. The kid won the Penn State kicking camp and he's kicked 61-yard field goals against no rush at practice."
Dalton also praised the play of senior quarterback Brad Martin and run-first Trinity has to like to tailback tandem of Tyler Yocca and Pat Frey, the first freshman to start somewhere other than the offensive line at Trinity since Andrew Sweat. The pair combined for 185 yards and a touchdown.
"We know they want to run on you but you have to respect their passing game," Saluga said. "They've always shown they can run the ball and it's easy to get caught up in trying to stop the run. That's what concerns me. They can throw it." Copyright Observer Publishing Co.