McWreath helps Hillers batter SP
10/23/2010 3:30 AM
LIBRARY - Every I-formation offense has a battering-ram fullback who spends most of his time scrambling his brain blocking for a fleet-footed tailback and carries the football every third series, just to prove he's not a guard.
At Trinity High School, that guy is senior Kyle McWreath.
Against South Park in a key Big Eight Conference game Friday night, McWreath carried the ball seven times for a healthy 56 yards. That has been a typical running night for the Hillers' senior, and a good game by any standard for a fullback.
It was, however, what McWreath did when he wasn't carrying the football that stood out in Trinity's 48-7 victory.
McWreath paved the way with crunching blocks on three Trinity touchdown runs, caught a 12-yard scoring pass and made the game's key play by blocking a South Park punt and recovering the ball in the end zone for a TD late in the second quarter.
"He's our leader, our horse," Trinity head coach Ed Dalton said. "He's probably a Division I player. He makes big plays. Kyle's the type of player who would rather run over a tackler than run around him for a touchdown."
The win clinched a WPIAL Class AAA playoff berth for Trinity (4-2, 5-3).
Tyler Yocca had a pair of touchdowns run for the Hillers, and Patrick Frey scored two second-quarter TDs, including an 89-yard kickoff return after South Park had tied the score at 7-7.
"Our mistakes on special teams turned the tide," said South Park coach Tom Loughran, who saw his team's playoff chances disappear in a big second quarter for Trinity.
The Hillers opened the game with an eight-play, 71-yard drive that was capped by Yocca's 11-yard touchdown run. McWreath led the way for Yocca with a pancake block on a South Park linebacker.
South Park (2-4, 2-6) responded with a time-consuming 17-play, 81-yard drive to tie the game on quarterback Nick Yobbi's one-yard sneak 1:18 into the second quarter. The drive included seven penalties, including three against Trinity that gave South Park first downs.
For the game, Trinity committed 10 penalties, but South Park was just as generous as the Eagles also were flagged 10 times.
The game remained tied for only 13 seconds. That's how long it Frey to return the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown. Frey's blockers opened a huge hole and the freshman had to beat only one player, the Eagles' kicker. Frey made a nifty juke, then cut to his right and raced untouched down the sideline.
"In the younger leagues, Patrick returned a lot of kickoffs for touchdowns," Dalton said. "That's the first time at this level. It's probably the first kickoff we've returned for a score since about 2006."
After taking 17 plays to gain the momentum, the Eagles lost it in one play.
"That touchdown on the kickoff return took the wind out of our sails," said Loughran. "We put a nice drive together to tie the game, then it's over in a flash."
Frey followed McWreath for a six-yard TD on Trinity's next possession. Four plays after the kickoff, McWreath broke through the South Park punt formation and took the ball off the foot of punter Cory Tucker. The ball rolled 10 yards back tot he end zone, where McWreath recovered for a touchdown and 28-7 Trinity lead with two minutes left in the first half and the rout was on.
"We thought we could block a punt," Dalton said. "We put in three schemes during the week, but with a muddy field we decided to use the simplest of the three. Kyle broke free untouched."
KLyle McWreath caught a 12-yard pass from Brad Martin on a fourth-down play in the third quarter and Yocca scored from seven yards out late in the quarter. Evan McWreath capped the scoring with a three-yard in the final quarter.
"Trinity's offensive and defensive lines took control of the game after we tied the score," Loughran said. Copyright Observer Publishing Co.