We had our first weekend of less-than-ideal weather conditions of the 2021 football season. A number of storms rolled through the region on Friday night, causing some games to be postponed until Saturday morning, others to conclude early, and others to be delayed for over an hour and not finish until close to midnight. One of the biggest results of the weekend came in the 4A Greater Allegheny Conference with Hampton topping defending conference champions Plum. Hampton is off to just their third 7-0 start in school history. The Talbots made the playoffs in four straight seasons at the end of the four classification era, but then went four years without a postseason appearance when they landed in 5A. Hampton moved down to 4A last season and made the playoffs for the first time since 2015. Now, with wins over Armstrong, Greensburg Salem, and Plum, the Talbots are closing in on their first conference title since 2014 and just the 5th in school history. We interviewed Hampton head coach Jacque DeMatteo on this week’s edition of the WPIAL Blitz Show
WPIAL Blitz Show Player of the Week Presented by Brute Athletic
Julian Dugger (QB-Penn Hills)
Congratulations to our Brute Athletic Player of the Week Julian Dugger. Penn Hills won a thrilling game against North Hills on Friday night in the 5A Northeast Conference. After a back-and-forth game where Dugger ran for 3 touchdowns and threw another, North Hills scored with a minute to go and converted a two-point try to take a 29-28 lead. Dugger engineered a drive with just a minute to go to get the ball inside the 20 then slung this game-winning touchdown pass from 16 yards out with 2 seconds left on the clock.
— PENN HILLS INDIANS FOOTBALL (@phqbclub) October 9, 2021
In the end, Dugger finished with 104 passing yards and 2 TDs along with 153 rushing yards and 3 TDs.
In addition to Julian Dugger’s 5 touchdown performance, there were four other players that finished the weekend with 5 TDs. Thomas Jefferson QB Joe Leske threw for 208 yards and 2 TDs and ran for 102 yards and 3 TDs. North Catholic’s Joey Prentice threw for 257 yards and 4 TDs and added a rushing TD in a win over South Park. In the 1A Tri-County South, Mapletown’s Landan Stevenson ran for 4 touchdowns and returned an interception for a 5th TD and West Greene’s Colin Brady ran for 4 TDs and returned a kickoff for a score. The most dominant performance might have been from Mt. Lebanon RB Alex Tecza who ran for 259 yards and 2 TDs against a Central Catholic defense that had shut down everyone this season. Moon’s Ben Bladel was all over the field with 3 sacks, a forced fumble, a blocked punt (which he also returned for a touchdown), a touchdown pass, and two 2-point conversion receptions.
Two Good Causes:
WPIAL Food Drive
The WPIAL has partnered with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to conduct a food drive over the next two weeks across Western Pennsylvania. People are able to participate in two ways, through donations of food items at schools and games and by making online donations. Donors of both food items and monetary contributions can designate a school to receive the “credit” for their donations, and the schools with the most meals donated ($1 = 5 meals) will receive recognition at the annual Sportsmanship Summit. See the tweet below for more information.
Gooooooooood morning! Today's the start of the WPIAL Food Drive! 🙌
Over the next two weeks, our member schools will be collecting physical and monetary donations for the @PghFoodBank! Please spread the word!
— WPIAL7 (@wpial7) October 11, 2021
Sunny Anderson Fundraiser
Last summer, Aliquippa wide receiver Antonyo “Sunny” Anderson was tragically injured in a drive-by shooting. He has been working back through physical therapy to be able to walk again. On Friday night, in a show of solidarity, Chartiers Valley’s football program raised $1,800 through a fundraiser for Antonyo’s ongoing care. An amazing move by an opposing team to support the young man in his recovery.
No matter what the score ends in, we all win! CV, you showed up like you always do. You poured out love & support. Tonight, we raised $1,800 to donate to @quipfootball Sunny Anderson’s recovery. #StrongerTogether #coltspride @CVColtsAD @DKnause5 @CVstrength @AntonyoA8 pic.twitter.com/NelKMR3Uf3
— CharValleyFootball (@CVColtsFootball) October 9, 2021
If you’re feeling generous, you can find a GoFundMe for Antonyo here.