Peters Township’s 2021 football season ended in similar fashion as 2020 with a loss to Pine-Richland.
On Nov. 12, the Indians lost 20-14 to the Rams in the WPIAL Class 5A semifinals. The Pine-Richland knocked off Peters Township 35-0 in the district championship game a year earlier.
The Indians were denied an opportunity to play at Heinz Field for the title, after leading for much of the contest, after the Rams’ Ryan Palmieri raced seven yards for the game-winning score with 4:44 remaining.
Palmieri rolled up 240 yards of offense and had a hand in Pine-Richland’s other two scores with two, touchdown passes of 10 and 21 yards to Alex Gochis.
Bryce Thompson and Sam Miller combined for PT’s touchdowns. Miller tossed scoring strikes of 49 and 58 yards to Thompson, affording the Indians a 14-6 halftime advantage.
Thompson finished with 11 receptions for 153 yards. Miller completed 24 of 27 passes for 259 yards.
Peters Township finished the season at 7-5 overall.
After losing their first three Allegheny Six Conference games, the Indians rebounded and clinched a playoff spot. Seeded No. 11, the Indians upended North Hills, 33-28, in the first round of the playoffs.
In addition to Miller and Thompson, the Indians graduate Jacob Macosko. He was Miller’s top target with 51 receptions for 714 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns. Thompson finished with 36 catches for 666 yards and five scores.
Miller tossed 18 touchdowns and passed for more than 2,000 yards. A Columbia University baseball recruit, he also ranked as the team’s top rusher with 500 yards and six scores.
Among the team’s other graduating seniors are Marcos Recker, Pat McDonnell, Nico Pate, Brycin Yackuboskey, Luke Petrarca, Andrew Massucci, Ethan Traumuller, David Daube, Ryan Glesky,, Ethan Kirsch, Mason Mehl, Joey Orsi, Trey Jones, Dante Lahet, Adam Velgich, Luke Cortes, Anthony Brunette, Nick Trunzo, David Pagan and Max Short.
Rich Woods, along with two-way standouts Carter Shanafelt and Brendan McCullough, as well as Chris Cibrone are among the players PT head coach TJ Plack will build next year’s squad.
Woods led the Indians in rushing with 618 yards and five touchdowns.
A sophomore, Cibrone filled in at quarterback early in the season when Miller was injured. He completed 6 of 7 passes for 63 yards and one score.
Shanafelt and McCullough ranked as the team’s passing leaders behind Macosko and Thompson. They also played defense in PT’s secondary.
A sophomore, Shanafelt had 295 yards receiving on 25 receptions. He had three touchdowns and a two-point conversion.
A junior, McCullough had 142 yards receiving and one score.