To the victors go the spoils.
So it is only fitting the postseason accolades continue to pour in for the Peters Township football team. Seven Indians headline the 37th edition of the Premiere Pigskin Performers and their head coach, T.J. Plack, is again named The Almanac Coach of the Year.
Since taking the reins in 2016, Plack has produced a Class 5A powerhouse. He coached the Indians to a third consecutive conference championship and a second straight appearance in the WPIAL finals. Though the Indians avenged their 2019 title loss to Gateway in this year’s semifinals, they fell short of claiming the district crown, toppled by eventual state champion Pine-Richland, 35-0. The defeat was the lone blemish on an otherwise successful season.
The Indians finished 8-1 overall and undefeated (5-0) in the Allegheny Six Conference.
Plack again reached the pinnacle by utilizing the talents of five outstanding seniors, two of them major Division I recruits.
Corban Hondru was Plack’s building block. A four-year starter bound for Miami (Ohio) University, Hondru earned The Almanac MVP honors for his all-around contributions.
Donovan McMillon followed as a three-year starter along with veteran linemen Ethan Spangenberg and Austin McKinnon.
McMillon and Spangenberg are two-time Almanac selections as well as all-conference performers.
A Florida recruit, McMillon, along with McKinnon, helped anchor a defense that allowed 13.6 points per game.
McMillon, a defensive back, led the Indians in tackles with 57. He had one sack and a tackle for loss. As a return specialist, he averaged 33.2 yards. He returned one kick-off this season for a 96-yard touchdown. He also ranked second on the Indians’ offense with 17 receptions for 301 yards and three touchdown.
McKinnon ranked third on the team in tackles with 33. He led in tackles for a loss with eight and second in sacks with six. He added one interception and one fumble recovery.
Spangenberg, like McKinnon, was a two-way, three-year starter for the Indians and an all-conference selection at offensive guard. Spangenberg is a primary reason why the Indians passed for 1,255 yards and rushed for 1,282 total yards. His protection enabled Logan Pfeuffer to finish his career as Peters Township’s all-time passing leader.
Breylen Carrington, like PT’s linemen, dominated on both sides of the both but in the skill positions. A defensive back, he led the Indians with five interceptions, four coming in the season-opening win against Penn-Trafford. Two went for touchdowns.
Carrington also led the team in receiving with 24 receptions for 465 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 122 yards on nine carries for a 15.2-yard average.
Plack credited his seniors for the program’s turnaround since his first season a the helm, which was a 4-6 campaign.
“It’s no secret why our program has been successful,” he said. “We had a fantastic group of seniors. I just hope our younger players have noticed the dedication, trust and ability to be coached that our seniors exhibited.”
Nico Pate and Andrew Massucci, both juniors, gained Almanac accolades as well as all-conference honors.
Playing alongside Hondru at linebacker, Pate managed 26 tackles and four sacks to go along with a safety, interception, forced fumble and tackle for a loss. On offense, he led the team in rushing with 442 yards on 74 carries. He ran for three touchdowns and hauled in one scoring strike.
Massucci, who helped Peters Township reach the WPIAL finals in soccer, led the Indians in scoring with 33 points. He kicked three field goals and converted 18 extra points, including the game-winner against Gateway.
Six pace CV
Chartiers Valley celebrated one of its finest seasons. The Colts started 4-0 for the first time since 2009 and reached the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs before finishing 6-2 overall.
Five seniors and one junior contributed to the squad’s success. They garnered both first-team all-conference laurels as well as The Almanac acclaim.
Anthony Collura leads the list. A two-way starter, he earned all-conference defensive MVP recognition. He was also a first-team pick at wide receiver.
Collura led the Colts in tackles with 53 and interceptions with eight. The senior led CV’s offense with 532 receiving yards, 33 catches and two scores. On special teams, he averaged 18.3 yards on kickoffs and 11 yards on punt returns.
An outside linebacker, Sam Pocci managed 33 tackles, intercepted a pass and forced a fumble. On offense, he scored two touchdowns and tossed one scoring strike. He averaged 7.8 yards a carry and 7.2 yards a catch.
Jordan Demus led the Colts in rushing with 615 yards on 97 carries and ranked third in receiving with 201 yards on 23 catches. He scored seven times. He registered 11 tackles on defense. On special teams, he averaged 31.8 yards a return.
Jacob Adwar and Chase Bruggeman excelled on the offensive line for the Colts at center and guard, respectively, as Anthony Mackey benefited from that protection. Mackey, a junior, completed 83 of 111 attempts for 1,057 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also ranked second on the team in rushing with 556 yards on 100 carries. He scored seven times.
SF nets 6
Despite uncharacteristically starting conference play 0-2, South Fayette rebounded to gain a playoff spot and post a 4-4 record. The all-conference play of Charley Rossi, Ryan O’Hair, Joey Audia, Logan Pitetti, Keon Johnson and Tristan Bedillion contributed to the comeback.
Two-way starters Pitetti and O’Hair anchored an offensive line that provided the protection for Namen Alemada to pass for 1,751 yards. Johnson dominated the defensive line with a team-high eight sacks, 69 tackles and four tackles for losses.
A linebacker, Bedillion managed 36 tackles, three sacks and an interception return for a touchdown.
Although standout defensive backs, Rossi and Audia finished their careers among the all-time reception leaders at South Fayette. This fall, Rossi pulled in 49 catches for 727 yards while Audia had 38 receptions for 465 yards. Both scored four touchdowns each.
Audia, Rossi and O’Hair are all Division I recruits, committing to Butler, Princeton and Miami (Ohio) universities, respectively.
Three tops for USC
Ethan Dahlem and David Pantelis repeat as The Almanac all-stars. The all-conference pair continued to be one of the top passing combinations in the WPIAL. The duo helped the Panthers post a 5-3 record that featured a runner-up conference showing to Peters Township in conference and a WPIAL playoff appearance.
A senior, Dahlem passed for 1,567 yards and 14 scores. He also rushed for 385 yards and nine touchdowns.
“Ethan has been a true dual threat quarterback for the past two seasons,” said USC head coach Mike Junko. “He is one of the most prolific passers in the history of the Upper St. Clair football program and he was also a true leader on our team”
A senior, Pantelis grabbed 33 passes for 490 yards and seven touchdowns. He also started in the secondary.
“David had to fight through a number of injuries this year that hampered his production, but he still found a way to hurt defenses with his speed and exceptional ball skills,” Junko said. “He will be remembered as one of the greatest wide receivers to graduate from Upper St. Clair High School.”
For the second year in a row, punter Ethan Hiester earned all-conference honors for the Panthers.
Duo leads Lebo
The outlook at Mt. Lebanon appears positive, as Joey Daniels and Alex Tecza are both juniors. The pair paced the Blue Devils to a 4-3 record that included a WPIAL Class 6A playoff appearance. Both earned first-team all-conference honors.
Daniels completed 60 0f 87 passes for 913 yards and 14 scores. The quarterback tossed only one interception. He also ranked as the team’s fourth-leading rusher.
Tecza led Lebo in rushing with 465 yards on 60 carries for a 7.8-yard average and a team-high 10 touchdowns. He ranked second in receiving with 165 yards on nine catches.
The pair also excelled on a defense that surrendered 170 points.
Bethel Park RB completes list
There were few bright spots during Bethel Park’s winless season, but Troy Volpatti provided hope for the future. The junior dominated on defense in the secondary and on offense in the backfield. He led the Black Hawks in rushing with 518 yards on 110 carries. In addition to his 4.7-yard average, he scored four touchdowns.
The Almanac football all-stars were selected with input from the area coaches and consideration for achievements during game competition.