Editor’s note: The WPIAL’s announcement of playoff pairings for first-round games did not occur in time to be included in this edition.
Peters Township is living in the present, leaving the past behind and the future for later, as it prepares for a WPIAL football championship run.
Last November, the Indians fell to Gateway 21-20 in the WPIAL Class 5A title game played at Norwin High School.
PT head coach TJ Plack does not dispense much energy on that outcome. He is choosing instead to focus on what’s ahead when the 2020 WPIAL postseason begins Oct. 30.
“If we live in the past, then we are not going to be ready for the next team,” he said.
“We just want to move forward.”
The Indians will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, which will end with the WPIAL championships, which are scheduled to be played on the weekend of Nov. 13 at a site to be determined.
The WPIAL is allowing fans to attend all playoff games. According to new gathering limits established by Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, schools could have a maximum occupancy limit of at least 1,000 people at each game.
“It will be great to have fans,” said Plack. “In the past five years, it’s been great to have the community come out, packing the stands and backing us. Having a crowd for these kids to play in front of would be wonderful.”
The Indians, however, are not necessarily concerned with that aspect. Instead, they have zeroed in on their opponent as well as making progressive strides.
In recent weeks, the Indians have been hitting on all cylinders with victories, which included a 45-7 win over Bethel Park.
Indians quarterback Logan Pfeuffer connected on 8 of 10 passes for 181 yards. He hooked up with Donovan McMillon for scoring strikes of 42 and nine yards and with Jacob Macosko for another 48-yard touchdown.
Plack has been pleased with Pfeuffer’s performances. The three-year starter recently became Peters Township’s all-time leading passer.
“Logan understands the game. He is taking advantage of what the defense gives us,” Plack said. “He knows what we want to do and where we want to go with the ball. He gets it. He’s done a great job.”
McMillon has likewise done his fair share for the Indians. A standout defensive back and return specialist, the Florida recruit finished with six receptions for 112 yards and two scores against BP. The performance enabled him to leapfrog Breylen Carrington and Corban Hondru as the team’s leading receiver.
“Donovan helps us any which way he can,” Plack said. “If we are not throwing to him, then we are going to try and hand the ball off to him or use him as a decoy.
“He is excellent with the ball,” he added. “He’s hard to tackle. He’s fun, energetic, awesome. He is making our offense go right now.”
McMillon enjoys making contributions as he relishes his final days as a player and months as a student. He will wrap up his education in December and head to Gainesville in the beginning of January.
“I have been excited to make big blocks and make big catches. Wherever and whenever I’m needed,” he said. “It’s definitely been a great ride. Of course, I want to go out a winner, but it’s on to the next week.”
McMillon recalled coming into the program as a freshman. He said they weren’t as good but the coaching staff put him and his “great teammates” into a position to contend for championships.
“We have been climbing up the mountain,” he said. “Now, we want to reach the top. We want to take it as long as we can.
“I am having so much fun and hopefully, we can enjoy it with a title run,” he added.
Defense will dictate PT’s championship run as it has the Indians’ run up to another conference crown.
In picking up their fifth win against BP, the Indians capitalized on two miscues. Macosko recovered a fumble for PT’s final score. Dante Lahet also recovered a fumble.
Additionally, Andrew Massucci kicked a 25-yard field goal and Vinny Sirianni supplied two rushing touchdowns.
PT, which had allowed only 55 points in five games, also limited BP to one score: a one-yard TD pass from Black Hawks quarterback Max Blanc to Gavin Moul.
“Things are clicking,” Plack said. “We are steadily improving and we are competing.
“We are more consistent,” he continued. “We’ve got some seasoned guys now and we’ve had some questions answered. So I like the direction in which we are heading.”
Regardless, the Indians are sticking to their motto and they are not thinking beyond the first round of the playoffs.
“It’s 1-0 each and every week,” Plack said. “We don’t look ahead. We really don’t.”