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RECAP/STATS: Panthers Shred Highlanders, 47-6

Dominating performance pushes Upper St. Clair to 5-0.

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Upper St. Clair High School won the opening coin toss. Simply, it was a sign of things to come.

The host Panthers (5-0, 5-0) dominated Baldwin High School (1-4, 1-4) on Friday night in a WPIAL AAAA Southeastern Conference football game, racing out to a 20-0 first-quarter lead and finishing with an impressive 47-6 victory.

Upper St. Clair never punted in the game, and when the Panthers' junior wide receiver Mike McGuire returned the second half's opening kickoff for a 92-yard touchdown—USC deferred their coin-toss decision in the first half—by rule, the game clock mercifully started running to end the contest quicker.

The Highlanders were without six regular starters, their Head Coach Jim Wehner said—many for disciplinary reasons and star senior running back Dorian Brown due to a leg injury—but Wehner still tipped his cap to a St. Clair squad that seems poised for a run at a 2012 WPIAL title.

"They're a good football team," Wehner said. "It's the same situation as last week (a 42-7 Baldwin loss at home to Mt. Lebanon High School). They're bigger than us, they get off the ball, and we have to find a way to contain them."

Wehner was still critical of his team's own performance.

"If we don't block and tackle, we're not gonna be any good," he said. "It's the same situation the last two weeks."

Upper St. Clair's big offensive line looked at least like a small college's against the overmatched Highlanders. The Panthers used 10 different ball-carriers to rush for 205 yards and six TDs, compared to 25 yards and no TDs for Baldwin (hurt badly by 31 yards lost on six sacks of sophomore quarterback Doug Altavilla).

The Panthers line also prevented the Highlanders from putting much pressure on senior quarterback Pete Coughlin, who went 5-for-5 passing for 75 yards and no sacks.

Altavilla, who played much better than the game's final score shows, went 8-for-14 passing for 141 yards, including a 32-yard TD pass to junior wide receiver/defensive back Gary Jackson.

"I thought this was Doug's best game," Wehner said.

But the better offensive machine were the Coughlin-led Panthers, who, other than one fumble and the end of both halves, were stopped only by the goal line on Friday night.

"(The offensive linemen) are doing a great job out there," Coughlin said. "They're just giving me time, opening up holes for all the backs (and) doing a great job throughout the whole game—throughout the whole season."

Coughlin said that he and his teammates are taking things one game at a time on their way to a promising 5-0 start, aiming at short-term goals along the way.

"Our biggest goal right now is, 'Win the conference,'" Coughlin said, "and then, from there on, hopefully, make it to the WPIAL championship. And hopefully, win that. Then, beyond that, state championship."

The Highlanders, meanwhile, are in a dogfight for one of the Southeastern Conference's guaranteed five playoffs spots (out of nine teams). With three conference games yet to play this season, Baldwin might have to win out to have a shot at the postseason.

"We're gonna keep after it," Wehner said. "That's all you can do is try to keep getting better and better.

"I still think we can cause some damage (this season)."

Wehner said that Baldwin's suspended players on Friday—junior defensive back Jay Morrison and junior placekicker Yahya Badjie were among them—will be back for the Highlanders' next game.

"I'm a firm believer (that) you gotta start with discipline," Wehner said. "I'd rather lose a game than let someone do what they wanna do (break team rules)."

Morrison, who, despite missing the St. Clair game, is still Baldwin's leading tackler this season with 17 more stops than any of his teammates, was missed sorely on Friday. The Panthers methodically marched to TDs on each of their first five possessions, relying mostly on a running game that gouged big holes in Baldwin's defensive front and outraced its defensive backfield.

St. Clair's junior running back Steve Mackowick opened the scoring with an eight-yard run to cap a five-play, 55-yard drive in the first quarter, followed by first-quarter TD runs of one and seven yards by classmates and fellow running backs Phil Saracco and Mac Pope, respectively. Saracco's score ended a two-play, 23-yard drive, and Pope's capped a four-play, 47-yard one.

Mackowick led all Panthers with 51 yards on four carries, followed by sophomore running back Mike Krenn's 41 yards on five carries and Pope's 35 yards on five attempts.

Baldwin's junior running back/wide receiver Nick Barca, filling in for Brown, led all players with 56 yards on 15 carries. Barca also tied for the game-high with eight tackles, including a game-high-tying five solo stops.

"We wanted to see who can step up as our tailback the following year," Wehner said, "and I think, tonight, we found a kid (Barca) that could run the ball to a certain extent."

USC added two more scores in the second quarter—a one-yard run by senior running back Nick Trancredi to complete an eight-play, 70-yard drive and a two-yard rush by fellow senior running back Gabe Boyd to finish a six-play, 38-yard trip.

Trancredi added a three-yard TD in the fourth quarter to complete a six-play, 25-yard drive. He finished the game with 24 yards on five carries. Boyd had identical numbers. Saracco had 10 yards on two carries.

Baldwin's only score came in the third quarter by way of Jackson's one-handed 32-yard strike from Altavilla. That play actually finished the longest drive of the game for either team—75 yards on 10 snaps.

Jackson finished the game with two catches for 38 yards. Baldwin's junior utilityman Luke Smorey (a game-high 57 yards) and junior running backs Stephon Harris (24 yards) and Justin Zinsmeister (22 yards) also had two catches apiece, as did USC's Pope (50 yards) and sophomore wide receiver Ben Southorn (16 yards).

USC's junior linebacker J.J. Conn tied Barca with eight tackles (five solo). Classmate and fellow linebacker Kyle Page had five tackles (all solo) for the Panthers, including a sack for a loss of 11 yards, and junior safety Morgan Lee had four tackles (all solo) and the game's only interception—a pickoff of Barca on a flea-flicker near the end of the first half.

Jackson made seven tackles (five solo) for Baldwin, and teammate and senior defensive tackle Zack Nieman made four (three solo).

St. Clair Head Coach Jim Render acknowledged that Baldwin was playing shorthanded but credited his team's execution nonetheless.

"Some of their better players didn't play," Render said, "but we have to take care of our team. And (we) answered the bell."

USC next plays at Butler Area High School (2-3 overall) for a non-conference game on Friday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m.

Baldwin faces conference foe Woodland Hills High School (3-2, 2-2) at home at that same time on the Highlanders' Homecoming night.

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Rock Solid September 29, 2012 at 04:34 PM
No well coached team should lose by these scores when palying in their division ... notice the second and third words iin the first sentence.
Bangtime September 29, 2012 at 07:28 PM
It had nothing to do with coaching... We were way undersized. God himself couldn't of help us.
Kate September 29, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Why do the coaches keep the same lineup week after week? Try something different. Put some other kids in that never get to play. Maybe you will get a different outcome.
cc September 29, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Kate I agree, there is more than 14 students on the team.
cc September 29, 2012 at 09:40 PM
It has everything to do with the coaching and yes God helps everyone that ask.
Jon Wain September 29, 2012 at 09:58 PM
james is right about undersized.i'ts been a problen for years. same 14 kids , i agree.another factor is you play football you don't play baskletball or anything else.the other sports teams at baldwin have kids that could contribute to the fooball program but have their hands tie.i feel bad for dorian,if he was at woodland hills,gee imagine that.cc miss the game last night.not by choice but by kidney stones.OMG. don't wish them on anyone.never want that agian.they friggin hurt
Concerned September 29, 2012 at 10:43 PM
What did you expect? USC is #3 in AAAA. Baldwin is probably in the bottem 3 in AAAA. At least the coach did one thing right and suspend the players for whatever they did wrong. But then again they had no chance either way and he knew it.
Jon Wain September 29, 2012 at 11:18 PM
There can't be any trace of leadership in baldwins locker room. Non from the players and certainly from the coaching staff.The players I can understand the feeling of hopelessness.But true team leaders show an upbeat attitude and try to rally their forces. The coaching staff has to do a better job of convincing these kids that they can be proud. How about this ,,,,,you guys got a chance to kick some rich boy as- tonight.you can do it ,i seen you guys work hard since summer ,common get out there and make their money jingle. Make their fathers cringe with the democratic fragrance you covered them with in their never before seen as- woopin
bangtime September 30, 2012 at 01:11 AM
@cc arent you the same person last week who thought the head coach was the dean of students??? Enough said.. I would probably keep your comments to yourself.
bangtime September 30, 2012 at 01:16 AM
@kate they did put other kids in. Maybe it wasn't a kid of your choice but definitely different kids played. #45 played ILB, #68 who is a freshman play till he got hurt and #25 played. Guess what? Same result so try another one
Concerned September 30, 2012 at 04:02 AM
With 5 or 6 kids suspended, I guess there would have to be some different kids in there. Don't you think?
cc September 30, 2012 at 04:24 AM
ne12ukid, again you were the topic of discussion at Frich's today and it was deemed that you need to go check yourself into a mental hospital with all your names that you create. This is coming from people that work in the medical field as you are totally mentally insane.
cc September 30, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Jon you didn't make the game because of your kidney stones, what a shame as they could sure use the support of parents and students going to away games. Seems when we have away games most parents and students don't go to the games. I drive my daughter and her friends to away games and will stay and watch them, because most parents are to lazy to drive out of Baldwin/Whitehall, guess they are afraid to spend money on gas (right ne12ukid). At the beginning of the season I said Baldwin had a chance of beating 2 teams this year.
bangtime September 30, 2012 at 08:59 AM
It wasnt 5 or 6 it was 2. Every week I read this comments and not one person has facts all they want to do is blame the coach. Yes they play calling sucks. Dropped passes gor first downs dont help or missing blocks so our running backs get hit 3 yrds deep in the backfield.
loyalbaldwinfan September 30, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Actually, it was 4 suspended and 2 out with injuries. Without mentioning names, at least one walked off the field during the Mt. Leb game because he said we suck. The others decided they were too good to get up for practice last Saturday so coach finally did the right thing and suspended them. I guess he knew we were going to lose so he chose this game to implement rules. YES, they used other kids , they had no choice. I think they could have used #4 more running the ball, although #21 did great considering he was thrown to a pack of wolves. Also, I think they need to stop throwing it to #1 so much. I noticed when it was thrown to #3 which wasn't much, he adjusted to the ball very well and caught it. I guess what I'm trying to say is, it seems like coach has a hard time mixing it up. He gets set on certain people during a game and forgets about the others with skill. Oh well, I hope everyone is well this week. What a week to play Woodland Hills. Go Baldwin
loyalbaldwinfan September 30, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Also, a shout out to #18 who stepped up big time in the game. That's another one I think proved himself and shoul be rewarded with more playing time.
Concerned September 30, 2012 at 02:09 PM
bangtime, I guess you had all the facts. There was only 2 suspended?
cc September 30, 2012 at 08:45 PM
loyalbaldwinfan, you are correct it was 4 suspended but yet again new12ukid aka bangtime is the expert on what happen and knows that 2 were suspended. Two are out injured and 4 weren't allowed to play for reasons you mentioned and there was also a shoving match when they were in the locker room after the game with Mt Lebo. I hope they can pull the football team together and get at least one more win this year but even beating Bethel Park is starting to look bleak.
Robert Edward Healy, III September 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM
"The Highlanders were without six regular starters, their Head Coach Jim Wehner said—many for disciplinary reasons and star senior running back Dorian Brown due to a leg injury." - from article
NE12Ukid September 30, 2012 at 11:31 PM
<<cc 4:45 pm on Sunday, September 30, 2012 loyalbaldwinfan, you are correct it was 4 suspended but yet again new12ukid aka bangtime... >>> Give it a rest, cc. Your paranoia is growing. Anyone who disagrees with you, in your sick twisted mind, must be all one person. First you thought 5 of us were ml, now you have said that three more posters are me. Get over this obsession, you have children and this kind of behavior cannot be good for them. Also, hello to poster bangtime, welcome to the imaginary world of cc, where everyone is one person. Poor cc.
cc October 01, 2012 at 12:42 AM
NE12Ukid your just like your original ml name, very annoying. but you think you the expert when you don't even go to games, you the expert on nothing with all your false info.
Becky Brindle October 01, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Thanks for the awesome photos, Nancy!
NE12Ukid October 01, 2012 at 03:30 AM
cc, just keep harassing me on every thread on every Patch, such as the one about the football game where I had not even visited until you had to bring my name into your posts three times. Maybe this will keep you off the streets so you won't bother others this way. As for me, I really don't care anymore, your just a sad, sad, possibly disturbed person. Go ahead and keep writing your lies and saying that ml is me I am ml, I am Leona, Erin, Mike, PITT, brute, bangtime, etc etc. There is no picture of you so clear as the one you paint here of yourself. May God soothe your tortured soul. As to the football team, best of luck in the rest of your season, and most important, may all the kids playing and watching the games have FUN!
cc October 01, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Not all people that live in Upper St Clair are rich, they have homes just like they do in Whitehall. That isn't something a coach should be saying to students "you guys got a chance to kick some rich boy as- tonight.you can do it." I do agree that they need to be motivated in the locker room but not telling them they have a chance to kick some rich boys as-.
Robert A. Shoaf October 01, 2012 at 02:25 PM
As a ( non-rich) USC resident, I must say that this comment speaks volumes about it's author, and not in a positive way, to be charitable. " Fathers cringe with the democratic fragrance you covered them with in their never before seem as- woopin." What, by all that's holy, is that supposed to mean?? Oh, I get it now; the downtrodden sons of the working man will beat up the bosses' sons, and prove who's really a manly man. As someone who played football in high school and college, my experience is that attempts at motivation such as this are rarely successful, even more so now than 40 years ago.
Sasafras Jackson October 01, 2012 at 08:02 PM
This message board makes me sad. Where are the days of youth football where the Baldwin teams are feared? I say we need the help of Don Yanetti where ever he may be. Someone once told me that he rode a horse for 11 straight days and that is why Yanetti's legs were so bowed. I told them that they were wrong and that he was a former offensive lineman and that is the toll the games takes on you. Now I am confused and do not know what is going on. Oh well. Finish the season strong, men. Keep it together and look forward to the future (sans Yanetti)
Sasafras Jackson October 01, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I apologize. Uncle Helix has brought to my attention that I am to reference Don Yanessa. "Yaneti" may have been an antagram he used when he was working in the movie business with Tom Cruise (see All The Right Moves circa 1981).
Sasafras Jackson October 10, 2012 at 01:59 PM
All, I must share this story that Uncle Helix told at dinner last night. I do not believe it to be true but will defer to the populace. In the late 90’s it is said that Yaneti coached a grizzly bear into a 3 point stance to take on the brothers Voelker during an Oklahoma football drill. Legend has it that the brothers stood tall thus gaining superstar status within the program.
Sasafras Jackson October 10, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I have a hard time believing Uncle Helix due to several reasons as I state below: 1. Grizzley bears would not be allowed to compete in the WPIAL 2. From what I have read, Yaneti was not inspirational 3. The brothers Voelker in fact derailed a train by mearly looking at it together at the same time (haha…lol. Ok. I made that fallacy up) 4. Uncle Helix was drinking alcohol since 7:30am Please let me know the populace consensus as I am sure that this did not happen.

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