Observer-Reporter Elite 11
Senior wide receiver Zach Challingsworth, a Pitt recruit, caught 58 passes for 1,190 yards and 15 touchdowns for South Fayette this year.
The WPIAL’s leading passer directed an offense that scored 78 touchdowns and averaged 401.3 yards game. Not only that, he posted some ridiculous numbers. Brumbaugh completed 154 of 245 passes (63 percent) for 2,823 yards and 37 touchdowns. Despite all the throwing, Brumbaugh was intercepted only nine times and sacked three times.
The Pitt recruit thrived in the Lions’ pass-heavy system with 58 receptions for 1,190 yards and 15 touchdowns, helping the Lions (11-1) to the Class AA Century Conference title and WPIAL semifinals. In two years, Challingsworth had 106 catches for 1,894 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also intercepted nine passes on defense.
Conti epitomized Jefferson-Morgan’s hard-nosed style. He ran for 1,171 yards and 15 touchdowns on 128 carries. On defense, the 6-2, 185-pound defensive end added 64 tackles and eight sacks for Jefferson-Morgan, which went 7-3 and finished second in the Class A Tri-County South.
Highlanders coach Ed Dalton likened Duchi to one of his former Trinity players, Brian Kimutis. With a year like Duchi had, it’s looking like an apt comparison. Duchi was a workhouse, carrying 214 times for 1,514 yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 7.1 yards per carry for McGuffey, which finished 5-5 and nearly reached the Class AA playoffs.
A year after breaking his tibia and fibula, Frey left little doubt that his leg injury from 2011 was nothing more than a memory. In leading Trinity (5-5) back to the playoffs under first-year coach Ryan Coyle, Frey racked up 940 yards and 10 touchdowns on 172 carries, running for more than 100 yards five times.
It wasn’t just Shai McKenzie for the Prexies. Kelly was the leader of Wash High’s defense, which allowed 12.2 points per game. The 6-2, 235-pound linebacker had 114 tackles, eight sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery while also forcing five fumbles. Offensively, Kelly helped out with 46 carries for 280 yards and a touchdown.
Lose Andrew Erenberg? No problem. Minjock stepped into the starring role and responded with 1,323 yards and 17 touchdowns on 190 carries. His performance helped Peters Township reach the playoffs for a third consecutive year, the first time in program history that’s happened.
The Mikes might’ve incorporated a little more shotgun spread into their offense this year, but Mundell’s numbers certainly weren’t affected. Mundell carried 133 times for 1,202 yards and 20 touchdowns, trailing only Shai McKenzie in that last category. Mundell helped Carmichaels to a 7-3 record, which included a six-game winning streak to end the season.
He can run it, he can throw it, and he did both splendidly this season for the Greyhounds, who went 9-2, finished second in the difficult Class A Black Hills Conference and reached the WPIAL quarterfinals. The WVU recruit completed 71 of 165 passes for 1,382 yards and 13 scores. He also ran 101 times for 613 yards and 12 more touchdowns.
The resurgence of Avella’s football team happened for a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest ones was the consistent and outstanding play of Thompson, who caught 28 passes for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. He also returned two punts for scores.
Few are as aggressive in pursuit, perhaps a testament to Vulcano’s background as a wrestler. Numbers-wise, Vulcano made 130 tackles – six for a loss – to go along with 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, seven pass breakups, one fumble recovery and a safety. In four years as a starter, Vulcano had 444 tackles, was a three-time all-conference pick and was this year’s Defensive MVP in the Black Hills Conference.