Monday's Westmoreland Sports Notebook

Latrobe, Burrell win OT thrillers; Perfect start for three area boys soccer teams; County teams dot preseason volleyball rankings

Mon Sep 05, 2022 - 9:11AM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

Last Updated: Mon Sep 05, 2022 - 2:11AM

Greater Latrobe, Burrell win overtime thrillers

The WPIAL football ledger had an array of games that came down to the wire this past weekend, including two Westmoreland County games that required overtime. Greater Latrobe and Burrell each took advantage of the extra time, as the Wildcats edged Franklin Regional 36-33 in double overtime, while the Bucs outlasted Deer Lakes 27-21. In the back-and-forth affair between Greater Latrobe and Franklin Regional, Robby Fulton shined once again for the Wildcats, as he rushed for 252 yards, including the winning 5-yard touchdown. Franklin Regional nearly completed another remarkable comeback against the GL in as many years, as the Panthers rallied from a 16-0 deficit in the second half to briefly take a lead. Franklin Regional QB Roman Sarnic hit 7-of-18 passes for 123 yards and a score, and he rushed for a pair of TDs, while Ayden Hudock had four catches for 116 yards and a touchdown, and Zach Bewszka rushed for 100 yards for the Panthers. Meanwhile in Lower Burrell, Chase Fenner scored the Bucs’ winning touchdown, his third of the contest. Burrell’s defense forced an interception earlier in OT, courtesy of Tristan Brothers. Devin Beattie was a catalyst throughout the night for Burrell, as he rushed for 142 yards and a score.

Spartans football boasts top defense

Through two weeks of the WPIAL football season, the Hempfield Area Spartans have the best scoring defense in the district. Hempfield Area allowed just three points in the Week Zero victory at Greensburg Salem, and followed with a 49-0 shutout at home against Connellsville Area on Friday. The Spartans’ scoring average of 1.5 points edges Gateway and South Side Beaver, which have permitted 3.0 points per contest. The defensive dominance thus far is in stark contrast to 2021, when Hempfield Area allowed 38.4 points per contest.

Perfect start for three area boys soccer teams

After the first week of the WPIAL soccer section slate, three Westmoreland boys teams boast perfect records. Two of those teams reside in Class 2A Section 3, as Belle Vernon Area and Mount Pleasant Area are both 2-0-0. The Leopards dominated their matches, defeating Southmoreland 8-1 and Yough 7-1. Meanwhile, the Vikings bested the Cougars 3-1 and followed with a 4-0 triumph against Washington. Greensburg Central Catholic is also 2-0-0, as the Centurions smashed Beth-Center 17-1 and then edged Bentworth 4-3 in Class 1A Section 2 action.

County teams dot preseason volleyball rankings

The initial Western Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association rankings for the 2022 girls season were released last week, and five Westmoreland County teams were represented. In Class 4A, Hempfield Area was ranked seventh, while Penn-Trafford appeared eighth. Meanwhile in 3A, Greater Latrobe came in seventh, while Franklin Regional was ranked 10th. Lastly, in Class 1A, Greensburg Central Catholic was slotted fourth. A year ago, all five of those teams qualified for the WPIAL playoffs, with the Centurions advancing to the semifinals, and the Warriors and Wildcats reaching the quarterfinals.

Bearcats drop football opener

Saint Vincent College football could not make its fourth-quarter lead stand, as the Bearcats fell to Stevenson 25-21 on Saturday. Playing at home in their season opener, the Bearcats pulled in front with approximately seven minutes left on an 85-yard punt return touchdown by Molayo Irefin. The Mustangs responded, though, notching the game-winning score with 4:21 left. Quarterback Brady Walker was 21-of-35 passing for 190 yards, one touchdown and one interception for SVC, while Irefin hauled in 10 receptions for 79 yards in addition to his special teams contributions. Saint Vincent remains at home next week, hosting Washington & Jefferson on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Strong steps down from SHU softball

After guiding Seton Hill University softball to the most successful season in program history, Jess Strong has stepped down as head coach of the Griffins. Strong resigned last week after four years at the helm of SHU, during which she went 110-56. This past campaign, SHU went 42-12, winning both the NCAA Atlantic Regional and Atlantic Super Regional, reaching the Division II National Championships. Prior to joining Seton Hill, Strong was an assistant coach at Shippensburg University, Moravian College, and Armstrong State University.