Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Baldwin to Get Look at Model Opponent Peters Township to Provide Highlanders with Glimpse of Future

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Baldwin to Get Look at Model Opponent Peters Township to Provide Highlanders with Glimpse of Future

Article excerpt

When Pete Wagner was hired in February as the new football coach at Baldwin High School, he took over a Highlanders team that was 12- 25 over the past four seasons and hadn't had a winning season since 2003.

As he tries to right the ship, he only needs to look across the field Friday night to see a model to follow.

Baldwin will play host to Peters Township, which has made three consecutive trips to the postseason after failing to reach the playoffs six seasons in a row.

"In some ways, we can look at what [Peters Township] has done," said Wagner. "They've improved little by little and Rich Piccinini has done a really good job with that team."

Piccinini took over after the 2010 season in which the Indians made the playoffs for the first time since 2003. He has led Peters Township to the playoffs in each of his two seasons, despite playing in a conference that has traditional powers Upper St. Clair, Mt. Lebanon, and for the first time last year, Woodland Hills.

The main key for the Indians under Piccinini has been the ground game. In Andrew Erenberg (2011) and Mike Minjock (2012), the Indians have had two running backs rush for at least 1,200 yards and 19 touchdowns in his two seasons at the helm.

"We want to establish the running game and control the ball," Piccinini said. "Last year, we got off to a good start with Mike Minjock rushing for 275 yards and four touchdowns in the first game to set the tone."

Minjock is now at Carnegie Mellon University, so Marcus Ubinger will get the bulk of the carries. He averaged 13.5 yards per carry on 30 attempts last season. Mark Minjock, Mike's brother, will also see time in the backfield.

Piccinini doesn't expect there to be much, if any, drop-off.

"We like to think the system has something to do with it, as long as the work ethic is there for the players," Piccinini said. …

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