Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Is Third Time the Charm? Sto-Rox Tries Again for Title

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Is Third Time the Charm? Sto-Rox Tries Again for Title

Article excerpt

When Sto-Rox High School's football team arrives at Heinz Field for their WPIAL Class A showdown with Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Saturday morning, it will be the third consecutive year the Vikings have competed for the District 7 championship.

Both teams enter the game as conference champions with identical 12-0 records. Game time is 11 a.m.

The first two appearances didn't turn out so well for Sto-Rox as the Vikings were the most recent victims in Clairton's five-year run as WPIAL Class A champions with a 42-6 setback in the 2011 game followed by last year's 58-21 loss.

This year, the Vikings got a 22-yard touchdown run from quarterback Lenny Williams with 1:52 left in the game to earn a 24- 19 victory this past Friday night against the Bears in the WPIAL semifinals.

But as second-year coach Dan Bradley pointed out, the Vikings players and coaches learned some valuable lessons in their trips to Heinz Field in the past two seasons.

"Everything is so structured," said Bradley, who took over last season for Ron Butschle. "You can't go on the field until a certain time [for pregame warm-ups], and you have to leave the field by a certain time.

"Everything is so to-the-minute"

And, that sense of "hurry-up-and-wait" continues once the game begins, the coach said.

"There are a lot of [television] timeouts, so there's a lot of standing around," he said. "So, I think being aware of how things are done there could help. But once the game starts, you get into a sense of rhythm and flow. This game could be on a playground, and the team that makes the fewest amount of mistakes will win."

When it comes to the Vikings' offense, several players do stand out: quarterback Lenny Williams, receiver Mallory Claybourne and running back Brendan Blair, to name three.

Williams has passed for 2,354 yards and 34 touchdowns, Claybourne has caught 38 of those passes for an average of 25.6 yards per catch, and Blair is the team's leading rusher with 98 rushes for 706 yards, an average of 7. …

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