Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Senior Moment Awaits South Fayette Eager for a Chance to Shine at Heinz

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Senior Moment Awaits South Fayette Eager for a Chance to Shine at Heinz

Article excerpt

The football players in the senior class at South Fayette will finish their high school careers with bookend trips to the WPIAL championship game but don't expect experience to play a big part in the return trip to Heinz Field.

"They were freshmen," Lions coach Joe Rossi said. "I don't believe any of them have played [in a championship game], maybe one or two on special teams. They didn't feel a part of the group."

After watching that group pull off a 19-6 win against Aliquippa, coincidentally the same opponent they will be facing in the championshipat 5 p.m. Saturday, this group will try to make its own lasting memories.

"It has been unreal," Rossi said. "It keeps getting better all week."

The one thing that has been unreal for the Lions this year is the coming out party for the defense. After starting the season with eight new starters on that side of the ball, no one could have expected -- not even Rossi -- that the Lions would only allow 60 points so far this season and record five shutouts. For those trying to do the math, it averages out to a very stingy 5.0 points per game.

"We didn't expect this," Rossi said. "We knew our offense would be great and our defense would go as far as those eight new starters would take us. Defense has been our niche and have done some good things."

"A lot of those points have been late in games. They have done a great job. We have some offensive linemen going both ways and the secondary has been tremendous for us."

The key members of the secondary have been cornerbacks Justin Watson, Roman Denson and Hunter Hayes and free safety Connor Beck. Watson leads the crew with 33 tackles, nine pass deflects, one forced fumble and one interception.

Watson and Beck also serve as the top two receivers for junior quarterback Brett Brumbaugh.

Other key members of the Lions defense have been the Walker brothers, inside linebackers Zach and J. …

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