Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Early Wake-Up Call Turns into a Rout No. 1 Bears Not Quite as Dominant, but Still Roll Past Top-Five Opponent Clairton 44, Greensburg Central Catholic 7

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Early Wake-Up Call Turns into a Rout No. 1 Bears Not Quite as Dominant, but Still Roll Past Top-Five Opponent Clairton 44, Greensburg Central Catholic 7

Article excerpt

Nothing went smoothly Friday for Clairton, which had a bear of a game.

Clairton was penalized 16 times for 138 yards, fumbled while driving for a potential score, failed to convert a fake punt inside its 10-yard line and trailed for the first time this season. Also, its star running back had only five carries as his workload was cut back because of an ankle injury.

In other words, what the Bears did or didn't do wasn't exactly what you would expect from a team that went on to mercy-rule yet another opponent.

Top-ranked Clairton worked its way through some miscues and eventually pulled away in the second half of a 44-7 win against visiting No. 5 Greensburg Central Catholic in a matchup of ranked Class A Eastern Conference teams.

It was yet another lopsided victory for Clairton (3-0, 2-0), which has forced the mercy rule in each of its past 12 regular- season games. But unlike their 72-0 and 72-6 wins to begin the season, the Bears faced some adversity against Greensburg Central Catholic (2-1, 1-1), a team they hammered, 74-0, a year ago.

"I don't want to say the games were easy the first two weeks, but they weren't the hardest games. It was a nice wake-up call," Clairton standout Aaron Mathews said.

Clairton coach Wayne Wade said he was happy his players were involved in a game that was competitive into the second half. The Bears led, just 22-7, at halftime. Wade was criticized at times last season by those who believed his team ran up the score on some opponents. The Bears scored a state-record 958 points.

"We need these type of games," said Wade, whose team won the WPIAL championship and was the PIAA runner-up a season ago. "We need games where we can play four quarters and nobody says anything about us playing four quarters. Because that's what's happened the last few years. I keep my guys in four quarters and then we're bullies. But if I take them out, we go to the state championship game and we're tired in the fourth quarter. …

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