Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Burgettstown One Win Away from Playoffs

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Burgettstown One Win Away from Playoffs

Article excerpt

Burgettstown was just seconds away from seeing its postseason hopes slip away last Friday.

The Blue Devils then pulled off one of the most dramatic finishes of the WPIAL season and are now a win away from reaching the playoffs.

Trailing, 20-14, against Derry, Burgettstown quarterback Brad McLaughlin connected with Jarred John for a 20-yard touchdown with just five seconds remaining. Reed Reitter followed with a successful extra point that earned the Blue Devils the thrilling 21- 20 win.

Heading into the final game of the regular season, Burgettstown (4-4 overall) is tied with Derry for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Class AA Interstate Conference with a 4-3 record. McGuffey (5-2) is in third place. Burgettstown plays at Brownsville (2-5), Derry hosts Waynesburg (1-6) and McGuffey plays at Washington (7-0). If Burgettstown wins, the Blue Devils will qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2009. They went 3- 24 the past three seasons.

CWNC QB finds a home

Last school year, Erick Taylor played football at the Linsly School in West Virginia before playing basketball at Obama Academy.

This fall, the well-traveled senior is the quarterback of a team that has WPIAL title hopes.

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic is 8-0 and ranked No. 2 in Class A. The Trojans lead the Black Hills Conference in scoring with 39.9 points a game, and Taylor has played a key role. Taylor, who is 6- 4, 225 pounds, has thrown for nearly 1,200 yards, which ranks sixth in Class A and is the most by a North Catholic quarterback since Brandt Gribbin passed for 1,224 in 2011.

Taylor has 13 touchdown passes and has also rushed for more than 400 yards and eight touchdowns. He has helped lead the Trojans to big wins the past two weeks. Taylor passed for 231 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for a score in a 26-14 win at Avonworth, and then rushed for a 45-yard touchdown and added a touchdown pass in a 20-0 triumph against Bishop Canevin.

QB shines on defense, too

It comes as little surprise that Clairton standout Aaron Mathews is putting up big numbers while quarterbacking the most potent offense in the WPIAL, but it has been his exceptional play on the other side of the ball that might be even more impressive. …

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