Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Border War There's Plenty on the Line for Penn Hills and Gateway

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Border War There's Plenty on the Line for Penn Hills and Gateway

Article excerpt

It didn't matter that one team enjoyed a blowout victory, the other a defeat by a wide margin.

The coaches of Gateway and Penn Hills both agree that playing a football power from outside the WPIAL was of great benefit to their respective teams.

The Gators and Indians will open the WPIAL portion of their respective schedules when they play each other in Week 2 at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Penn Hills' Yuhas Stadium. Each rival, though, is similarly pleased to be coming off games against a perennial state championship-caliber contender from outside this area -- even if the results were vastly different.

"We like to know where we stand right off the bat," Gateway coach Terry Smith said after his team beat Bishop McDevitt from Harrisburg, 28-7, at home this past Sunday. "We don't want to have false expectations, and to play a really good team like Bishop McDevitt, we know exactly what our weaknesses are and what our strengths are.

"The strides we make from Week 1 to Week 2 are the biggest of the year and will show where we are for the season."

While Gateway emerged from its early season inter-district showdown with a big victory, Penn Hills came away with a sizable defeat. The Indians had a 6-0 lead this past Friday against St. Edward of Cleveland, the reigning Ohio Division I (largest schools) state champion. But the Eagles scored the final 47 points of the game at Penn Hills.

Nonetheless, like Smith, Indians coach Ron Graham said his team was better off for the experience.

"I think it was a great opportunity for the students to play against the caliber of team such as this early," Graham said. "It's an excellent benchmark for where we're at and what we need to improve on. I think it's a plus playing a team that's very good that early.

"We had some bright spots early [in the game], and some kids showed a lot of promise," Graham continued. "And then as things progressed with some of the errors we had and the penalties, a good team like St. Edward, you have to play flawlessly from start to finish against them, and we were not able to do that."

Among the bright spots for Penn Hills, Graham said, was lineman Treyvon Hester. …

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