Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rebels Defense Must Contain Tyrone's Power

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rebels Defense Must Contain Tyrone's Power

Article excerpt

The numbers are an indictment -- 35 points, three touchdown passes, 441 yards of offense. They also are deceptive.

Defense is one reason Seton-LaSalle is the WPIAL Class AA football champion for the second time in three years. Forget the long passes, forget the scores, forget the acreage the Rebels yielded Saturday. Forget that their 42-35 victory against Aliquippa was the highest-scoring championship game in WPIAL history.

Though overshadowed -- understandably -- by their tremendous offense, the Rebels also are pretty good at stifling the opposition.

This is a team that, before arriving at Heinz Field, had registered four shutouts and allowed only 9.0 points per game against a challenging schedule. And this is a team that, while giving up a lot to Aliquippa (12-1), the defending WPIAL and PIAA titlist, ultimately stopped a fleet juggernaut that had won 21 in a row and was averaging 38.2 points.

"We made big plays when we had to the other night," coach Lou Cerro said. The primary protagonists were:

* Linebacker Jeremy Bock, who stuffed Quips quarterback Sjavante Gilliam on fourth and 1 in the first quarter at the Aliquippa 43. On the next play, Bill Stull hit Carmen Connolly for a touchdown and a 21-0 bulge.

* Linebacker Kevin Frischkorn, who recovered a Gilliam fumble near midfield with about two minutes left in the first half.

* Cornerback Jon Guthrie, who intercepted at his 6 with 2:53 remaining in the game and the Rebels clutching a 35-28 lead. Two snaps later, Brandon Bogdanski broke an 88-yard touchdown that preserved the victory.

The Rebels (13-0) were marvelous offensively Saturday, especially in the first half, as Bill Stull, Carmen Connolly and Bogdanski trashed the Quips, who had 45 takeaways.

Seton-LaSalle's passing game is the most prolific ever in the WPIAL. Connolly extended his state receptions record to 112 Saturday, and Stull became the first WPIAL quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards. Bogdanski scored four touchdowns, two on catches.

Stull threw on 15 of the Rebels' first 18 plays against the Quips, who played man to man in the secondary. This emphasis on the pass resulted in a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter. …

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