The 2011 Stretch Run of the WPIAL football season got a taste of Saturday football with three Class AA and a pair of Class A conference games. While unlike Friday night, it was a dry afternoon and evening on the high school gridiron, high winds were a factor at all five venues. Here are the top five players whose performance, you could say, blew away the competition.
Cole Bush – Burrell
Burrell entered their battle for first place Class AA Allegheny Conference showdown at The Summit Academy banged up and hobbling…but they followed their slogan of ‘A football in the Bush is worth six on the scoreboard’. Hobbled running back Cole Bush rushed for 119 yards and scored four touchdowns, including two in the final quarter as the Buccaneers remain in a tie for first place by pulling away to a 41-22 victory over the sliding Knights.
Reggie Mitchell – Shady Side Academy
Shady Side Academy quarterback Reggie Mitchell can do it all, hurting opponents with his arm and his legs, even though there is no truth that the Wisconsin recruit took time away from Saturday afternoon’s game in an effort to restore power to the stadium scoreboard, which lost power as it was racking up host points. Mitchell was 2 of 3 passing for 104 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 115 yards and scoring once in the Indians 41-6 thrashing of the Apollo-Ridge Vikings.
Shai McKenzie – Washington
Eventually Washington pulled away and coasted to a victory at Quaker Valley Saturday night, however for the first quarter and a half, the game was still up for grabs. That is when Shai McKenzie was doing the grunt work for the visitors, scoring a pair of touchdowns, the second which proved to be the game winner as the Little Prexies remained in a tie for second place in the Class AA Century Conference with a 42-7 victory over the host Quakers that lowered the curtain on Week Seven.
Michael Rumble – Mapletown
All of this talk about the Stretch Run and conference titles and playoff berths…none of that was a factor in Fayette County where a pair of Class A Tri-County South Conference 1-5 teams were playing for pride. It was if Michael Buffer himself was there as he told visiting Mapletown; “Let’s get Ready to Rumble”! Running back Michael Rumble rushed for 103 yards and scored four touchdowns including an 88-yard kickoff return and a blocked punt for a safety in the Maples 40-20 victory over the host Geibel Gators.
Jon Fennick – Neshannock
Sometimes a player has to be humbled before he can shine. That was the case for Jon Fennick of Neshannock Saturday afternoon in a Class A Big 7 Conference battle with host South Side Beaver. In the second quarter, Fennick missed an extra point after a John Conglose touchdown, keeping the score 6-6. After a pair of Rams field goals tied the game at 6-6, Fennick booted home a 17-yard field goal as time expired to keep the Lancers slim playoff hopes alive with a 9-6 victory.