The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


September 14, 2013

Big Reds rally to beat Farrell in Region 1-A clash

---- — Reading coverages is simply part of a quarterback’s job description. But the best read made Friday night by West Middlesex High’s Trey Staunch was when he observed his Farrell counterpart Ray’Shown Johnson from the opposite side of the line of scrimmage.

With West Middlesex leading 19-14, linebacker Staunch stepped in front of Johnson’s 2nd-and-11 pass with 51 ticks to play, securing the Big Reds’ District 10 Region 1-A road win.

“We were going in Cover-4. We knew they were going to have to throw, there was only 50-some seconds left, I think,” Staunch explained. “My responsibility is flat-to-curl, just drop back. I saw the ball coming, got a hand on it and brought it in.

“When you’re a quarterback you can read things, and on defense you actually read the same thing,” Staunch continued. “What you see on offense, you can take it to defense and see what (an opposing quarterback) is doing.”

Staunch stuck it to the Steelers twice.

Malik Graham took a toss right and sprinted 11 yards for Farrell, and Austin Pickens’ PAT with 6:10 to play staked the Steelers to a 14-13 lead.

However Staunch orchestrated an ensuing 8-play, 64-yard, 4-minute, 32-second scoring drive. Eric Lucich launched the series by sprinting 31 yards on the initial play, then culminated the sequence with a 4-yard run around left end after taking Staunch’s toss, sprung by Noah Bender’s block.

In spite of playing with a calf cramp, Lucich led all ball-carriers with a 15-carry, 141-yard outing.

“Stepping up feels great!” Lucich allowed. “I blocked all last year. I had a good role-model in Luke Patten. He’s an awesome kid, taught me a lot, taught me how to run the ball. I got a chance to step up, and I’m gonna step up. I just hope I can lead and carry on the tradition.”

Middlesex outmuscled Farrell twice a year ago, including the regular season, then in the D-10 semifinals. The Steelers had shut out Sharon and Kennedy Catholic to commence this campaign, but the Big Reds refused to be intimidated at Anthony J. Paulekas Stadium/Lou Falconi Field.

Though West Middlesex won the coin toss, the Big Reds deferred, choosing to start on defense. Then on their 2nd offensive series they scored on Chandler Tyillian’s 20-yard TD run, capping a 4-play, 61-yard series.

However Farrell forged a 7-all stalemate at intermission as Dewayne Burns burst 4 yards just 84 seconds into the 2nd stanza, culminating a 7-play, 61-yard, 2-minute, 42-second drive.

The teams were tied at 7 until the 1st play of the 4th frame.

On 3rd-and-goal from Farrell’s 11-yard line, Staunch saw Tyillian on a waggle moving right to left, parallel with the line of scrimmage, and the latter raced to the pylon at the left corner of the end zone. The play completed a 12-play, 65-yard, 7-minute, 20-second march. Though Tyillian’s attempted PAT was blocked. Middlesex moved to a 13-7 edge and set the stage for the final 11:53.

The loss was costly for Farrell (1-1, 2-1). After a 6-for-11, 68-yard 1st-half passing performance, Steelers’ starting signal-caller Rob Guelledge was concussed. Also, Burns sustained a 4th-quarter high-ankle sprain, aborting his evening after a 14-carry, 99-yard effort.

“We knew if we didn’t bring our ‘A’ game they’re a good team and they were gonna beat us. We didn’t bring our ‘A’ game,” lamented Steelers’ skipper Jarrett Samuels. “Against a superior team like this, you can’t come in and miss tackles. We’ve gotta find a way to clean it up, goin’ forward.

“We were here last year. We’ve just got to will our way back into it,” Samuels said, noting,

“This was a pivotal game. I told our guys this wasn’t a ‘must-win’ game for us, but it was a pivotal game, a measuring stick for where we’re at right now. ... (Middlesex) came out and showed us on our home field that they can get it done, and they were the best team (Friday) night. They were better.

“Give them a lot of credit. Coach Roberson and his team played well,” Samuels graciously praised. “That last drive was key. We had ’em, we were up, but they didn’t buckle. They went right down the field, and we missed a lot of tackles.”

Middlesex (1-0, 2-1) also lost last year’s opener, then won 8 consecutive contests, advancing to the District 10 title tilt for the 2nd straight season.

“It’s been a tough start,” 1st-year Middlesex mentor Ed Roberson said with a sheepish laugh. “I coached against (Wilmington’s Terry) Verrelli, then had to come here to Farrell to start the league. It’s a tough start to the season, but I’m just proud of (the Big Reds).

“These kids absolutely believe that they’re gonna win every time they step onto the field, and that’s just a credit to my assistant coaches, Joel Murray and Mark Means who’ve been here since I’ve been here,” Roberson related. “Mark’s been here the longest. But we just play with a lot of pride and try to get our kids ready to play every Friday night.

“We had a similar start last year. We started off losing to Wilmington, then we won eight straight,“ Roberson recalled, continuing with a laugh, “I’m not guaranteeing anything like that, but we’re hoping this generates some success for the stretch. But this is not an easy league to play in.”

“I’m hoping we can do even better than we did last year,” Lucich said. “We won eight straight; I’m hoping for nine, ten straight. We’ve just gotta play week by week and get it done.”

“Coach ‘Rob’ he’s been talking about this game all week, you know?” Staunch rhetorically said. “Just getting him this one-oh victory and as a head coach, getting him his first region victory, it means a lot to us and him.”


MIDDLESEX    7    0    0    12    19

FARRELL    0    7    0    7    14

Scoring plays

WM — Tyillian, 20 run (Tyillian kick)

F — Burns, 4 run (Pickens kick)

WM — Tyillian, 11 pass from Staunch (kick blocked)

F — Graham, 11 run (Pickens kick)

WM — Lucich, 4 run (pass failed)

Team stats

W.MIDDLESEX                    FARRELL

15    First downs    12

179    Rushing yards    93

121    Passing yards    163

18-10-0    Att-comp-int    21-13-1-

300    Total yards    256

1-0    Fumbles-lost    4-1

4-30-    Penalties-yards lost    8-70

Individual stats

Rushing: WEST MIDDLESEX — Lucich 15-141, Tyillian 5-31, Hemminger 6-10, Staunch 11-(-3); FARRELL — Burns 14-99, Graham 3-4, Gavins 4-3, Jackson 1-(-1), Johnson 1-(-2), Guelledge 2-(10).

Passing: WEST MIDDLESEX — Staunch 18-10-0, 121; FARRELL — Johnson 10-7-1, 95; Guelledge 11-6-0, 68.

Receiving: WEST MIDDLESEX — Tyillian 6-59, Lucich 2-41, Fair 2-21 FARRELL — Newell 5-48, Pickens 3-57, Burns 2-39, McCoy 1-12, J.Jackson 1-9, R.Jackson 1-(2).

Text Only
  • Dylan McConnell Roundup: Wilmington track teams sweep WM

    ä Wilmington 98, West Middlesex 51 — At West Middlesex, the visiting Greyhounds gave the Big Reds their first home, dual-meet loss in approximately 4 seasons according to Middlesex mentor Ed Pikna.
    Cooper (400, 800, distance- and mile-relay legs), jumper Perrine and sprinter Scott (100, 200) gave the Greyhounds the giddy-up by winning multiple events.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo


    Baseball, softball and tennis teams were in action Monday as the nice weather allowed for high school spring sports action that has been limited so far by rain, snow and windy conditions.


    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Players relent, agree to play for reinstated football coach

    Minnesota State University-Mankato's football team has ended its boycott of reinstated head coach Todd Hoffner, who successfully fought child pornography charges and other misconduct accusations that removed him from the job for 20 months.

    April 20, 2014

  • Celebrate! Hickory track coaches near finish line

    While the Shenango Valley lionizes legendary gridiron greats and hardwood heroes, the sport of track & field at Hickory High has resonated its relevance throughout District 10 and commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
    For the better part of the last 3 decades that was due, to a great extent, to the efforts of Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak.
    More than 200 dual-meet victories combined between the girls’ and boys’ programs, 9 district championships (7 girls, 2 boys), 2 statewide runners-up berths and another pair of 3rd-place finishes, culminating in the Lady Hornets’ 2012 PIAA Class AA championship.
    Their collective resumé would be envied by any coach, regardless of sport. Which makes this recent revelation regrettable: Dzuricsko and Slezak simultaneously will step down at this season’s conclusion.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Cavaliers are example of how an owner impacts a team

    WHEN LEBRON James vacated Cleveland for South Beach a few years ago, angry Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert declared that the Cavaliers would win an NBA championship before James and the Miami Heat.
    How’s that working out, Dan?
    Miami is seeking a third straight title this postseason while the Cavaliers are headed for the golf courses. Pretty sad.

    April 20, 2014

  • Roundup: Trojans, Hounds win team titles at WM Invitational

    Wilmington High girls and Greenville boys dominated the annual Big Red Track & Field Invitational Thursday afternoon in West Middlesex.
    A half-dozen girls’ and 7 boys’ teams competed.
    Wilmington overwhelmed the female field, as the Lady Greyhounds garnered almost twice as many points as runner-up Lakeview (236-5 to 133.5).

    April 18, 2014

  • Aaron Webb Roundup: WM diamondmen edge Reynolds, 6-4

    ä West Middlesex 6, Reynolds 4 — At Transfer, the Big Reds snapped a 4-all tie by plating a run in the 4th inning and another in the 7th in a 2-run win over the Raiders.
    Mark Colella earned the mound win in a relief appearance for WM. No pitching stats were submitted.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Roundup: Hickory, Wilmington softball teams win

    Paced by Chelsea Marriott’s muscle, Hickory High hammered 4 home runs Saturday afternoon en route to a 19-1 rout of Sharon.
    At Wengler, Marriott mauled 2- and 3-run round-trippers to right-center and straightaway center field, respectively. Her Lady Hornets’ teammates Hannah Gallagher and Morgan McBride mustered 3-run bombs, also.

    April 13, 2014

  • Fired coach in Mankato unjustly accused of visiting porn sites

    Minnesota State University-Mankato officials wrongly accused former football coach Todd Hoffner of viewing pornography sites on his work  computer  before firing him last May, a state arbitrator has disclosed.

    April 11, 2014

  • Roundup: Hickory track coaches to step down following season

    Hickory High track & field co-head coaches Barb Dzuricsko and Mark Slezak announced they will step down at the season’s conclusion.
    Dzuricsko and Slezak, who led the Lady Hornets to the 2012 PIAA Class AA crown, jointly made the announcement via e-mail late Wednesday.

    April 11, 2014

  • Nikolo Lima Roundup: Devil diamondmen roll past Sharon

    An old-school baseball bromide states that, early in any season, pitching is always ahead of hitting. However Sharpsville shunned that axiom Wednesday afternoon.
    The Blue Devils banged 15 hits, and Sharpsville short-circuited Sharon, 16-4, in 5 innings.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Haley Boyd Roundup: Hounds, Hornets notch track sweeps

    ä Wilmington 116, Reynolds 44 — At New Wilmington, the host Lady Hounds were led by Rikki Brumbaugh (4x8, 4x4 relay legs, 400- and 800-meter runs); Hannah Drake (long, triple jumps, 4x4 relay); Allison Baldwin (4x8 and 4x4 relay legs); Lexi Brumbaugh (1600-, 3200-meter runs, distance-relay leg), and Tessa Sikora (high jump, 200-meter dash, sprint-relay anchor).

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians fans looking for big things this year

    LIFE IS GOOD if you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates or Cleveland Indians. At least for now!
    Heading into Saturday, both teams were 3-1 and looking pretty sharp. Since both made the playoffs last year, there are high expectations for both clubs. But in baseball, every year is a new season and there are no guarantees.
    Still, it’s always nice when your favorite teams get off to a good start. In too many seasons, Pittsburgh and Cleveland fans were only talking about the NFL draft because hopes were bleak for their baseball teams.

    April 6, 2014

  • Nikki Arbanas Hickory's Arbanas 1st team All-State; KC's Hood 3rd team

    ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) — Teams from the WPIAL won three of the four PIAA girls basketball championships this year, and southwestern Pennsylvania is turning out to be just as dominant when it comes to postseason honors.
    Pittsburgh-area programs produced seven of the eight major award winners on this season’s Sports Writers Pennsylvania High School Girls Basketball All-State Team, including all four players of the year.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Trey Staunch WM's Staunch named 2nd team All-State

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Finishing on the winning side in a championship game — or coming mighty, mighty close — scored plenty of points with the panel that selected Pennsylvania’s all-state boys’ basketball team.
    Especially when it came time to choose those — whether players or coaches — who claimed the top individual awards.

    April 5, 2014 1 Photo

Top 25 (AP Poll)
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter