PITTSBURGH, Pa. (EYT/D9) — It didn’t take long for the coaching staff and members of the Central Clarion football team to notice something about Westinghouse when they began film study.
The Bulldogs have speed.
And lots and lots of it.
“They’re by far the fastest team that we’ve seen,” said Central Clarion coach Dave Eggleton. “They just have a fantastic program. They have speed. They have size. And their quarterback is just phenomenal, probably one of the top prospects in the state.”
Central Clarion (10-1) will play undefeated District 8 champ Westinghouse (11-0) at 7 p.m. on Friday on Westinghouse’s home field of Cupples Stadium in Pittsburgh.
The Wildcats’ own burners will be tested.
“Speed. Speed. Speed,” said Central Clarion senior Ashton Rex about Westinghouse. “Between their quarterback, running back and receivers, I mean, they’re all super fast.”
Rex can run with just about anybody.
His speed has helped the receiver pile up 1,516 yards on 58 catches. Dawson Smail is also fast on the other side. So, too, is Tommy Smith.
They all average more than 19 yards per reception.
Jase Ferguson, a sophomore quarterback with the poise of a senior, has also had a big year for the Wildcats, throwing for 2,638 yards and 32 TDs.
Central Clarion may need every yard and every point to keep up with Westinghouse, which is averaging 46.7 points per game.
It all starts for the Bulldogs with quarterback Keyshawn Morsillo.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns in a 59-7 win over Berlin Brothersvalley last week in the District 5-8 Class 2A championship game.
He also rushed for two more scores.
He has talented receivers in Devon Jones and Sincere Smith, who combined for 240 yards receiving last week, and a running game led by Khalil Taylor.
There’s not many weaknesses when it comes to Westinghouse.
“It’s a great experience, getting out of our area and going down into the city and playing in a fantastic stadium,” Eggleton said. “The last time I was down there they still had astroturf, so it’s been awhile. But it’s exciting. That’s what you want to do in playoff football. You want to go travel to new places and see new teams that you don’t normally see.”
To combat Westinghouse’s speed, Eggleton said his team needs to be even more physical.
“We have to neutralize them with physicality,” Eggleton said. “We can’t make the big mistakes. We talked about that on the first day. We can’t have penalties, pre-snap penalties. We can’t have turnovers. If we can do that, it gives us our best shot.”
Westinghouse won the region championship last year before falling in this round of the state playoffs to Farrell.
Head coach Donta Green, who could not be reached for comment, is 36-6 as the Bulldog coach with three City League titles in four seasons.
Green, a 2005 graduate of Westinghouse, played college football at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is currently the executive director of the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh and has two young sons with wife, Tonia.
Westinghouse is also trying to make history. Only one City League team has ever won a state championship and that was Perry in 1989.
The Bulldogs already have some claim to fame. They finished the regular season undefeated for three straight seasons — the first City League team to ever accomplish that feat.