Trib HSSN Soccer Team of the Week for 2022 Week Zero


Monday, August 29, 2022 | 17:23

The Mars football program had a weird year in 2021. The Fightin’ Planets not only missed the postseason for the fifth time in the last 30 years, but also went 2-8 overall with one of those wins coming by forfeit.

The offseason brought a major change as the program said goodbye to successful coach Scott Heinauer and hello to former Pine-Richland championship-winning coach Eric Kasperowicz.

After Montour went 19-7 in the second quarter of the Week Zero season opener on Friday, it looked like the Fightin’ Planets might need some time to find success in their new orbit.

“I’m very proud of how our kids coped in the face of adversity in the second trimester,” Kasperowicz said.

Mars exploded with 27 unanswered points en route to a 34-26 road win over the Spartans.

Second-year quarterback Eric Kasperowicz (not Eric Jr.) was 17-of-29 for 186 yards and a big 25-yard touchdown hit before halftime to Jacob Maple.

“I thought he showed a lot of poise,” Kasperowicz said of his son. “There’s a lot of room to improve, and he’s aware of that, but he was very composed and made plays when he needed them.”

Kasperowicz also scored on a 39-yard touchdown run.

Leading the Fightin’ Planets ground attack was Evan Wright. The junior rushed for 148 yards on 20 carries and scored on runs of 3 and 6 yards.

The defense of Mars also defended itself. Montour scored 26 points, but two of his four touchdowns came on an interception return and a fumble recovery and he scored, and the Planets D stood out on a goal line just before halftime.

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Mars has two more non-conference games before he opens play in the 4A Greater Allegheny Conference. On Friday, in their first home game, the Planets host New Castle (1-0).

WPIAL Week Zero Honorable Mention

Connellsville Falcons

Perhaps three heads are better than one. In a unique offseason move, the Connellsville school district hired not one, not two, but three new head coaches to take over the struggling college program that didn’t win a game in 2021.

The triumvirate of Jace McClean, Mick Lilley and Chad Lembo won their first game of the season at Week Zero when the Falcons outscored Albert Gallatin, 16-13, ending a 17-game losing streak in Connellsville.

Sophomore Xavier Malone rushed for 133 yards, while Connellsville’s defense forced eight turnovers, including game-sealing interceptions in the final minutes of the fourth quarter by Capone Mickens and senior Gabe Ruggieri. year.

Northern Catholic Trojans

North Catholic won the early season matchup between the WPIAL finalists a year ago. The Trojans lost to Central Valley in the Class 3A finals while their opponent, Serra Catholic, captured gold in the 2A title game.

The first points of the game were scored by a safety as North Catholic (preseason Class 4A No. 5) slowly took control and scored the first 23 points of the game before Serra Catholic (preseason Class 2A No. 5) broke the scoring in the third quarter.

The Trojans used a balanced attack with junior quarterback Jay Siket throwing just six times for 83 yards and a touchdown. Four North Catholic running backs scored, led by juniors Jack Fennell’s 89 rushing yards and Sami Ware’s 63 rushing yards.

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Western Beaver Golden Beavers

One thing we have learned over the years is that Western Beaver has the Beaver number on the football field.

Playing for the first time in 2020, the Golden Beavers are now a perfect 3-0 against the host Bobcats following Friday’s 20-7 win at Pat Tarquinio Field in Gypsy Glen Stadium.

Western Beaver’s X-man is senior quarterback Xavier LeFebvre, who scored on runs of 13 and 1 yards, then hit junior wide receiver Mikey Crawford on a 24-yard touchdown pass.

HSSN Teams of the Week 2021

Week 15 – Penn-Trafford Warriors

Week 14 – Aliquippa jokes

Week 13 – Serra Catholic Eagles

Week 12 – Mount Lebanon Blue Devils

Week 11 – Penn Hills Indians

Week 10 – Laurel Highland Mustangs

Week 9 – South Allegheny Gladiators

Week 8 – Leechburg Blue Devils

Week 7 – beaver bobcats

Week 6 – Seneca Valley Raiders

Week 5 – Upper St. Clair Panthers

Week 4 – Mohawk Warriors

Week 3 – union scots

Week 2 – McKeesport Tigers

Week 1 – shaler titans

Week Zero – North gate flames

Tags: Connellsville, Mars, North Catholic, Western Beaver

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