East Xtra: Kiski QB impressive in opener

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Kiski Area quarterback Chad Kuhn misfired on a fade route in the season opener.

Outside of that, Kuhn was perfect.

Kuhn, a sophomore, was right on target in a 53-20 win at Connellsville Area, completing 13 of 14 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns.

"He was very impressive," Kiski Area coach Dave Heavner said. "He started the last three games of 2012, so he wasn't foreign to the Friday night lights and everything that goes with it."

Kuhn hooked up with Joe Brungo for two touchdowns, and also threw one to Tanner George. Kuhn ran for a touchdown, as well.

Heavner is using a two-quarterback system. Kuhn and senior Billy Johnson are sharing the duties. Johnson completed both of his pass attempts against Connellsville.

"We have two quarterbacks who have worked really hard, and we're going to play them both," Heavner said.

Kuhn wasn't the only member of his family to find the end zone against Connellsville. His brother, Shane, scored on a 20-yard fumble return. Shane Kuhn, a senior, was an all-conference linebacker last season, and won a WPIAL wrestling title in the 285-pound weight class.

Kiski Area could be a strong contender for the Class AAAA Foothills Conference title. The Cavaliers returned nine starters on offense and defense from a team that earned the program its first playoff berth since 2006.

Penn Hills QB shines

Another sophomore quarterback was stellar in his season debut. Penn Hills' Billy Kisner did most of his damage with his legs, however. Kisner rushed for 214 yards and scored on touchdown runs of 49 and 75 yards in a 39-17 home win against Canon-McMillan. Only four WPIAL players -- and no other quarterbacks -- rushed for more yards in Week 1.

Quick start for Yough QB

Yough is hoping for a big season from its three-year starting quarterback, who wasted little time giving the Cougars a return on their investment.

Senior Tyler Donahue showed that he doesn't necessarily need to throw the ball to produce touchdowns, as he returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a score in Yough's 42-14 victory against visiting Charleroi Area last Friday.

It didn't take long for Donahue to account for another touchdown, either. Yough ran a "flea flicker" on its first offensive play, which saw Donahue connect with Joe Pleva for a 60-yard touchdown pass.

Donahue threw for three touchdowns in the game. Clayton Waldron and Eric Borkovich were on the receiving end of the others.

Donahue was one of four WPIAL players to return the opening kickoff for touchdowns in Week 1. Also accomplishing the feat were Aliquippa's Dravon Henry, Fort Cherry's Koltan Kobrys and Avonworth's Jesse Zubik.

Gateway survives scare

Gateway 22, Latrobe 20. That final score wasn't a typo, even though many likely thought it was when they first saw it.

Greater Latrobe nearly pulled off what would have been a stunning home upset against a Gators squad that had dominated the Wildcats in recent years. Latrobe actually led, 13-7, at halftime, but Gateway, which entered the game as the Post-Gazette's No. 4 team in Class AAAA, used a second-half rally to claim the win. Montae Nicholson returned a fumble for a touchdown to put the Gators in front, 19-13, and Kevin Fitchwell added a field goal. Both scores came in the fourth quarter.

How surprising was the result? Well, Latrobe had scored a combined 20 points in its previous five meetings with Gateway. The teams have both competed in the Foothills Conference since 2008, and the scores of the recent matchups were 61-6 (last season), 45-7, 38-7, 49-0 and 42-0. A season ago, Gateway went 8-0 in the conference and won all but one of those games by at least 28 points. Latrobe went just 1-7.

Game Watch

Greensburg Central Catholic (0-1) at Mount Pleasant (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday -- These two played a classic last season, with Mount Pleasant making the winning field goal with 37 seconds left to grab a 30-28 win. After facing arguably the WPIAL's top running back last week (Washington's Shai McKenzie), Greensburg Central Catholic must now try to contain Mount Pleasant's Tyler Mellors, who rushed for 157 yards and three touchdowns in a win against Waynesburg.



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