Central Catholic will be without standout running back Luigi Lista-Brinza for at least a few weeks because of an ankle injury. But rather than slow down, the Vikings offense let Riley Redman put his hands on the wheel.
Redman shifted the Vikings into a different gear. Fast.
Making his first career start, Redman ran for 223 yards and scored three touchdowns as Central Catholic sped past Pine-Richland, 49-14, Friday.
Lista-Brinza was the WPIAL's third-leading rusher through five games with 920 yards. It must be nice to have a backup like Redman, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound junior who has an excellent offensive line in front of him.
"He's a physical specimen with speed," head coach Terry Totten said.
"I'm not slighting Luigi in any way, but it's just a different kind of style [with Redman]. He gives us a little different element. He might have that extra step."
Could Redman be a future star? Well, for now Totten simply calls him a "unique character."
"He's on a diving team, he wins dance contests, he can do a standing backward flip and he can walk on his hands," Totten said. "Really, he can walk on his hands 50 yards."
And he can also run. Redman had carried only 16 times in the first five games, but showed promise, gaining 235 yards. Central Catholic had been hoping to get him more playing time after he spent time at linebacker and cornerback.
"He had some trouble getting in the lineup in different spots," Totten said. "There was an agreement on the staff this year that let's put him in one spot and let him do well."
Lista-Brinza is wearing a protective boot on his ankle and likely could miss the final three games of the season.
"I know he's broken-hearted but I'm sure he will be back," said Totten, whose 6-0 team is ranked No. 2 in WPIAL Class AAAA by the Post-Gazette.
Totten also liked the way Grant Foster ran against Pine-Richland. Foster is the son of former Steelers running back Barry Foster.
"We'd like to run two guys at you," Totten said.
It was another blowout for Aliquippa as the Quips defeated Freedom, 49-7, Friday. It was the 10th time in the past 11 Midwestern Conference games that the Quips invoked the mercy rule where the clock runs continuously when a team goes ahead by 35 points or more in the second half.
Aliquippa plays Ellwood City (3-3) this week, which means the Quips might not have a serious challenge until Week 9 against Beaver Falls.
Aliquippa star senior Dravon Henry has now scored five different ways this season -- run, reception, kickoff return, punt return and interception return. He has 13 touchdowns overall, and 44.8 yards per score.
In its 37-13 win Friday against Brentwood, Clairton wore throwback jerseys to honor the 1954 team, one of the greatest squads in school history. That 1954 team was WPIAL champions and allowed only 71 points in 10 games.
This Clairton team also had a great defensive performance, holding Brentwood to 11 yards.
On offense, Clairton had an unusual statistic: Four different Bears attempted passes. Aaron Mathews was 4 of 7, Ryan Williams 3 of 7, Raymone Clifford 2 of 3 and Lamont Wade 0 for 1.
Check this out
• Upper St. Clair has five consecutive shutouts and has not allowed a point since the opener against Woodland Hills.
• Opposing defenses now have another Beaver Falls player to worry about. Kahlil Caracter became eligible only a few weeks ago after transferring from Freedom before the school year. Caracter ran for 182 yards in a 59-28 victory against New Brighton.
• Summit Academy is 3-2 in the Class AA Allegheny Conference and has a legitimate shot at making the WPIAL playoffs for the first time since joining the WPIAL in 1998. The Knights' playoff fortunes could come down to the regular-season finale against Freeport.
• Two Fridays ago, Rochester gave up 50 points, the most at the school since 1993. On Friday, Rochester gave up 52 points to Neshannock, the most it's allowed since losing to Beaver Falls, 55-6, in 1978.
Brawl stops game
Steelton-Highspire, near Harrisburg, is the Post-Gazette's No. 5 Class A team in the state. The Rollers were on their way to a 6-0 record when a brawl broke out on the field between players late in the first half of Friday's game against Susquenita. Game officials suspended the game with Steel-High leading, 25-0. Six Steel-High players and a few Susquenita players were ejected.
Game officials, officials from the Mid-Penn Conference, District 3 and the PIAA will meet Monday to review game film and decide if further action should be taken. An outcome of the game will also be decided.
This is the second game to be stopped this year because of a fight. The Sept. 28 Philadelphia Public League game between Del-Val Charter and Roxborough stopped in the second. Each team was hit with a forfeit loss and Del-Val coach Shelton Farmer was dismissed from his job. It was Del-Val's second fight this season.
For more on high school sports, go to "Varsity Blog" at www.post-gazette.com/varsityblog. Mike White: email@example.com, 412-263-1975 and Twitter @mwhiteburgh. First Published October 7, 2013 4:00 AM