South Xtra: Record-setting South Fayette QB earns high honor

Male High School Athlete of the Year

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In addition to playing football and basketball this summer, South Fayette's Brett Brumbaugh is working at a local grocery store.

It comes as little surprise what department Brumbaugh works in -- Produce. After all, when it comes to producing, no quarterback in the WPIAL was in Brumbaugh's league last season.

Brumbaugh led South Fayette to WPIAL and PIAA Class AA titles his junior year and set the WPIAL record for passing yardage in a season. For that, Brumbaugh has been selected as the Post-Gazette South Xtra's Male High School Athlete of the Year.

"He was just awesome," South Fayette coach Joe Rossi said. "In his eyes, his performance was what he expected and what we expected. On the biggest stages, he performed his best."

That included a 34-28 win against two-time defending champion Aliquippa in the WPIAL title game. With his team trailing late in the fourth quarter, Brumbaugh led the Lions on a game-winning touchdown drive.

"That last drive of the WPIAL championship was special," Brumbaugh said. "It was like we could do anything after that. We fought all game. They scored and it was like, 'How are we going to respond to that?' That team had won two straight WPIAL titles and we found a way to beat them."

On what was an extremely cold and windy night at snow-covered Heinz Field, Brumbaugh connected on 16 of 35 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns.

Unbeaten after 13 games, South Fayette knew it needed to win three more to claim its first PIAA title. Brumbaugh delivered by throwing for 822 yards and eight touchdowns in wins against Karns City, Hickory and Imhotep Charter.

In the championship game, it was as if Brumbaugh and his receivers were playing catch in the backyard. Brumbaugh was 18 of 25 for 299 yards and three touchdowns in leading South Fayette to a 41-0 win, the most lopsided in PIAA Class AA championship history.

Brumbaugh, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound right-hander, said he still sometimes watches the videos from the two championship wins.

"It was really special," he said. "We basically proved that the hard work paid off. It was one of the best times of our lives and something we will always remember."

When it was all said done, Brumbaugh had thrown for 3,897 yards. That broke the record of 3,726 previously set by his brother, Christian, in 2010. Brett completed 68 percent of his passes (260 of 379) and tossed 41 touchdown passes. Of those numbers, Brumbaugh said the high completion percentage meant the most to him.

With the gaudy statistics came the accolades. Brumbaugh made the Post-Gazette Fabulous 22 team and was named the Post-Gazette Player of the Year. Additionally, he was the Class AA state player of the year and selected him as a second-team Medium Schools All-American.

When the football season came to an end, Brumbaugh took a few days off and then began practicing with the basketball team. While not a star in that sport, Brumbaugh had a solid season and helped South Fayette reach the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs.

A starting forward, he often scored in double figures and poured in a career-high 26 points against Hopewell.

Brumbaugh is undecided where he will play in college. Temple and Akron are his lone Division I offers. Pitt was showing interest, but has since backed off after recently securing a quarterback commitment for next year's class.

"Everyone gets infatuated with 40 times and what you do in just a T-shirt," Rossi said. "He's a winner and a leader at that position. He'd be a great guy to lead your team."

South Fayette must replace more than half of its starters on both sides of the ball, but with Brumbaugh under center, the Lions are expected to be one of the best teams in Class AA once again.

Brumbaugh will also be chasing the WPIAL all-time passing record. His 7,326 yards are currently second best behind 2014 Sto-Rox graduate Lenny Williams' 8,508.Williams broke Christian Brumbaugh's record last season.

"I want to end my career with the record," Brett said. "To be able to say you finished with the most yards in WPIAL history would be pretty nice."

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