Capers returns to starting QB role; Chartiers Valley wins its fourth game in a row
Chartiers Valley quarterback Wayne Capers runs for a 47-yard touchdown against Belle Vernon in the first half Friday at Chartiers Valley High School.
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The past few years, not many teams across the WPIAL have known more about playing without their starting quarterback than Chartiers Valley.
Having their elite quarterback available Friday, the Colts were the last ones to feel sorry for an opponent that was playing with its backup.
Wayne Capers had 229 all-purpose yards and accounted for four touchdowns, leading Chartiers Valley to its fourth consecutive win, 36-10, against Belle Vernon at Chartiers Valley Stadium.
"We've dealt with a lot of injuries, so I can say to be in Week 5 and to have a full squad rolling for the most part right now, it feels pretty good," Chartiers Valley coach Chris Saluga said. "[Belle Vernon is] a good team. Sometimes you have to play through injuries."
One of the WPIAL's most sought-after players by colleges, Capers had season-ending injuries each of the past two years, including being knocked out of the 2010 season opener with a torn ACL.
Big, strong, quick and athletic, he began this offseason playing a different position. But when Christian Kuntz ruptured a spleen in preseason practice, Capers was inserted back behind center.
By throwing two touchdown passes and rushing for two more, he showed what he can do when he's healthy on a night in which the Leopards were down to their third-string quarterback.
"Wayne's playing with a lot of confidence, and the team is playing with confidence," Saluga said. "He's a special player, and we can do a lot more with him in the lineup."
Leopards freshman Travis Snyder was knocked out of last week's loss at New Castle due to a concussion.
His replacement, Zach Mahalko, was 5 for 11 for 42 yards and an interception, and the biggest impact he made on the game was as a receiver -- his usual position -- when he scored Belle Vernon's only touchdown on a 40-yard pass from Jake Burritt during the second quarter.
But the Colts amassed 315 total yards in improving to 4-1 overall.
The game began to create some separation in a Class AAA Big Eight Conference that had four teams at 2-0 in conference play and four at 0-2. Thomas Jefferson also won Friday to keep pace with Chartiers Valley.
"Momentum, that's what this game did for us," Capers said. "Our 'D' did a great job tonight and our O-line and receivers, it was a great team effort tonight."
The Colts play at the perennial conference champion Jaguars next week. Chartiers Valley has finished second to Thomas Jefferson in three of the past four seasons.
Playing with a cast on his right hand, Ian Dobbins had 124 rushing yards for the Leopards (2-3, 2-1). The team's quarterback when the season began until he broke his hand in the season opener, Dobbins took a hit after a fourth-quarter reception and was down on the field for several minutes.
Belle Vernon coach Aaron Krepps said Dobbins would be evaluated by doctors. He said he expected Snyder to return for next week's game against South Park.
The Leopards were hurt by mistakes all night. They committed four turnovers and had eight penalties for 85 yards -- many of which helped kill drives, cost the team field position on special teams and/or negated big gains.
The Leopards fumbled four times (losing three) and mismanaged a punt from deep in their end in the final two minutes of the first half, causing a 4-yard punt after it appeared they were running what could only be described as a fake, fake punt. That led to a Capers 9-yard touchdown pass to Taran Sifontes-Levine.
Capers' other passing touchdown came on the first play of the fourth quarter, 6 yards to Zach Chapman.
The first points of the game came as Capers raced 47 yards for a touchdown around right end. Capers, 6 feet 1, 205 pounds, also scored on a sneak from a yard out early in the second quarter.
Zach Weight hit a 42-yard field goal in the second quarter for Belle Vernon.
First Published October 1, 2011 12:12 am