Seton-LaSalle shows a lot of Hart
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Kevin Hart is not running in his father's footsteps. The son might be too fast for that path.
Kevin Hart is a senior running back at Seton-LaSalle who has close to 2,000 yards rushing in 11 games for the undefeated Rebels (11-0). Thirty years ago, his father, Mark, was a 1,000-yard rusher for a powerful Mt. Lebanon team that finished 13-0 and won the WPIAL Class AAAA title for the second year in a row.
"I was a sophomore at Pitt when Mark was a senior and I remember seeing him play because I followed Mt. Lebanon a little," said Seton-LaSalle coach Greg Perry. "He was one of the fastest kids I ever saw at that time, or any time after.
"But I think the son is faster. Kevin was timed in the 40 at 4.4 this summer at a couple camps. I don't know if his dad was that fast."
Kevin Hart hopes to be in the fast lane again Friday night at Elizabeth Forward when Seton-LaSalle plays Jeannette (11-0) in a WPIAL Class AA semifinal matchup of undefeated teams.
Kevin Hart (6 feet, 185 pounds) certainly will be one of the keys to the contest. He has 1,723 yards rushing, but has been on a tear the last half of the season. After running for 643 yards in the first six games, Hart has gained 1,080 in the past five.
Hart has scholarship offers from Toledo, Delaware, William & Mary and Richmond to play slotback.
"He's been a four-year starter, but the last two years he hasn't been able to finish playoff games for us because he was nicked up and hurt a little," Perry said. "He knew he had to increase his stamina and strength this year. I think this year he has that burst that he didn't have last year."
Jeannette also has a player who can burst a defense's bubble. Quarterback Demetrious Cox does not throw much, but he has rushed for 1,091 yards and is averaging 12 yards a carry.
"When Kevin takes the ball, I feel like he's the best player on the field," Perry said. "But Jeannette has a weapon in Cox, and they'll try to get him the ball as much as Kevin. One of the advantages is, Cox takes the snap every down."
Aliquippa (11-0) is trying to make it to the WPIAL title game for the fourth consecutive year and will play Greensburg Central Catholic (10-1) in the other semifinal Friday at North Hills.
Aliquippa has only a few seniors in its starting lineup, but quarterback Mikal Hall is in his third season as a starter and needs 145 yards passing to reach 4,000 for his career. This season, he is 59 of 106 for 1,273 yards.
"I don't know how good their quarterback is, but ours is pretty good," said Aliquippa coach Mike Zmijanac. "He's a three-year starter, so I think he knows what he's doing. At least, he seems to so far."
Both teams have a 1,000-yard rusher -- Dravon Henry has 1,173 for Aliquippa and Jordan McRae 1,167 for Greensburg Central Catholic.
Although Aliquippa is in Class AA, the school's enrollment would put the Quips in Class A. They choose to play up one classification.
You get the feeling Zmijanac does not care to play Greensburg Central Catholic, whose team has included a number of transfer students in recent years.
"We're playing the Westmoreland-Fayette County all-stars," Zmijanac said. "This has nothing to do with their players. I have high respect for their kids and how hard they play. I just don't like the way things are structured [in the WPIAL and PIAA]. It is what it is, but there are inequities with some of these schools, not only in football but a lot of sports.
"If some of these kids [at Greensburg Central Catholic] want to rise up to the challenge, why don't they stay at the [public] school where they live and play Quad-A football, rather than try to beat little Aliquippa or Jeannette?
"Sorry I had to say that, but I've been biting my lip too long on it."
First Published November 16, 2011 12:00 am