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Small-School Stars: Hill, Moore, Tomlin Headline SSA, Steel Valley 2A Showdown



Our 2018 coverage of WPIAL High School Football is sponsored by Dunkin‘ Donuts of Pittsburgh. We thank Dunkin’ Donuts for their support of football in Western Pennsylvania Football and Pittsburgh Sports Now.

A heavyweight Class 2A battle will be going down at William V. Campbell Athletic field when the 2-0 Shady Side Academy Indians head to Steel Valley to take on the 2-0 Ironmen. Both teams came in with high preseason expectations and had lived up to the moment so far.

However, Steel Valley did hit a bit of a bump in the road last week at Avonworth. Despite getting out to a 23-10 lead, the Ironman trailed 24-23 in the fourth quarter and needed a late touchdown with just 29 seconds left to take the lead. Steel Valley survived the scare and held up their high ranking to host Shady Side, who has run through the early portion of their schedule.

They opened their season with a 58-6 thumping of Brownsville. From there, star quarterback Skyy Moore had a bit of a homecoming in his former stadium, as the Indians rolled over Valley 43-14. Moore had 180 yards in the air, and three touchdowns, all going to his teammate and stand out receiver Dino Tomlin.

However, the talent of Brownsville and Valley are not going to live up to what Shady Side will see this week at Steel Valley. The question becomes, how much more formidable of a foe is Shady Side compared to Avonworth, who did hang with Steel Valley? Based on the way Shady Side has played, and when looking at the talent of the roster, this should also be the biggest test of the season for the Ironmen.

Steel Valley does get back to their home stadium, and now enters the game battle tested and ready for the moment against any team. Can Shady Side Academy, who has not seen adversity in 2018 pull that out on the road against a much tougher team than they have seen so far?

Only one of these two teams will roll into the meat of their schedule undefeated. The other will have to look in the mirror and bounce back for a strong run to try and meet again in the playoffs.

Top recruit spotlight:

Todd Hill (committed to Howard): Todd Hill carries the football and had a long rushing touchdown on Friday. However, Hill is considered as a fullback and that becomes quite apparent when looking at his style of play. Hill is a punishing downhill runner who looks for contact between the tackles.

That mentality brushes over to the defensive side of the ball, where Hill has been a star in his senior season, compiling 42 tackles in two games. Hill is going to be a physical force in the middle of the field on both sides of the football.

Fortunately for Shady Side, they could be looking to get the best of Steel Valley in the air, towards the deep sidelines.

Dino Tomlin (Pitt, Iowa State, Maryland, Toledo, UTSA, Army) FCS (Howard, Princeton, Duquesne, Brown, Albany, RMU, Columbia, William & Mary, Fordham, Holy Cross, Yale, Dartmouth): Shady Side has confidence in moving the ball on the outsides thanks to Dino Tomlin. Yes, the last name with a football background sounds familiar for a reason. Still, let’s stick to his play. Tomlin is a dynamic deep field receiver and has burst big play after big play through the early season. Tomlin debuted with a 40-yard touchdown against Brownsville. He also hauled in scores of 43 and 80 yards against Valley.

Skyy Moore (Buffalo, Rice) FCS (Howard, Brown, Holy Cross, Lehigh, RMU, Columbia, Albany, Fordham, Yale, Maine, Duquesne, Delaware): Tomlin does not get all of the credit for his deep passing success, though. Quarterback Skyy Moore has been dynamic this season. Last week against his hometown Valley he put up 180 yards through the air and 128 on the ground. After the game, he received an offer from Rice.

Moore is getting a lot of attention for what he can do on the defensive side of the ball too. A talented cornerback, Moore may give the Indians a chance to load up the box against Todd Hill, knowing that they have an impact player on the outside in Skyy Moore.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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