PITTSBURGH — On a rainy Saturday afternoon at George K. Cupples Stadium on the South Side. the historic Pittsburgh City League crowned its 2019 varsity football champion, and for the first time in 23 years, it’s a Bulldog.
In the biggest game in the city, Westinghouse controlled the game throughout and won their first city league championship since 1996 by defeating USO, 12-2 in what must be considered an upset win.
In their meeting during the regular reason on Sept. 5, USO (8-1, 4-1) — a team composed of players from University Prep, Sci-Tech and Obama Academy — won a competitive game against the Bulldogs at Cupples Stadium by a score of 32-22.
Westinghouse (6-3, 3-1) needed double overtime last week to squeak past Allderdice to get to this game, as USO thumped Perry 38-0, in their semi-final matchup.
Mental errors (number of costly penalties on late downs) and the wet conditions ruined any offensive momentum for both teams throughout the first half. Both of the team’s defensive efforts were strong from the jump.
Westinghouse three-star senior defensive linemen and Pitt commit Dayon Hayes gave the USO Panthers offense trouble throughout the game.
With 4:41 left in the game USO quarterback William Pipkins’ pass was picked off by Westinghouse senior defensive back Cameron Jones.
‘The House’ took over at its own 48-yard line. After a delay of game penalty, on the very next play, the fireworks went off for the Bulldogs’ offense.
Westinghouse head coach Donta Green called a double-reverse flea flicker that was executed to perfection and was finished off with a 57-yard touchdown from quarterback Troy Lanier to Tarik Hamilton that gave Westinghouse the first lead of the game.
The two-point conversion was unsuccessful by the Bulldogs. The score remained 6-0 heading into halftime, in favor of Westinghouse.
The two teams started the second half almost identically as they did the game. Positive offensive plays were hard to come by.
Senior running back Mike Massey gave the Bulldogs some life late in the third quarter with a 26-yard run up the middle to put Westinghouse in the red zone.
Massey’s run set up a 15-yard touchdown pass from Lanier to Jones to give Westinghouse a 12-0 lead with 1:56 left in the game.
With defense a premium, and the Bulldogs up by two scores, they could smell victory with just one quarter remaining. They took a safety instead of punting the ball from their end zone to give the Panthers their only two points of the game.
The Panthers’ offense remained to struggle on the offensive end throughout the second half. With just under 5 minutes remaining they marched deep into Bulldogs territory to the four-yard line but turned it over on downs and saw their title hopes dwindle away as the Bulldogs ran the clock out for a win.
Both Westinghouse (Class-3A) and USO (Class-4A) will now be waiting to see where they will be seeded in the PIAA playoffs that begin in November.