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WPIAL

Mt. Lebanon Wins WPIAL Title in 47-7 Rout of Central Catholic

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Image by Jared Todhunter

NORTH HUNTINGDON, PA– The WPIAL Class-6A championship did not take long until Alex Tecza, and Eli Heidenreich turned the game into their own version of Madden. The duo juked, stiff-armed, out ran, and hurdled defenders for six combined touchdowns while leading undefeated Mt. Lebanon (12-0) to a 47-7 rout over two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Central Catholic (9-3) to give the school their first WPIAL championship since 2000.

The game started with Pittsburgh Central Catholic taking control. They received the kick, got a huge return from Antonio Pitts, and quickly marched down the field for a touchdown capped off by a Gannon Carothers 15-yard run. However, that is when Mt. Lebanon decided to take the moment and show PCC that they needed to be prepared for a shoot-out.

Eli Heidenreich started things off with two screens, and a direct snap to move the ball down the field. That is when Alex Tecza danced around defenders and scored on a direct snap to tie the game at 7.

Mt. Lebanon tried and recovered an onside kick, but PCC held them to a 3-and-out. Still, the play put the Vikings on notice. Mt. Lebo forced a punt, and Tecza started to put his imprint on the game.

Tecza ripped off a 22-yard run and a 37-yard run that set up a 12-yard pass from Joey Daniels to Brendan Anderson that gave the Blue Devils their first lead of the game at 14-7. Pittsburgh Central Catholic tried to answer and got to their side of midfield. However, Owen Halter blew up a fourth and 1 run and turned the ball over. Halter had two tackles for loss and a sack in the game.

This swing in momentum set the scene for the Alex Tecza show. Mt. Lebanon got possession and Tecza ripped off an 11-yard run, then went for 59 yards to flip the game on its head and give the Blue Devils a 21-7 lead. Mt. Lebo got a three-and-out and the next thing you knew Tecza was squirting free out of the backfield wide open for a 24-yard touchdown on a wheel route. Mt. Lebanon took a 28-7 lead into the half and got the ball to start the half.

Mt. Lebanon had the lead and was not going to squander it in the second half. They promptly took the ball and got downfield, this time getting Eli Heidenreich a touchdown. Heidenreich got on top of his man from 24 yards out and bodied him in the end zone to extend the lead to 34-7. The Blue Devils had PCC up against the ropes and a sack on the first drive ensured that PCC did not have the juice to jump back in this game. The Vikings went three-and-out quickly, and a huge Heidenreich punt return set up a one-play drive from the 25 with Tecza scoring his fourth touchdown of the game and extending the lead to 40-7.

Mt. Lebanon got the ball back, and Heidenreich took a direct snap 67-yard to the house. He cut Inside, cut back out, and moved with speed to the end that made the game 47-7 while we were still early in the third quarter. That got the mercy clock running and effectively ended the game, as Mt. Lebo pulled their starters for the fourth quarter. Tecza finished the game with 192 yards rushing, 41 receiving, and four touchdowns, while Heidenreich added 92 rushing, 69 receiving, and two touchdowns. Heidenreich also had over 100 return yards. Mt. Lebanon will play McDowell next week with the date and time to be announced soon.

 

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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