Area graduates to play against Pitt
Two players from the East will line up for Toledo at Heinz Field Saturday against Pitt.
Junior cornerback Brandon Hefflin is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound Penn Hills graduate. He has one interception and 21 tackles this season.
“Hefflin has the potential to be an NFL cornerback,” Toledo coach Tom Amstutz said. “Brandon came up big and made two big sacks on corner blitzes last week (against UNLV).”
Sophomore Patrick Body, a Schenley graduate, has stepped in as the starter at Toledo’s whip position, which is basically an outside linebacker. Body is fourth on the team with 24 tackles and has one sack.
“He’s very athletic and very emotional,” Amstutz said. “He has good speed and he’s tall (6-2) and rangy.”
Schenley graduate Darnell Dinkins, who made the New York Giants as a rookie free agent this summer, will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his foot. Dinkins opened camp at quarterback and moved to tight end before finally settling at safety, though his primary role is on special teams.
WPIAL golf sectionals
Five local golfers won section boys championships Monday.
Franklin Regional senior Tim Moynihan was the only golfer in the Division I tournaments to shoot under par with his 69 in the Section 1 final at Indiana Country Club.
Two of Moynihan’s teammates, Don Thomas and Tyler Eckert, tied for second place, but they were seven strokes back.
Gateway senior Justin Scott won the Division I, Section 4 final by shooting a four-over-par 75 at Oak Lake, two shots ahead of Fox Chapel’s Jason Kreps and Aaron Williams of Kiski Area.
Jason Kim of Elizabeth Forward was the other local winner in Division I, shooting a 77 to win Section 6 at South Hills Country Club.
Burrell’s Steve Less shot an even-par 72 to win the Division II, Section 1 championship at Oakmont East.
Serra Catholic took the top three spots in Division II, Section 7. Jonathan Pepe was the only PIAA qualifier from the East last year, but he finished third as teammate Darin Kowalski shot a two-over 74 to win it.
No local girls won section championships, although Burrell’s Leslie Pavetto finished third in Section 1.
Warriors take round one
Penn-Trafford ran its streak of victories over rival Norwin to four with a 3-0 victory in Section 1-AAA girls soccer Monday.
Junior forward Nicole Mannella scored twice and her twin sister, Erin, scored one goal, as the Warriors (8-1-1, 7-0) produced more goals in one game than the Knights (9-1, 6-1) had given up all season.
Norwin had not given up a goal at all in section play, surrendering two in non-section games.
The Gateway girls also had a big victory Monday, a 1-0 win over Plum that knocked the Mustangs out of first place in Section 3-AAA. That put Franklin Regional alone in first place going into Wednesday’s games at 6-1-3, 5-0-2, followed by Penn Hills (5-4-1, 5-1-1), Gateway (7-3-1, 4-1-1) and Plum (6-1-3, 4-1-2).
Burrell sophomore Garyn Ehrlich’s first varsity field goal came with a little pressure.
Ehrlich hit a 35-yarder with 37 seconds remaining Friday to give Burrell a 31-28 Allegheny Conference victory over Ford City.
Ehrlich was filling in for Adam Boyer, who was in Florida with his soccer team, though the Bucs nearly turned to someone else.
“Garyn worked all week, and three days ago, we were working on kicks, and he kicked horrendously,” Burrell coach Tom Henderson said after the game, which moved his team to 3-1, 2-0 in the conference. “We were going to go with somebody else, but the next day he kicked beautifully and, truly, he’s one of the best kickers we’ve ever had.
“He’s just one of those hidden gems that you fall into. He came through.”
WPIAL tennis singles
McKeesport senior Jackie Hughes was the only WPIAL girls tennis player from the East to qualify for the PIAA finals.
The top three players in each class advanced to states. Hughes finished second on Class AAA, losing to Bethel Park’s Kellie Schmitt, 6-2, 6-1, in the finals.
Shannon Benic of Ellis School, a transfer from Winchester Thurston, just missed out on states, losing in the Class AA third-place match, 6-3, 6-4, to Emily Greenberger of Sewickley Academy.
Allderdice wins Allegheny Classic
Allderdice won the girls high school competition at the Allegheny Classic cross country meet Saturday at Allegheny College, with teams from the WPIAL, City League and around the state.
Molly Ainsman finished second in the individual competition in 20:08.2. Lara Nagle was ninth, Sassi Kerpedjiera 10th and Clara Finley 12th for the Green Dragons.
Franklin Regional finished fifth in the boys meet with Julian Fiorina taking seventh as an individual.
Kevin Gorman and Keith Barnes contributed to this report.