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High school football notebook: Keystone Oaks’ Smith commits to Duquesne |

High school football notebook: Keystone Oaks’ Smith commits to Duquesne

| Wednesday, September 14, 2016 6:33 p.m
Randy Jarosz | for the Tribune-Review
Keystone Oaks quarterback Alex Smith prepares to throw during a game against Carlynton on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at Dormont Memorial Stadium.

For Alex Smith, Duquesne offered connections to his coach but something even more important to the Keystone Oaks quarterback.

It’s close to home.

Smith gave a verbal commitment to Duquesne Wednesday, choosing the Dukes over scholarship offers from Robert Morris and Youngstown State.

“I enjoy being close to home so that my parents can come see me play,” Smith said. “The deciding factor was the area. It’s convenient.”

Smith passed for 2,027 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 533 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder has completed 34 of 51 attempts (66.7 percent) for 525 yards, with seven touchdowns and one interception for the Golden Eagles (2-0) this season and is considered the top senior quarterback in the WPIAL.

Keystone Oaks coach Greg Perry has ties to Duquesne’s coaching staff. Perry was quarterbacks coach for Jerry Schmitt when the two coached at South Fayette in the early 1990s, and later was the play-caller and quarterbacks coach at Seton-La Salle when Duquesne offensive coordinator Anthony Doria led the Rebels to the 2002 WPIAL Class AA title.

“I’m comfortable with them,” Smith said. “Coach Doria is a lot like Coach Perry — fun to work with — and I see a lot of similarities in the offenses, which is good for me.”

Perry added that Schmitt recently signing a five-year contract extension provided stability that made Smith comfortable with Duquesne, and their similar offensive concepts should make for a smooth transition.

“With me and Jerry knowing each other so well, I’ve taken some stuff that they’ve done,” Perry said. “They’re in (shotgun) with one back and trying to spread the field. I think it will be a good fit for him. They’re getting some good kids. They have a good group of receivers and are making it a quarterback-friendly offense.”

Longest streak

South Fayette now owns the WPIAL’s longest regular-season winning streak after Aliquippa’s record-setting 62-game run ended last week. The Lions have won 40 consecutive starting in Week 9 of 2011.

Aliquippa owned six consecutive undefeated regular seasons, but the Quips’ unbeaten streak ended with a 28-14 loss to Beaver. South Fayette (3-0) is seeking its fifth straight undefeated regular season.

The Lions haven’t lost a regular-season contest since Oct. 21, 2011, a 33-10 loss to Seton-La Salle.

All-star invites

North Allegheny lineman Josh Lugg, a Notre Dame recruit, received an invitation to the Army All-American Bowl. The all-star game is Jan. 7, 2017, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

Steel Valley running back Dewayne Murray announced an invitation to the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl on Jan. 14, in Jacksonville, Fla.

TV timeout

WPNT will televise Northwest Nine matchup Montour (1-1, 1-1) at Mars (2-1, 1-1) at 7 p.m. Xfinity will have nonconference matchup Yough (1-1) at Hopewell (3-0) via on-demand.

Call to the Hall

Knoch will induct five new members into its Sports Hall of Fame before Friday night’s game against Highlands. The Hall’s second class includes A.J. Pagano (1984 grad), Renee Lassinger (’86), Lisa Pfeiffer (’77), Doug Clark (’63) and Regis Scheibel (’57).

Kevin Gorman and Chris Harlan are Tribune-Review staff writers. Reach them at

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