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Laffoon maturing in 2nd season as Penn-Trafford quarterback | TribLIVE.com
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Laffoon maturing in 2nd season as Penn-Trafford quarterback

Tribune-Review
| Wednesday, September 24, 2014 9:00 p.m
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Erica Dietz | Trib Total Media
Penn-Trafford's Brett Laffoon passes against Kiski Area's Ty Travaglia during the first half of their game Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, at Davis Field in Vandergrift.

Penn-Trafford football coach John Ruane said quarterback Brett Laffoon didn’t make many mistakes when he debuted as a sophomore last season.

“But he learned from the ones he did make,” Ruane said. “He learned how to value possession of the ball.”

Laffoon has completed 31 of 45 passes for 617 yards with eight touchdowns and an interception so far this season. That is an improvement from last season when he was 31 of 56 four 462 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions through the first four games.

The coaching staff took a chance putting Laffoon out at quarterback as a sophomore. He played with the junior varsity for his freshman seaosn before being calling his number to the varsity squad.

Now Laffoon has a year under his belt and has only room to get better over the next two seasons.

“He almost knows our system as much as I do,” Ruane said. “In every stand point he has improved. He is bigger, stronger, more physical and he has experience. That is the biggest thing. He mentally understands the game.

“And he has stepped into a leadership role. He is a true leader of the team and people look up to him.”

Laffoon said he has pushed himself to become more consistent this season.

“You always want to come back and correct your mistakes,” the junior said. “I have to learn from the mistakes I made so I don’t do them again.”

Having some roll over on offense has helped the passing attack come out strong. Laffoon built connects with current receiving leaders Tim Vecchio (355 yards) and Devin Austin (97) last season.

“I have played with some of these receivers for like six years,” Laffoon said. “I always know where they will be on the field and they know where I am going to put the ball.”

Joe Peduzzi (52 yards), Jonah Lisbon (52) yards and Austin Zegarelli (29) have also stepped up in the receiving game.

Laffoon hasn’t been afraid to run the ball, recording 100 yards and three touchdowns on 16 attempts.

“It doesn’t matter to me what I do on offense,” Laffoon said. “As long as it helps the team.”

Laffoon credited the play of his offensive line for his success on the ground and through the air this season.

“I haven’t been hit much,” Laffoon said. “That is a credit to them. They protect me when I am in the pocket and when I roll out, they are there blocking downfield.”

His progression has helped the Penn-Trafford offense becomes one of best in Class AAAA – the Warriors’ average of 39.3 points per game is behind only Pine-Richland (45.3) and Mt. Lebanon (42.3).

Despite being 4-0 and being the favorite for their remaining games, Laffoon said the Warriors’ maturity will keep them focused.

“You only get so many Friday nights,” Laffoon said. “We need to take advantage of most of them.

The Warriors welcome in Latrobe Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. start.

The Wildcats are coming into the game on a two-game skid where they have been outscored 55-13 by Connellsville and McKeesport.

The Latrobe offense is led by running back Brandon Friedline, who has 283 rushing yards and three touchdowns this season. Quarterback Craig Steven has proven to be a dual-threat with 271 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns.

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at nsmith@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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