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Southmoreland grid stats show strong ground game

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Kelly Vernon | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
Southmoreland's Tommy Pisula tries to elude a Burgettstown defender earler this season.

Statistics are a big part of every sport.

They measure how a team or individual performs during any given season. The athletes in professional sports use individual statistics as a negotiating tool when they seek to sign a new contract or get a pay raise added to an existing contract.

High school football statistics are a little different. There are no agents presenting statistical facts to the highest bidder for his client. In fact, these statistics can sometimes not even show an athlete’s true worth to his team.

An outside linebacker, who is a beast, may show less tackles than his opposite side counterpart simply because teams tend to try and run at the weaker side linebacker to avoid being shut down by the stronger performer.

With all of that being said, here is a look at some of the statistics from the Southmoreland football team from the 2014 season.

The Scotties finished the regular season 4-5 overall, 4-4 in the Class AA Interstate Conference. Southmoreland finished in fifth place in the conference, one game behind fourth-place Waynesburg for the final playoff spot.

The Scotties’ offense averaged 21.1 points per game, while the defense allowed 27.4 points per game. The Scotties were 3-2 at home and 1-3 on the road

As a team, Southmoreland averaged 258 yards a game rushing. The majority of the rushing yards were accumulated by senior running back Jake Pisula, who led the Scottie running game with 1,285 yards. Southmoreland did not throw the ball very often, averaging 39.2 yards passing per game.

At quarterback, the Scotties started the season with senior Brennan Bunner at the helm. Bunner had his season cut short when he sustained a broken arm in a game against Derry in week 5.

While Bunner was playing the Scotties averaged 64.8 yards per game passing. Bunner rushed for 141 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns.

With Bunner sidelined, freshman Jaden Datz stepped in and the Scotties were forced to try and control the game by running the football, and their average yards per game passing dropped to just 3.2 yards per game.

Bunner finished the season 18-37 for 324 yards and two touchdowns. Bunner was intercepted five times and finished his senior season with a quarterback rating of 57.5. Datz was 9-20 for 29 yards and a touchdown in his four games as a starter. Datz rushed for 72 yards and one touchdown.

The running game was the real strength of the Southmoreland offense. Pisula was the team’s main offensive weapon, averaging 142.8 yards per game.

Pisula scored 10 rushing touchdowns for the Scotties, with his longest run being an 85-yard touchdown scamper against Mt. Pleasant in week 9. Pisula added 147 yards on kickoff returns and hauled in 7 passes for 21 yards.

Sophomore Tommy Pisula demonstrated why he will become the team’s feature back next season by rushing for 324 yards on 58 carries. Pisula scored six rushing touchdowns and caught 12 passes for another 168 yards and one touchdown. Pisula also chipped in with 109 yards on kickoff returns and 29 yards on punt returns to give him 628 all-purpose yards.

Senior Mataeo Garner was the Scotties’ third leading rusher, finishing with 323 yards rushing on 49 carries and two touchdowns. Garner’s straight ahead, hard-nosed running style made him hard to bring down for opposing defenses.

Justin Livengood contributed to the offense with 179 yards rushing on 42 attempts. Livengood scored two rushing touchdowns, but also was effective as a receiver, hauling in six passes for 85 yards and a pair of scores.

Senior tight end Chas King lead all Scottie receivers in yards per catch average. King averaged 26.3 yards per catch by snagging three passes for 79 yards, with his longest catch being 39 yards.

King also led the Scotties with 13 solo tackles and 77 assists. King averaged 10 tackles per game, recovering two fumbles and adding an interception to his resume.

Jake Beistel finished second on the team in tackles with 62. Beistel had 11 solo tackles, recorded 5.5 sacks and batted down three passes this season.

Doug Leighty chipped in with 52 tackles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries, while senior Joe Espey recorded 40 tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery.

Livengood was the ball hawk for the Scottie defense, registering three interceptions and knocking down two passes. Garner, Bunner, and Tommy Pisula also recorded interceptions, while Pisula also knocked down five passes.

As a unit, the Scottie defense recorded 131 solo tackles and 450 assisted tackles. Southmoreland had seven interceptions and recovered seven fumbles for the season. Southmoreland recorded one shutout on the season, a 34-0 whitewash of Brownsville.

Mark King is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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