Tribune-Review Male Athlete of the Week
School: West Mifflin
Position: Fullback/defensive end
Notable: Garner was a two-way standout in West Mifflin’s stunning 23-22 victory over top-seeded West Allegheny in the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals last week at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder rushed for 46 yards to set up the Titans’ first touchdown, recovered a fumble to set up the second score, had a big tackle on a two-point conversion and supported a pair of goal-line stands.
“He’s the type of kid who’s always hustling on the field and always in on the play,” West Mifflin coach Ray Braszo said.
Garner has charged No. 13 seed West Mifflin’s unlikely run through the WPIAL playoffs. The Titans (7-5) upset No. 4 Franklin Regional and No. 5 Canon-McMillan in the first two rounds, and topped West Allegheny for the first time. Next up is No. 2 Thomas Jefferson (10-2) in the WPIAL Class AAA finals at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at Heinz Field. Garner, a four-year starter, as offers from Kent State, Toledo, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. West Mifflin lost five of its first seven games, and sneaked into the playoffs as the fourth-place team from the Big Seven Conference.
“At one point in time, we didn’t know if we were going to make the playoffs,” Garner said. “We pulled through and did it.”