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Laurel Highlands Make History in 44-15 Win Over West Allegheny (Gallery)

Tagged under: District 7, Gameday Hub, News, Playoffs, Podcasts

| November 5, 2022

The Mustangs make history with their first home playoff win in school history behind defensive masterclass.

19 years. That’s how long it’s been since the Laurel Highlands Mustangs have hosted a home playoff game. Last season, the Mustangs made history, capturing their first playoff win in school history. This season, they did it for the first time at home, dominating West Allegheny in a 44-15 win. The quarterback for that 2003 team? Current Mustangs head coach Rich Kolesar.

“It starts with Coach Kolesar, just what he feeds into this program and how much time he puts into it,” praised Mustangs QB Rodney Gallagher. “We have great coaches all around, along with what he does, we just feed off of it. We come to work for him and he comes to work for us also”

Casual observers of PA high school football will be quick to point out 4 star West Virginia commit Rodney Gallagher, however in the drubbing of perennial WPIAL power West Allegheny, it took a team effort. On the Mustangs second offensive drive, Tristen Baker put the Mustangs in the redzone, then Gallagher found Antwan Baker over the top to put the Mustangs up early.

“It’s great having Antwan’” Gallagher said. “That’s my little cousin man, we got a special bond and are super tight. All we do is communicate, we watch film together to see what to do . We were just on the same page and did a great job by competing.”

Four minutes later, Rodney Gallagher added his name to the scoresheet on the ground, outrunning West A defenders toward a two score lead.

On the ensuing West A drive, a pass to Nodin Tracy was fumbled and recovered by Antwan Black. Rodney Gallagher quickly found the endzone again to put the Mustangs up by three scores.

Laurel Highlands would add to their lead just before half with an interception by Leland Layhue setting up a Harry Radcliffe field goal.

In the third quarter, LH added a field goal before Brock Cornell broke the line of scrimmage and the shutout, running down the middle of the field to make the score 27-8. Harry Radcliffe would add his third in the early fourth quarter to put the score at 30-8

West A had life for a brief period in the early fourth quarter when a pass to Nodin Tracy pulled the Indians within 15 points. The Indians even recovered a fumble on the next defensive drive, however, Parker Hoff intercepted a deflected ball and took it to the house..

To add insult to injury, the Indians would once again drive down the field on the following drive. Keondrae Deshields intercepted a pass into the endzone, and returned it 102 yards for the longest ever pick six in Mustangs history, ballooning the score to 44-15, and burying the Indians hopes.

“That play was great, it relieved a lot of pressure. We knew right from there that the game was over.”

What’s Next?: Laurel Highlands will visit Central Valley next week. The Warriors entered the playoffs as the two seed in the WPIAL bracket and had a bye week in the first round.


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