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High School

“Mr. High School Sports” – Athletes Of The Week: Week 2

By Matt Popchock
Jimmy Wheeler

West Mifflin junior Jimmy Wheeler strapped the Titans to his back in a decisive Week 2 win over Belle Vernon. (Photo credit: Jill Knight/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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(mpopchock@kdka.com)

What will they do for an encore this weekend? Who knows? But until the final gun of Week 3 sounds, let’s appreciate what they did in Week 2…

CLASS AAAA:

Dorian Brown, Baldwin – The senior running back nearly led Baldwin to an upset of Penn Hills Thursday night, and credit for his performance last Friday against Plum is long overdue. Brown led all Quad-A backs with 234 yards on 16 carries, ripping off touchdown runs of 64, 54, and 25 yards as the Highlandlers mauled the Mustangs, 35-7, in Southeastern Conference play.

CLASS AAA:

Jimmy Wheeler, West Mifflin – Most of the attention in this game was probably on Division I offensive line prospect Dorian Johnson, but Belle Vernon just couldn’t find an answer for the Titans’ tailback. Wheeler, a junior, amassed 334 yards on 24 carries to lead all WPIAL rushers in Week 2, and scored three times in a 48-14 romp over the Leopards in Big Nine action. Nearly half those carries (11, to be exact) went for ten-plus yards.

CLASS AA:

Tyler Mellors, Mount Pleasant – Sticking with the theme of spotlight-stealing by featured backs, Mellors sent Greensburg Central Catholic reeling to 0-2 in a resounding and dramatic statement made by the Vikings to the rest of the Interstate Conference. A last-minute field goal gave Mount Pleasant a 30-28 win over the Centurions, but it wouldn’t have been possible without this junior, who racked up 268 yards on 25 attempts to lead all Class AA rushers, along with three TD’s.

CLASS A:

Jesse Zelonka, Apollo-Ridge – There was a different group of Vikings who needed to bounce back from a more disappointing Week 1 effort, and this quarterback rose to the challenge last Friday. He only connected on nine of 15 passes, but Zelonka, a junior, finished with 272 yards to lead all Single-A signal-callers, and four of those passes went for touchdowns in a decisive 41-0 victory over Wilkinsburg in Eastern Conference action.

OUT-OF-DISTRICT:

Ryan Torrance, Ligonier Valley – The senior led the Rams to a 63-0 shellacking of United in Heritage Conference play last Friday with a 100-yard rushing effort in the first quarter alone. Torrance finished with 164 yards and four TD’s, three of which came in that opening period.

(Follow me on Twitter @mpopchock.)

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