Dakota ConwellThis week’s First Commonwealth Athlete of the Week is Dakota Conwell, a junior quarterback/linebacker for the Upper St. Clair football team.

Conwell has emerged as one of the most impressive athletes in Class AAAA this year and in Week 8, he wrote another chapter in the saga of his breakout season by leading USC to a decisive win over visiting Bethel Park in Great Southern Conference action.

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He shredded Bethel’s defense for over 300 all-purpose yards, amassing 146 on the ground and four touchdowns with just 14 carries, and completing nine of 11 passes for another 156 in a 44-21 rout of the Black Hawks Friday night.  The victory was the Panthers’ fifth straight and sets up a Week 9 showdown with arch-rival Mount Lebanon for the conference title, while pushing the Hawks to the brink of elimination.

A goal-line plunge by Conwell got Upper St. Clair off and running, and after the defense recorded a safety he broke loose for a 14-yard TD run to give the Panthers a commanding 15-0 lead in the second quarter prior to Killan Mulkern’s extra point.  Bethel Park wasn’t done yet, but neither was Conwell.

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The Hawks got on the board to make it 16-7, at which point he took them right back out of the game with his third score of the night, a five-yard run followed by a Mulkern extra point, to extend USC’s lead to 23-7 before halftime.  In the third quarter Conwell answered a Bre’ Ford TD run with a 43-yard jaunt to the end zone to cap off his outstanding effort and give the Panthers a 22-point cushion.

One of the leading scorers in Quad-A, Conwell has gained 1,433 all-purpose yards through eight games.  He has run for 706 yards and 14 TD’s, averaging over six yards per attempt, while throwing for 727 and four touchdowns on 46-of-76 passing, which computes to a 60.5 completion percentage and a QB rating of 93.

From his linebacker position, which is an unusual one to play for a high school quarterback, Conwell leads the team with three of its 11 sacks and is third on the Panthers with 42 tackles, including 14 solo.

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Tune into the next edition of The Post-Gazette High School Football Show Presented by First Commonwealth Bank this Saturday morning at a special time of 7:00-9:00 on SportsRadio 93.7 The Fan and 937thefan.com, as the Post-Gazette’s Mike White and MSA’s Don Rebel name our next First Commonwealth Athlete of the Week!