PITTSBURGH - Greensburg Central Catholic head coach Muzzy Colisimo knows his team has one problem.
"I don't know what it is about our defense, but for some reason we like to let the other team score first," Colisimo said. "It's very nerve wracking as a coach."
True to form, Greensburg CC allowed a 6-yard touchdown run by Mikal Hall 8 minutes into the game.
But less than a minute later, Greensburg CC's David Miller took control of the game, breaking straight down the middle of the field for a 79-yard scoring run.
And Greensburg CC never looked back, dominating Aliquippa en route to a 33-7 win and the school's first WPIAL Class AA football title.
"This hasn't been a lucky place for us," Colisimo said. "It feels good to finally get the monkey off our backs."
Miller finished the game with 203 yards on 34 carries and three touchdowns, including a 2-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter that capped a massive 18-play, 60 yard drive that milked nearly 9 minutes off the clock. Miller carried the ball 16 of those 18 plays.
"Usually I try to call a timeout to give him a break but he said he wasn't tired," Colisimo said of his running back.
"I was dying," Miller quipped. "I wanted him to call time out. I needed some water. No, I wasn't really that tired. Maybe it was the cold air, but I felt pretty good. I'm glad he did what he did."
Aliquippa's defense couldn't find an answer to Miller or Greensburg CC's domination at the line of scrimmage, head coach Mike Zmijanac admitted.
"They actually wore us down," he said. "They're a big, strong, very well coached team. … It's usually the team that wins the battle in the trenches that wins the game. This team of ours is not a trench warfare team. We relied on our quickness and our skill and it didn't work out for us today."
Greensburg CC took a 26-7 lead into the locker room at the half after a spectacular one-handed touchdown grab by Evan Marshall from quarterback Trent Hurley over a defending Troy Jeter.
Earlier in the quarter, Hurley scored on a naked bootleg from 2-yards out, which was a play that Colisimo admitted they drew up on the sideline right before the play was called.
"They all shifted down and the outside linebacker came in and I knew it would be wide open from the snap," Hurley said.
"We practice a pass off that play usually," Colisimo added. "I just told him to keep it. That play was drawn up in the dirt."
Meanwhile the Greensburg CC defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions and a fumble.
"We've been averaging four or five turnovers a game," defensive coordinator Dan Mahoney said. "Ninety percent of the time we're in our base defense. Our kids are just that fundamentally sound."
And now Greensburg CC prepares to move on to the next round of the state playoffs. But how exactly do you do that?
"I don't know. We've never been there before," Colisimo joked. "We'll just take it one day at a time."