Petucci, Queen play at Mansion for final time

By Jim Lane

For the Mirror

It wasn’t the best of days for football. In fact, the rain and wind made it down right nasty for Sunday’s Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association East West All-Star Game.

However, Altoona Area High School seniors Tyler Petucci and Jayvion Queen didn’t seem to mind. Both were solid contributors in the West’s 28-25 victory at Mansion Park.

Playing linebacker for the West, Petucci made several tackles, including one sack. He also forced and recovered a fumble.

“It was an awesome experience,” said the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Petucci, who will play college ball at Shippensburg. “To get out here and play with the best guys in the state was great.

“They’re all great guys and I thought we fit in well,” Petucci continued. “We all played hard and it was a great game.”

With the West leading, 21-7, midway through the second quarter, and the East marching toward a possible score, Petucci stripped East QB Mike Ruisch of Parkland and fell on the fumble at the West 14, snuffing out a potential score.

Queen played the entire game as the West’s offensive left tackle.

“It was really cool to play one last game on my home field,” noted Queen, a 6-5, 280-pounder. “It was even better to come out with a win.”

The West squad led 14-7 after one quarter, 21-14 at the half and 28-17 after three quarters.

“The offense was simple to learn,” Queen said. “It was the almost the same as Altoona’s so I was comfortable with it.

“Things clicked for us early and we were able to move the ball and score,” added Queen, who will play at Colgate.

Altoona coach Nick Felus was happy and impressed with the play of Petucci and Queen.

“It was an honor to have two players represent Altoona,” Felus said. “Both Tyler and Jayvion did an outstanding job and we were excited for them to compete and win against some of the best players in the state.

“It was a great way for them to cap off their careers,” Felus noted, “and we’re looking forward to them competing at the next level.”

Eric Kasperowicz, coach of PIAA Class 6A state champion Pine Richland, guided the West team to victory.

“We really stepped up and made plays when we had to,” Kasperowicz. “I’m really proud of their effort.”

Game notes: Retiring Bellwood-Antis coach John Hayes, the PSFCA’s coach of the year chairman, was recognized prior to the game. … Hollidaysburg’s Homer Delattre is PSFCA secretary and a past president of the organization. … Running backs Tim Smith of Penn Hills (West) and Sam Karr of Abraham Lincoln (East) were selected game MVPs. … Berlin’s Carter Raupach kicked four extra points and also was the West punter. … West has won two straight but East leads the series, 9-5.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

East 7 7 3 8 — 25

West 14 7 7 0 — 28

First quarter

W–Fairman 8 pass from Varadzel (Raupach kick), 8:03.

E–Novak 35 pass from Wilkerson (Denlinger kick), 4:17.

W–Leiby 1 run (Raupach kick), 2:19.

Second quarter

W–Vargesko 13 fumble return (Raupach kick), 10:26.

E–Karr 24 run (Denlinger kick), 2:38.

Third quarter

E–Denlinger 33 FG, 3:38.

W–Kennedy 4 run (Raupach kick), 0:47.

Fourth quarter

E–Wilkerson 1 run (Karr pass from Wilkerson), 2:45.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: East–Karr 5-68, Wilkerson 8-7, Fox 4-7, Roman 1-1, Drayton 1-(-1), TEAM 1-(-2), Ruisch 2-(-16). West–Smith 13-90, Kennedy 4-57, Leiby 5-11, Leconi 1-5, TEAM 2-(-10), Saxton 2-(-15).

PASSING: East–Wilkerson 7-10-0-123, Ruisch 6-10-0-118. West–Leiby 11-17-0-122, Saxton 2-10-0-4.

RECEIVING: East–Bender 2-91, Smith 2-37, Drayton 3-35, Novak 1-35, Roman 3-22, Nickles 1-11, Fox 1-10. West–Smith 4-61, Fairman 3-24, Suman 2-16, Laconi 2-12, Varadzel 1-11.

INTERCEPTIONS: none.

TEAM STATISTICS E W

First downs 12 13

Rushes-yards 22-64 27-138

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 13-20-0 14-27-0

Yards passing 241 129

Total yards 305 267

Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-0

Penalties-yards 9-76 7-65

Punts-avg. 2-37 4-32

COMMENTS