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Dual QBs Lead Serra Past Imani Academy

Eagles host Derry tonight in Haler Heights

By Jason A. Mignanelli
The Tube City Almanac
September 30, 2022
Posted in: Sports

An explosive second quarter led by Serra quarterbacks Quadir Stribling and Elijah Ward pushed (4-1) Serra Catholic past (2-3) Imani Christian Academy last Friday night.

The 4-1 Eagles normally like to keep a quick tempo. In the matchup with Imani, the Eagles scored early but didn’t really start soaring until the second quarter. Once they got rolling, however, they were able to secure a 47-12 victory and keep their four-game winning streak alive.

Stribling and Ward will be showing off their talents tonight as the (4-1) Eagles welcome an (0-5) Derry team at home in McKeesport at 7 p.m.

“We are always trying to play fast as a no-huddle offense. Imani did a great job after our first drive settling down and playing good defense. We found some plays that worked in the second quarter and continued to run them as they had great success,” said Michael Betler, Serra Catholic assistant head coach.

“It's always good to feel out a defense and see what they don’t align to well, and work off of that,” Betler said.

The second-quarter explosion in last Friday’s game included a 10-yard touchdown run by Elijah Ward; a 60-yard touchdown bomb from Quadir Stribling to Amire Spencer; and a five-yard run by Daiquan Chatfield.

Despite the score differential, Imani did show signs of progress throughout the game.

“Imani did a great job matching our intensity early and really took it to us early in the third quarter as well. They played hard for four quarters and are well coached. They have a bright future ahead of them,” said Betler.

Amidst the four-game winning streak, many eyes have been following the play of Serra Catholic’s dueling quarterbacks. Using an unconventional approach, the Eagles play two different quarterbacks almost evenly throughout games.

Coach and football broadcaster John Madden is often quoted saying “if you have two quarterbacks then you really have none,” but it doesn’t seem to be the case for the Eagles.

Quadir Stribling and Elijah Ward “are selfless in our offense. They split reps in practice, and both have different skill sets,” said Betler.

The Eagles decide on playing time simply by whichever quarterback is rolling.

“If one is looking better than the other during a game, then we ride the hot hand. There is no jealousy if one plays or the other does; they both just want to win,” Betler explained.

The Serra Catholic coaches understand that the situation is tricky and could create issues but not when dealing with these two special players.

“As a coach (and their position coach), I couldn't ask for two better kids to work with given the special situation we are in — having two very talented quarterbacks,” Betler said.

In other local scores, the (4-1) East Allegheny Wildcats beat Greensburg Salem last week 42-21 and will welcome a (1-4) Valley team tonight at home at 7 p.m.

The (5-0) McKeesport Tigers beat Trinity 35-6 last week and they will travel to (0-5) Ringgold tonight at 7 p.m.

Jason A. Mignanelli is a freelance writer from Pittsburgh’s North Hills and a student at Duquesne University. He may be reached at mignanellij@duq.edu.

Originally published September 30, 2022.

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