By Mike White | Saturday, Sept. 26, 3 p.m.
Oh, what a Buganza.
Derek Buganza, a junior quarterback at Brockway High School near Du Bois, set a state record last night when he threw for 594 yards in a 74-28 District 9 victory against Otto-Eldred. Buganza found out his yardage total last night while he was on the sideline in the fourth quarter. But the funny thing is he had no idea it was a state record until some knucklehead Post-Gazette writer called him this afternoon.
"When did you find out you had the record?" I asked.
"Just now," he said.
"What do you mean? Who told you," I said.
"You did," he said with a laugh. "I had no idea."
For the record, Buganza broke the previous state mark of 511 yards, set by Pat Devlin of Downingtown East in 2003. Devlin went to Penn State, but transferred and is now Delaware's quarterback.
In his record-setting performance, Buganza completed 33 of 45 passes. He had 328 yards at halftime. Yes, the game turned into a blowout, but don't get the idea that Buganza and Brockway were running up the score and he was still throwing late in the contest. Brockway led by only 28-21 at halftime. Bugenza threw a touchdown pass in the first minute of the fourth quarter and did not play the rest of the game. Brockway later scored two running touchdowns.
Brockway is in District 9, which isn't exactly known for producing juggernaut football teams. But no matter the level or competition, it is still impressive to throw for 594 yards in basically three quarters.
Buganza seems like an unassuming, humble kid who doesn't take himself too seriously. He is only 5 feet 9, 180 pounds. When asked if he wanted to play quarterback in college, he said yes. But immediately said, "I can't play at big schools. I'm too small. I'm looking to play maybe at Divisioin II or III schools."
While last night was Buganza's best game, it's not as if he's a one-game wonder. He threw for 2,923 yards last season as a sophomore. In four games this season, Buganza has 1,518 yards. He would seemingly have a shot at the state single-season record of 3,674 yards, set by Zach Frazer of Mechanicsburg in 2004. With the rest of this year and all of next season, Buganza also might have a shot at Devlin's state career record of 8,109 yards. Buganza already has 4,441. He might have 6,000 by the end of this season.
I'll have more on Buganza and his record-setting night in Monday's newspaper editions and also on our web site.
Shaler beats Mt. Lebanon
Maybe Shaler deserves to be in the top five in WPIAL Class AAAA. The Titans are now 4-0 after defeating Mt. Lebanon, 21-12, this afternoon.
Shaler came in with a 3-0 record, but its competition wasn't exactly strong (Baldwin, Hempfield, Hampton). But today, Shaler beat at Mt. Lebanon team that just knocked off Central Catholic last week and also won at North Hills in the season opener. So it looks like Shaler and North Allegheny are now the teams to beat in the Northern Six, with North Hills next.
Jesse Della Valle rushed for 128 yards on 28 carries for Shaler. Della Valle scored Shaler's first two touchdowns on runs of 2 and 51 yards. Mt. Lebanon cut the lead to 14-12 in the third quarter, but Shaler scored the game's final TD later in the quarter.