Capers steps out of father’s shadow to lead Chartiers Valley over West Mifflin

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Wayne Capers Jr., ranked by many as the best sophomore quarterback in the state, passed for one touchdown and rushed for another to lead No. 3 ranked Chartiers Valley (4-0) over previously unbeaten West Mifflin, 28-10.

Capers’ mother is Robbin Smith Capers, a former women’s basketball star at the University of Kansas, who played high school athletics in the Pittsburgh City League. Both his older sisters (Tanesha and Shea), were star athletes at Chartiers Valley. His father, Wayne Sr., played in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts, but it’s Wayne Jr., who is beginning to become a household name in the WPIAL.

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BREAKING AWAY—Wayne Capers Jr. of Chartiers Valley pulls away from Ryan Jones of West Mifflin. The sophomore quarterback threw for one touchdown and ran for one in the Colts 28-20 win over West Mifflin.

The drab weather—intermittent rain showers and the 90-minute delay to the start of the game because the referees went to the wrong field—didn’t put a damper on the excitement and anticipation of any of the expected offensive fireworks coming from the Capers- led Colts.

“I’m glad this game wasn’t postponed because the referees went to the wrong field, because I wanted to see Capers,” said Jonathan Whaley, MSA Sports Network play-by-play and color analyst. “I circled this game as soon as I received our season schedule.”

With the focus of the West Mifflin’s entire defense squarely on Capers, Beau Carson, a speedster was largely ignored by the Titans, and blew past them for a 54-yard touchdown run to put the Colts ahead 7-0.

On West Mifflin’s first possession they marched down the field like a group of G-20 summit protesters, but the Colts defensive patrol was able to block off the end zone as the Titans failed on their fourth down attempt.

Capers, who leads the WPIAL in scoring and total offense, used his arm and his legs to put the Colts ahead 14-0. His 22-yard touchdown run had many comparing him to some of the WPIAL legends of the past.

“I played for Washington High School and had to practice against Brian Davis every day,” said Sam Hall. “I watched Capers play both basketball and football and he has the same qualities that made Davis an All-American.”

West Mifflin also has a tradition and some stars of their own.

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COMMAND PERFORMANCE—West Mifflin senior quarterback Imir Sanders threw three touchdown passes but it was not enough as the Titans lost to Chartiers Valley, 28-20. 

Titans quarterback senior Imir Sanders has flourished in coach Tim Brennan’s newly installed flexbone offense all season, and he led West Mifflin down the field and threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to D. J. Hayes and went into halftime trailing only 14-7.

Chartiers Valley’s Sean Lapcevic fumbled a punt early in the third quarter and Sanders hit Scott Perhach on a 45-yard bomb for his second touchdown throw of the game to bring the home crowd to life.

On the Colts next drive, Lapcevic made up for the fumble by catching a 37-yard pass from Capers, setting up the Colts deep in West Mifflin territory.

Then Capers dazzled the crowd by scrambling around in his backfield, and finally hitting Lapcevic for a 14-yard touchdown pass, giving them the lead again, 21-14.

The Capers and Sanders show continued. Sanders gave the home crowd just enough time to “get their popcorn ready” before he threw another touchdown pass, his third of the game. This time it was a 37-yarder to Ricky Olasz. But a missed extra point kick by Alex Durrani left the Titans down by a point, 21-20.

With time ticking away in the game, West Mifflin had a chance to tie up the game, but Sanders misjudged the speed of cornerback Beau Carson. Carson stepped in front of the intended receiver and returned the interception 34 yards for a touchdown. A Joe Pacella kick gave the Colts a 28-20 victory.

On a weekend where the NFL welcomed back Michael Vick, the sellout crowd at West Mifflin was treated to an outstanding performance by Sanders, but it was Capers who is beginning to rocket his status into some legendary comparisons.

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