Cold weather, snowy, blistery conditions, no problem.
There used to be an adage that those type of conditions were enough to slow a high-powered passing attack. That was not the case Saturday night as South Fayette defeated Aliquippa 34-28. The Lions won their fourth overall WPIAL title, their second in the last four years.
Behind that attack is junior quarterback Brett Brumbaugh, who threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns, including a 69-yarder to Justin Watson, and a game-winning 19-yarder to Conner Beck.
"We feel that we can pass in any weather--rain, wind, snow, it really doesn't matter," Brumbaugh said. "That's our mentality. We just sling it around. Our offensive line did a tremendous job. These receivers, they just do a terrific job. I can't say enough about them."
At times, it looks like a well-oiled machine. Brumbaugh credits those around him. Watson and Beck both finished with 100-yard receiving games, against top competition such as four-star corner Dravon Henry and Terry Swanson of Aliquippa. These type of numbers have become the norm for South Fayette, regardless of the competition.
"It's a very smart group, very intelligent out there," Brumbaugh said. "Everybody knows their job. They know where to go. They know how to do their routes. Everyone opens up each other, different windows, and we know where to strike."
South Fayette is one of the fastest growing school districts in the state, and the Lions may be making the move to Class AAA next season. Pretty impressive, considering they border a pair of AAA programs in this year's champion, West Allegheny and Chartiers Valley.
Brumbaugh's older brothers Luke (Seton-LaSalle) and Christian (South Fayette) are also former starting quarterbacks. Watching his older brothers in their high school careers, seeing the work they put in, help inspire Brett and his teammates in to what they're accomplishing now.
"Watching my older brothers in high school, I would ride my bike up to the practice field to watch them," Brumbaugh said. "That mentality they had, year in, year out, it just carries over. They just take it up each year. Coach (Joe) Rossi and the others do a great job making sure each year is the same, and making sure it's not down, and that every year is not rebuilding. It's reloading."
A lot of it starts with summer conditioning.
Usually the whole team, about 55, we all show up, we work our tails off all summer," Brumbaugh said. "We do some pretty draining running, a lot of running. Our coaches do a great job with us. We get our football skills up, we do a little bit of everything."
South Fayette advances to the PIAA Quarterfinals, where they will take on District 9 champion Karns City. Brumbaugh will turn more of his focus to recruiting after the season, but he is able to keep up on it during the season, too.
He's also developed a relationship with Pitt quarterbacks coach Brooks Bollinger. Brumbaugh was at Pitt's win over Notre Dame on November 9.
"I talk to Coach Bollinger, I had a great time coming down here for the game," Brumbaugh said. "We stay in pretty good contact, so hopefully something will work out."
Including Saturday's game, Brumbaugh is the leading passer this year in the WPIAL, including all classifications. He has thrown for 3,014 yards and 34 touchdowns this season. Christian Brumbaugh finished his South Fayette career in 2010 as the WPIAL's all-time leading passer with 7,164 career yards. Luke Brumbaugh threw for 3,700 yards in his career. Brett has amassed 6,443 career passing yards, still with one year to play.