For most of 2019, the Washington High School football team had multiple players make big plays.
The abundance of talent for the Prexies culminated Saturday when they had three players voted to the 2019 Pennsylvania Writers’ Class 2A All-State Team. Quarterback Zack Swartz, wide receiver Zahmere Robinson and nose tackle Zakhi Marshall were selections. Joining them on the Class 2A team is Burgettstown specialist Seth Phillis. In Class 4A, South Fayette quarterback Naman Alemada and Belle Vernon specialist Cameron Guess were selected.
Asked to serve the role of a dual-threat quarterback, Swartz excelled in his final season to cap off a solid high school career. Swartz became just the fourth quarterback in WPIAL history to pass for 5,000 career yards and run for 2,000, joining a list of Pine-Richland’s Phil Jurkovec, Neshannock’s Frank Antuono and Sto-Rox’s Lenny Williams. He achieved the feat despite limited time this season, exiting several games early because of blowouts.
Swartz completed 110 of 174 passes for 1,852 yards and ran for 1,116 yards on 143 carries. He accounted for 48 touchdowns.
His favorite target, Robinson, was asked to play all over the field in the Prexies’ offense that averaged 39.9 points per game. A 1,000-yard receiver, Robinson had 1,487 yards total offense this season – 76 carries for 817 yards and 40 catches for 670 yards. He scored 17 touchdowns.
Marshall opened up the running game but was better known for filling the middle of a defense that yielded just 12.7 points per game. At nose tackle, the 6-0, 295-pound Marshall had 40½ tackles, recovered two fumbles and was named the Lineman of the Year in the Century Conference for the second straight season.
Despite being voted an all-state specialist, Phillis’ versatility was vital to Burgettstown finishing a second consecutive regular season undefeated and winning the Three Rivers Conference title. Phillips made 10 field goals, 43 extra points and had 33 touchbacks on kickoffs. He intercepted seven passes and scored four touchdowns.
Guess didn’t play on offense or defense but made it easier for each unit by consistently providing good field position. Guess had 56 touchbacks on kickoffs, averaged 40 yards per punt and made two field goals and 53 of 56 extra points.
The most consistent local team over this decade, South Fayette, continued its tradition of finding success at quarterback. For the third straight year, the Lions have a quarterback on the all-state team. Drew Saxton was voted all-state in 2017, Jamie Diven was last year and Alemada this season. Alemada threw for 3,004 yards, only one of two WPIAL quarterbacks to eclipse 3,000, and 32 touchdowns.