Matakevich, Steelers to play for AFC title

Tyler Matakevich, a former two-sport star in the FCIAC at St. Joseph High School, returns to New England this weekend as a rookie linebacker on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Matakevich and the Steelers will play in Sunday’s American Football Conference championship game against the host New England Patriots for the right to advance to the Super Bowl.

Kickoff for this Sunday’s AFC championship at New England’s Gillette Stadium is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. The Steelers have not won at Gillette Stadium since 2008.

Matakevich, a Stratford native, helped coach Joe DellaVecchia win two football state championships at St. Joseph. Matakevich was also an excellent baseball player for the Cadets.

Matakevich was picked in the seventh round with the 246th overall pick in last spring’s 2016 NFL Draft after a fantastic career at Temple University. Matakevich, who wears jersey No. 44, is listed on Pittsburgh’s depth chart as a 6-foot-1, 235-pound inside linebacker.

He has seen most of his action on special teams such as punt coverage, punt return and kickoff coverage. Matakevich has 16 tackles and four assisted tackles for 20 total. He saw his most game action on Nov. 6 in a 30-15 loss to the Miami Dolphins when he had a season-high nine combined tackles.

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