Aaron Tutino catches 4 TDs as Ligonier Valley routs West Shamokin in District 6 2A quarterfinals

Friday, November 3, 2017 | 11:00 PM

Ligonier Valley scored on five consecutive first-half possessions and outdistanced West Shamokin, 50-26, in a District 6 2A quarterfinal game Friday at Weller Field.

In the first half, Ligonier Valley's Aaron Tutino caught four touchdown passes, three from John Caldwell. Tutino finished with nine catches for 181 yards and four touchdowns, giving him 15 TD receptions for the season. Caldwell went 11 of 16 for 230 yards, and Aaron Sheeder ran 22 times for 127 yards for Ligonier Valley (11-0).

“We have to get the ball in Aaron Tutino's hands,” Ligonier Valley coach Roger Beitel said. “Tonight we were able to do that. We have other receivers as well, including Jackson Daugherty, and our receivers were able to find the open spots tonight. Someone seemed to be open all night.”

Defending District 6 champion Ligonier Valley awaits Saturday's winner between Cambria Heights and Southern Huntingdon.

Tutino opened the scoring 2 minutes, 51 seconds into the game on an 11-yard touchdown catch from Daugherty. Tutino made a 51-yard TD reception at 11:26 of the second quarter and added a 20-yarder and 12-yarder before halftime, when the Rams led 32-12.

“Our game plan was to not give Ligonier Valley the big play, but they are just too explosive and can beat you in so many ways with so many people,” West Shamokin coach Jon McCullough said. “Their offense is so difficult to slow down, and they have so many options.”

Trailing 32-6 late in the second quarter, West Shamokin's Tyler Lightcap scored with 5 seconds remaining to make it 32-12.

“That touchdown gave us some momentum going into the half, but we could not sustain anything and keep up in the second half,” McCullough said. “We've come a long way in several years, and we want to use this game to motivate us for next year. We gave up some big plays, but overall, I'm proud of our effort tonight.”

The Wolves' 26 points equaled the total given up by the Rams in their first 10 games this season.

Ligonier Valley came in averaging 49.4 points.

After West Shamokin's late second-quarter score, “We made some adjustments in the second half,” Beitel said, “and our defense, especially our starting unit, played very well.”

Ligonier Valley rushed for 234 yards and passed for 230. The Rams held the Wolves to 32 yards on the ground.

Lightcap threw and 11-yard TD to Dan Goldstrohm and an 8-yarder to Drew Orlosky in the fourth quarter.

Les Harvath is a freelance writer.


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