Allderdice shocks 2-time defending champion Westinghouse for City League title

Saturday, October 30, 2021 | 6:53 PM

Heading into the City League championship, Westinghouse was the two-time defending champion going against an Allderdice team that it beat by 29 points in their first meeting Sept. 18.

Things didn’t go their way, however, this time around.

Allderdice (4-5) knew it needed to lean on its defense to have any shot to pull off the upset. The defense delivered and more. Allderdice pulled off the 14-0 shocker over Westinghouse (8-1) in the City League championship at Cupples Stadium on the South Side on Saturday afternoon.

This is the first City League title for Allderdice since 2018 and third since 2017.

“It feels great. I always tell these guys that they need to act like young men before you do anything. Once you start acting like that, the football stuff will take care of itself,” Allderdice coach Jerry Haslett said. “We’re starting to grow up a little bit. We still have a lot of young guys. Hopefully, we will be back here next year.”

Allderdice beat Westinghouse, 18-8, when it won the City League championship in 2018. The victory avenges a 36-20 loss to Westinghouse in last year’s City League championship.

The Dragons made their fourth appearance in the championship in the last five seasons and the seventh in nine years.

Allderdice’s defensive line was applying pressure right from the first snap and not allowing many big plays from a Bulldogs offense that was averaging 38.4 points per game heading into the matchup. Westinghouse quarterback Keyshawn Morsillo and the Bulldogs run game headlined by senior running back Malik Harris could never get in rhythm all game.

Westinghouse was held to just 121 yards of total offense with 58 coming from Morsillo’s arm. Harris was held to 51 yards on 11 carries.

“We did what we needed to do to win,” Haslett said. “The defense won this game. They were all over the place.”

Allderdice’s defensive pressure in the first quarter created the Dragons’ first score as Morsillo was forced to scramble in his own end zone but fumbled the ball. Dragons defensive lineman DeAndre Wells recovered the fumble to give Allderdice a 6-0 lead with 2:25 remaining.

On the ensuing drive, defensive lineman Robert Brown Jr. sacked Morsillo deep in the shadow of Westinghouse’s goalposts and forced the Bulldogs into a punt situation. Westinghouse’s bad snap on the punt rolled out of the back of the end zone for a safety as the Dragons took an 8-0 lead in the final seconds of the first quarter.

“They had a really good game plan and they executed well,” Westinghouse coach Donta Green said. “Hats off to them because they played very well. I think they were more prepared than we were and it showed.”

The Allderdice offense, led by junior quarterback Jaerone Parker, put a drive together that concluded with Parker connecting with senior receiver Noah Johnston on a 25-yard screen pass for a score to give the Dragons a 14-0 lead with less than a minute remaining in the first half.

The drive started on the Dragons 39-yard line and included a 19-yard reception from junior wide receiver Cornell Weems to get Allderdice in Westinghouse territory.

Haslett and the Allderdice coaching staff rolled out a new offensive look last week in their win against Brasher with Parker at quarterback. This week, Parker proved to be effective again as he went 10 of 15 for 91 yards passing and a touchdown and led the Dragons in rushing with 71 yards on 22 carries.

“They bought into the last three or four weeks. They started to refocus again,” Haslett said. “When you start losing, you start to lose focus. We started figuring out that we’re a pretty good football team.

“It was showing today since we were really flying around the ball today. When they got here at 10 o’clock this morning, they were ready to go.”

In their earlier matchup this season, Allderdice took a 12-0 lead into halftime. This time around, the Dragons didn’t break down defensively as Johnston picked off Morsillo twice in the fourth quarter.

Johnston finished with 41 yards receiving on five catches to go along with his touchdown and two interceptions.

Both teams qualify for the PIAA playoffs and will be scheduled for play-in games. The Dragons will play the District 10 champion, while the Bulldogs will likely play District 5’s Chestnut Ridge in two weeks at Cupples Stadium.

“It’s time to regroup,” Green said. “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve been on the other end of that the last few years, so now it’s time for us to regroup and see what we’re made of.”

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