Farrell’s ground game puts end to ‘heck of a season’ for Westinghouse

Saturday, November 20, 2021 | 6:32 PM

Westinghouse knew about Farrell’s rushing attack. The Bulldogs were up to the challenge, but it still wasn’t enough.

A goal-line stand by Farrell at the end of the first half and a few costly turnovers by Westinghouse (10-2) led to the Steelers leaving George Cupples Stadium on the South Side with a 24-7 win in the PIAA Class AA first round matchup on Saturday afternoon.

“They are a well-coached team. We need a game like this to give us some adversity. We’ve been beating up schools and scoring a lot of points,” Farrell coach Anthony Pegues said of Westinghouse. “We came into the half only up by six, and we played our worst half of the year and that’s a mark of a good team. But you have to take your hats off to Westinghouse because that’s a really good team.”

Farrell (10-0) was coming off another District 10 championship after beating Wilmington, 48-6, last week, a performance led by senior running back Anthony Stallworth.

On Saturday, the Bulldogs got an early dose as Stallworth rushed for 94 yards on 11 carries in the first quarter. Stallworth finished with 118 yards rushing on 30 carries and a second-half touchdown run.

With Stallworth held in check for the final three quarters, Farrell turned to junior Kylon Wilson, who finished with three total touchdowns, 66 yards rushing and 42 yards receiving.

“Stallworth was a little banged up and wasn’t playing at 100 percent today. He couldn’t run around people,” Pegues said. “But to have a kid like Wilson, who’s very dynamic and athletic, and go somewhere else really sparked our team.”

Wilson scored on the Steelers’ opening possession when he took a direct snap down the left side for a 11-yard touchdown run to cap a seven-play drive with 7 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

On Westinghouse’s opening drive, junior quarterback Keyshawn Morsillo fumbled and the Steelers took over at the Westinghouse 23, but a couple of plays later, senior Davon Fennell picked off Farrell’s Kabron Smith in the end zone.

After a Bulldogs punt, Westinghouse picked off another Steelers pass in the end zone when Taymir O’Neal intercepted Trian Holden. However, the Bulldogs couldn’t take advantage.

With 2:08 remaining in the first half, Westinghouse took over inside their own 1-yard line and drove down the field in 10 plays, with the help of a Steelers personal foul penalty, to Farrell’s 4-yard line.

With 8 seconds remaining and no timeouts, Westinghouse ran the ball and came up short as time expired, and Farrell headed into the locker room with a 6-0 lead.

“We were on the 4-yard line. We believe in our big guys up front. We believe in our running backs, and we thought we could run it in,” Westinghouse Donta Green said. “We fell short. I feel like if we ran it 50 million times, I would do the same exact thing.”

Westinghouse shook off the missed opportunity and started the second half by putting together a long drive, which was halted when senior running back Malik Harris fumbled and Farrell recovered at its 19.

The Bulldogs defense and forced a Farrell punt. The Bulldogs drove down the field again.

On a fourth-and-short, Morsillo lined up under center as he attempted to sneak it to get a new fresh set of downs. Instead, Morsillo kicked out to the left and scampered 21 yards for a touchdown, giving Westinghouse a 7-6 lead with 7:35 left in the third quarter.

However, Farrell responded a little less than three minutes later when Wilson caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Holden on a fourth-and-short play for a 12-7 lead. The Steelers made it fourth-and-manageable after Holden connected with Omar Stewart for a 23-yard pass on 3rd-and-25.

The Steelers forced the Bulldogs to punt on Westinghouse’s next drive and got a big return that put them at the Bulldogs’ 30. Eight plays later, Stallworth ran for a 3-yard touchdown to make it 18-7 with 11:14 remaining.

Less than a minute later, Wilson scored his second rushing touchdown on a 33-yard run a play after Morsillo fumbled.

Farrell, which rushed for 234 yards, advanced to the PIAA Class 2A quarterfinals against Karns City (11-1) next weekend at a site and time to be determined.

Westinghouse, making its first PIAA first-round game after losing in the regional finals in 2018 and 2019, finished with 259 yards of total offense with 118 yards rushing.

Morsillo, who had 41 yards rushing, finished 8 of 17 for 141 yards passing, an interception and two fumbles.

“It’s uncharted territory. We’ve never been in this position. I told the younger guys that this starts in January. The deeper you get into the state playoffs, the better the programs are and the more dedicated the players are. We need to level up,” Green said.

“For the seniors, there is no reason to hold your head. We had a heck of a season. They sacrificed a ton and dealt with a lot of adversity. I’m extremely proud of my guys. I’m excited from the lessons we learned from this loss.”


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