Highway to Heinz – Quarterfinals Recaps 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010 | 12:00 AM

One defending WPIAL champion cruised, one needed overtime for a dramatic come-from-behind win while another was ousted in Round Two. One team wins in the Quarterfinals for a 13th consecutive year while another wins in this, their very first season. Plus, all four top-seeds are still alive headed into the district Final Four. Some of the highlights from Quarterfinals Friday in the WPIAL. Here are the recaps from all 16 games.

WPIAL CLASS AAAA Quarterfinals:

Thanks to Bob Orkwis, Randy Gore, Paul Paterra and Rick Smith for their help on these Quad A recaps.

Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings 10 – Gateway Gators 0
Damion Jones-Moore scored the games only touchdown in the first quarter and the Vikings defense made sure it stood up in this WPIAL AAAA quarterfinal match-up at Plum High School. Jones-Moore, who found the end zone 4 times in Central’s opening round win over Pine-Richland, would cap a 6-play drive with a 15-yard TD run to put the Vikings up 7-0 with 3:30 left in the opening quarter. Central Catholic would capitalize on a Gateway turnover midway through the second quarter. Louis Taglianetti recovered a muffed Gateway punt and John Murphy would boot a 34-yard field goal to make the lead 10-0. Gateway had an opportunity to score late in the first half, but Pittsburgh Central’s Anthony Nixon would intercept a deflected Thomas Woodson pass in the end zone and the Vikings took their lead into halftime. Gateway’s best chance to score came in the fourth quarter after the Gators’ Darrell Turner intercepted a Perry Hills pass. Gateway would drive to a first and goal at the Central Catholic 2-yard line. A run by fullback Demond Haynes and three attempts by Woodson would all get stymied by the Vikings at the 6-inch line and the lead stayed at 10-0 for Central Catholic. The Gators would get one last chance to find the end zone, but their drive in the games final minute ended on a Woodson incompletion in the end zone. Jones-Moore paced the Vikings on offense rushing for 141-yards and the score. Hills was limited by an injured ankle sustained in the second quarter but returned later at QB for Central Catholic. Woodson, who led Gateway past Erie McDowell in the first round with over 350-yards of offense, including over 200 on the ground, was held to 53-yards rushing and was sacked four times by the Central Catholic defense. Woodson did pass for 138-yards in a losing effort for the Gators. Pittsburgh Central came into the contest allowing just 8.3 points per game and the Vikings posted their second shutout of the season in the win. Top seeded Central heads into next week with an (11-0) record. The appearance marks the Vikings first trip to the semi-finals since winning the 2007 WPIAL AAAA title over Gateway. Gateway finishes the season at (6-5) and the loss means the Gators streak of three straight title games is over. The 5th seeded North Allegheny Tigers are next up for Central Catholic. NA defeated Bethel Park 23-13 to improve to (10-1) and gain a spot in the semifinals.

North Allegheny Tigers 23 – Bethel Park Black Hawks 13
Alex Papson’s 301 yards and three touchdowns led the North Allegheny Tigers over the Bethel Park Blackhawks on Friday night, 23-13. On two lengthy, time consuming possessions the Tigers grabbed a 14-0 in the first half. But 14-0 deficits are nothing new to Bethel Park in the playoffs and the Blackhawks rallied to cut the score to 14-13 by the third quarter. The Tigers upped their lead to 17-13 when kicker Alex Greenblatt booted a 43-yard field goal with 1:03 remaining in the third quarter. After North Allegheny’s Brendan Coniker intercepted an Anthony Cinello pass midway through the fourth quarter, Papson put the game on ice with a 62-yard touchdown run with 3:20 left to play. The Tigers improve to 10-1 and advance to the semifinals. Bethel Park’s season ends with a mark of 5-6.

Woodland Hills Wolverines 29 – Mount Lebanon Blue Devils 22 in Overtime
It was an absolute thriller at Baldwin High School as the Woodland Hills Wolverines kept their hopes to repeat as Quad A champions alive, handing Mt. Lebanon (10-1) its first loss in the process. Lafayette Pitts scored on a 10-yard touchdown run in the first play of overtime to secure the victory, but Woodland Hills (8-3) had to tie the game in heart-stopping fashion just to get into the extra frame. Junior quarterback Patrick Menifee connected with Devon White for a 32-yard scoring strike with just 16 seconds left to cut a Mt. Lebanon lead to 22-20. The pair then connected for a two-point conversion to tie the game on a pass Menifee threw with Michigan State recruit Paul Lang draped all over him. Mt. Lebanon took that lead with 1:54 to play on a one-yard run by Luke Hagy and a subsequent two-point conversion. Hagy finished the game by lugging the ball an astounding 41 times for157 yards. He scored all three Mt. Lebanon touchdowns, including one on a 15-yard pass from Pat Goff on the final play of the first half. Not to be outdone, Woodland Hills RB Lafayette Pitts toted the ball 33 times for 176 yards and scored three touchdowns of his own. He started the second half by returning the kickoff 95 yards for a score. The win for Woodland Hills was its seventh straight. Woodland Hills advances to the semifinals to take on North Hills, a 16-14 winner over Upper St. Clair.

North Hills Indians 16 – Upper St. Clair Panthers 14
North Hills (10-1) dominated the first half of action and then held on for a 16-14 win over Upper St. Clair (8-3) in a WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal play-off contest played at Chartiers Valley High School Stadium this evening. The third seeded Indians scored on a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Steve Dutkowski to senior wide receiver Mark DeVita late in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead. Midway through the second quarter, North Hills showed off its two-pronged quarterback attack as senior quarterback Taylor Schmidt scored on a 10-yard run. The snap on the extra point was fumbled and the Indians led 13-0 over the sixth seeded Panthers. DeVita added a pivotal 26-yard field goal for North Hills as time expired to give the Indians a seemingly comfortable 16-0 halftime edge. Upper St. Clair however, would turn the tables on North Hills in the game’s second half. Controlling the clock for more than ten minutes in the third quarter, the Panthers chopped the North Hills’ lead in half as quarterback Dakota Conwell completed a 21-yard touchdown pass to senior flanker Chris Colditz and a two-point conversion toss to senior tight end Harris Beck with 2:22 remaining in the quarter. The Panthers would strike again with just 3:48 remaining in the fourth quarter, capping off a 13-play, 75-yard drive with another Conwell to Colditz connection, this time from six yards out to make the score 16-14. Conwell was stopped a yard short of the goal line, however, on the subsequent two-point conversion run to preserve the Indians’ win. Upper St. Clair did get one more offensive possession with under a minute left in the game, but never seriously threatened to set up a game-winning field goal attempt. Dutkowski, a senior, led the North Hills’ attack, completing 12 of 18 passes for 194 yards, including a touchdown and an interception. DeVita was his favorite target during the game, catching five passes for 131 yards and a score. Conwell paced the Upper St. Clair effort, rushing for 152 yards on 25 yards and passing for 87 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Conwell finishes his impressive junior campaign with 1,078 rushing yards and 920 yards passing. Upper St. Clair senior standout safety and running back Connor Scott injured his knee making a tackle on the game’s opening kickoff and never returned to action. North Hills now advances to the semifinals for a rematch with seventh seeded Woodland Hills (8-3). The Indians defeated the Wolverines on their home turf in a 7-0 defensive struggle during the second week of the regular season.

WPIAL CLASS AAA Quarterfinals:

Thanks to Don Rebel, Greg Kuntz, Sam Hall and Scott Briggs for their help on these Triple A recaps.

Montour Spartans 36 – Indiana Little Indians 14
There were no struggles in round two for the Class AAA top-seed as Montour coasted to a 36-14 victory over Indiana Friday night at Butler High School. After a narrow opening round win over West Mifflin last week, the Spartans jumped all over the Little Indians with 14 points in the first quarter and 15 more in the second quarter. Julian Durden led Montour with 170 yards and an 11-yard touchdown run shortly before the half that gave Montour a 29-0 lead after two quarters. Spartans quarterback Dillon Buechel was 9 of 13 passing for 125 yards, plus he ran for a score from 4-yards out in the first quarter. Anthony Rippole, Darren Massey and Aaron Reed also added touchdown runs for the 11-0 Spartans. Indiana, which scored 42 points in a first round win over Belle Vernon a week ago, was held to 42 total yards in the first half and could only salvage a pair of short scoring runs in the fourth quarter as their season ends at 8-3. Montour heads to the Semifinals next Friday where they will battle Mars.

Mars Fighting Planets 29 – West Allegheny Indians 3
Both the Mars Planets and the defending AAA chmpion West Allegheny Indians were coming off impressive wins in the 1st round of the playoffs. The Planets had given Hollidaysburg a rude awakening as Austin Miele set a record with 448 yards rushing in a 52-20 rout, while WA got 174 yards rushing Aaron McKinney in their 35-114 win over Trinity. The stage was set for a Wing-T attack by Mars vs the West Allegheny Wildcat. Both teams exchanged possessions in the 1st quarter with both teams playing stellar defense. It did not take long after the start of the 2nd quarter, however, before Mars cracked the scoreboard Eric Guzak threw a 14-yard TD pass to Austin Miele with 10:13 to go. The extra point was missed by Ryan Gralish, and the score stood at 6-0. Mars was able to put together another sustained drive before the end of the 1st half, but the drive stalled at the 20-yard line. The Planets and Indians exchanged timeouts with 3 seconds to go, and then Gralish booted a 37-yard FG to increase the lead to 9-0 at the break. The Indians finally got on the board with 4:05 to go in the 3rd quarter as they took advantage of an Aaron Lozzi fumble at midfield. Indians K Stephen Amic booted a 26-yarder through the uprights to cut the Mars lead to 9-3. That was the only time, however, that the defending AAA champs would get a scoring chance in the game as Mars would continue to play stifling defense. Mars would find the end zone once again early in the 4th as the Planets running game and offensive line would continue to hammer at the Indians. Seth Geyer scored the first of his 2 TDs on the night on a 15-yard run. The Planets went for 2, but failed, and the score was 15-3. Mars’ defense would pick off Indians QB Dylan Bongiorni twice in the 4th, and one would lead to Geyer’s 2nd TD of the game on a 21-yard run. This time, Gralish’s PAT was good, which made the score 22-3. After WA turned the ball over on downs on the ensuing possession, the Planets went back to the ground game, and Miele, who rushed for 182 yards on 31 carries, hammered the proverbial nail in the coffin with a 10-yard TD run, and Gralish’s PAT made the final score Mars 29 – WA 3. Thus there will be a new champion in Class AAA as Mars eliminated West Allegheny and moves on to the semifnals where they will showdown with the top-seeded Montour Spartans, who eliminated Indiana Friday night.

Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 38 – Hopewell Vikings 28
The Thomas Jefferson Jaguars overcame a tremendous individual effort from Hopewell running back Russell Shell to come away with a 38-28 win in a AAA quarterfinal at Canonsburg’s Big Mac Stadium and advance to the semifinals for an astounding 13th straight season. Jaguar senior quarterback Ryan Crouse had a great night of his own completing 9 of passes for 215 yards and four touchdowns in the win. The Jags started the scoring with a 69 yard touchdown drive on their opening possession of the contest as Ryan Ruffing took it in from one yard out for a 7-0 lead. Hopewell would answer right back with 20 seconds remaining in the opening quarter Shell scored the first of his four touchdown on the night from 17 yards out to tie the game at 7-7. Thomas Jefferson would get the next two scores fromt eh right arm of Crouse, an eleven yarder to Zach Schademan, the first of two touchdown catches on the night for Schademan, then with 2:10 remaining in the half Crouse would hook up with Tom Greives from 40 yards out to give the Jaguars a 21-7 lead at the half. When the Jags marched the opening drive of the third period 65 yards and got the Crouse to Schademan hook up for the second time, this time from 19 yards out and built the lead to 28-7 it appeared the game was in the bag. Russell Shell did not think so, Shell took the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and with 9:15 to play in the third period the Jags lead was cut to 28-14. After a Mike Wainauskas 36 yard field goal pushed the lead to 31-14, Shell went back to work for the Vikings scoring on a 61 yard run to make it 31-21. The Jags and Crouse though were not to be denied as this time Crouse would find Nick Raimondi for a 52 yard scoring strike with 2:51 still to play in the third it was Jags 38, Hopewell 21. That touchdown seemed to break the back of the Vikings although Shell late tacked on another outstanding touchdown run, this time from 81 yards out it was not enough as the Jags win it 38-28. Thomas Jefferson improves to 10-1 aqnd faces Central Valley in the semis next Friday on the MSA Sports Network. Shell finishes with 26 carries for 235 yards and three touchdowns rushing and the 99 yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the loss.

Central Valley Warriors 16 – Knoch Knights 0
The Central Valley Warriors continued to impress fans in this their inaugural season with a 16-0 victory over the Knoch Knights at Taggart Stadium in New Castle Friday night in the WPIAL AAA Playoffs. Central Valley’s Robert Foster ripped-off a 61 yard run on the Warrior’s third offensive play of the game to give the first-year team all the cushion they would need to advance on to the semi-finals next week. Knoch’s usually powerful offense was one again plagued by holding penalties, one costing them a first half touchdown and another squashing a first quarter drive deep into Warrior territory. Greg Nicastro nailed a 21 yard field goal late in the first half after the Knoch defense held Central Valley at the six yard line to cap off the first half scoring. The 9-0 halftime lead was in jeopardy at the start of the second half as Knoch kicked-off with a high – short – kick, hoping force and recover a fumble – which they did at the Central Valley 37. Three plays later the Knights were looking at a first-and-goal at the 8 yard line. Central Valley’s defense stiffened and forced the Knights to attempt a 22 yard Cory Wood field goal. Wood, who has scored more points by a kicker in a single season than any other kicker is school history, missed the chip shot off to the left, and the Warriors held on to their lead. Central Valley sealed the win late in the fourth quarter when workhorse running back Lukas Turley blew through the defense and out-raced Knoch’s Mac Magahan to the end zone. Knoch finished the season at 9-2, and the 2010 Knights were the highest scoring team is school history. Central Valley still has never lost a playoff game!

WPIAL CLASS AA Quarterfinals:

Thanks to Jim Frederick, Josh Rowntree, Bob Barrickman and Mark Schaas for their help on these Double A recaps.

Aliquippa Quips 34 – Beaver Bobcats 0
Junior Quarterback Mikal Hall threw for 3 touchdown passes and the Aliquippa defense pitched its 2nd straight playoff shutout in blanking Beaver 34-0 to move to the WPIAL CLASS AA Semi-finals. Hall connected with Davion Hall on scoring tosses of 32 and 38 yards to give the Quips a 14-0 halftime edge while Haetaun Mathis joined the scoring by hauling in a 17 yard pass in the 3rd quarter. Meanwhile…the defense limited Beaver to just 23 total yards for the game in forcing the Bobcats to punt on 8 of their 11 possessions. 11-0 Aliquippa had a balanced attack with 172 yards in the air and 131 on the ground led by Ben Cobb, who rushed for 68 yards. Standout Freshman tailback Dravon Henry suffered a 2nd quarter ankle injury and did not return. His status for the next game with 11-0 Ford City for a trip to Heinz Field and the AA finals is questionable. Another Quip positive in its 2-game playoff slate has been the ability to limit turnovers with just 1 in those wins. On the season…Aliquippa’s turnover ratio is +12.

Ford City Sabers 35 – Seton-LaSalle Rebels 21
In a slugfest from Valley High School, the Ford City Sabers (10-0) topped the Seton-LaSalle Rebels (9-1) in the AA Quarterfinals. Ford City, the 4th seed in AA, got a stellar defensive performance from start to finish and held off the fifth-seeded Rebels when it mattered most. Ford City dominated the line of scrimmage early on, scoring at the 8:22 mark on a 35-yard pass and catch from Cody Gispanski to Garrett Sigler. Sigler, who has a broken left hand set in a large cast, was able to corral the ball and run it in. Just over three minutes later, Kent Commodore would punch in a touchdown on a run from three yards out, giving Ford City a 14-0 lead. Seton-LaSalle would not wait long though, capitalizing on a punt return mistake by Commodore. Commodore played too shallow on the return and, when the ball sailed over his head, he made the mistake of reaching up and touching the ball. Commodore would recover the muff, but could not secure the football and fumbled on his own three-yard line. Kevin Hart would run in from three yards out, cutting the Sabers’ lead to 14-7 at the 3:05 mark in the first quarter. At the 7:05 mark of the second quarter, Cody Gispanski would run in from two yards out, making it 21-7 Ford City. This came after Gispanski would run for 33 yards down to the two–yard line. Gispanski would again run in, this time from a yard out at the 2:38 mark, putting the Sabers up 28-7. After Seton-LaSalle quarterback David O’Brien was knocked out of the game, both teams would exchange interceptions. The Rebels’ backup Luke Brumbaugh would throw a pick on his first play. However, Ford City got a bit greedy perhaps, looking for a touchdown but throwing an interception right back to Seton-LaSalle instead. After that, Brumbaugh would find Chad Dawgiello from 31 yards out, again cutting the lead in half and making it 28-14 at half. Ford City would out-gain the Rebels 238-79 in the first half. However, Seton-LaSalle would carry the momentum to the second half, where they would score on their first drive on a Brumbaugh pass to Mike Delsardo, making it 28-21. But the Sabers’ defense would stand tall and not allow the Rebels to reach the endzone again, intercepting Brumbaugh four times in the second half and collecting six interceptions for the game. With 10:56 to go in the fourth, Ian Boylestein would punch in a two-yard run after Gispanski would pick off Brumbaugh and return it to the six-yard line, making it 35-21. However, the Rebels would charge down field and, with the ball inside the five-yard line, Gispanski would again intercept Brumbaugh with under six minutes to go, sealing the win for Ford City. The Sabers would be held to only 28 yards of total offense in the second half, but still managed to out-gain the Rebels 266-168 on the night. Ford City got a phenomenal game from Gispanski, who completed two of eight passes for 56 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Gispanski also had nine carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns. However, it was his play on the defensive side, recording three interceptions and a number of tackles, that propelled Ford City to the victory. Hart had a nice second half, finishing with 78 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown on the night for the Rebels. Brumbaugh, the sophomore backup quarterback would struggle though, going five of 18 for 78 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions. Additionally, the Rebels would commit four bad penalties, all in the second half, for 25 yards. While the Sabers were clean on the penalty sheet. Ford City goes to 11-0 and moves on to face top-seeded Aliquippa in the semifinals, while Seton-LaSalle will see their season end at 9-2.

Beaver Falls Tigers 28 – Keystone Oaks Golden Eagles 0
Keystone Oaks recovered an on sides kick to begin the game but little else went right for the Golden Eagles as Beaver Falls rolled to a 28-0 victory in the WPIAL AA quarterfinals at Moon Tiger Stadium. Running back Trey Hall scored the first touchdown for the Fighting Tigers on a 4-yard run with 7:03 left in the second quarter. Hall added touchdown runs of 13 yards and eight yards in the third period. Andre Williams added a score on a 22-yard gallop early in the fourth quarter. Keystone Oaks ended its season at 7-4 while Beaver Falls improved to 10-1 with its ninth straight win. The Fighting Tigers will take on their third consecutive Century conference foe when they meet undefeated South Fayette in the semifinals.

South Fayette Lions 47 – Freeport Yellowjackets 13
Christian Brumbaugh moved into fifth place on the WPIAL all-time passing list, throwing for 347 yards and three touchdowns as the Lions go to 11-0 on the season and have a semifinal date with the Beaver Falls Tigers. Jeff Davis started the scoring off with a one yard run, set up by a Zach Fisher interception. Freeport drove down the field and had a first and goal at the ten yard line, but were pushed back on two back to back illegal substitution penalties that stalled the drive. Cody McClelland missed a 36 yard field goal from the far hash with 2:52 left in the first quarter. South Fayette got a score late in the quarter as Brumbaugh hit Zach Challingsworth over the middle, he would get free and turn on the jets to go 79 yards for the score and a 12-0 lead after one quarter. Freeport had another opportunity in the second, but turned the ball over on downs when quarterback Brendan Lynch was unable to convert on a fourth and one from the Lions 11 yard line. The half ended with three touchdowns scored in the final 1:33. Davis took a 28 yard pass down the middle of the field from Brumbaugh, a two point conversion made it 20-0. Freeport answered 51 seconds later with a Lynch pass to Durand covering 44 yards cutting the lead to 20-6. But following a squib kick, Brumbaugh hit Josh Patterson for 46 yards to the four yard line, the quarterback scored on a draw play on the final play of the half to go up 27-6 at the break. South Fayette put the game away in the third, Davis scored 45 second into the half on a 60 yard run. Freeport dug themselves a hole on a bad snap from the spread formation when Lynch was not looking. After a punt, Davis scored for the fourth time on the night 59 seconds later on a 26 yard pass from Brumbaugh, setting the mercy rule into effect. The teams traded touchdowns in the final minutes, backup quarterback John Lerda scored on a one yard run for the Lions, Lynch connected to Durand for 79 yards for the final points. Brumbaugh finished 12 of 17 on the night, Davis had 79 yards on seven carries, he had three catches for 66 yards and recovered a fumble. Zach Challingsworth had three catches for 138 yards. South Fayette ended with 447 yards of total offense and twenty first downs. Freeport racked up 349 yards of offense, Lynch was 10 of 20 for 196 yards with two interceptions. Jake Campbell ran for 101 yards on 16 carries. Durant ended with three catches for 141 yards and the two touchdowns. Freeport committed 10 penalties for 85 yards, including giving South Fayette three first downs by attempting to jump the snap count. The Yellow Jackets end the season at 7-4.

WPIAL CLASS A Quarterfinals:

Thanks to Greg Warnock, Ken Laird, Bob Gregg and Don Rebel for their help on these recaps.

Clairton Bears 47 – Bishop Canevin Crusaders 0
The Clairton Bears continued their dominance Friday night, playing great on both sides of the ball to win 47-0. The first offensive series was a good one for the Bears, as Desimon Green would hit Josh Page for 66 yards that would lead to a Green 1 yard touchdown run followed by a Tyler Boyd 2 point conversion that made it 8-0 Clairton. But it was the second offensive series that really gave Clairton all the momentum it needed for the rest of the night. After going 3 and out and ready to punt for only the 4th time all season, Bishop Canevin roughs the punter, giving the Bears a new set of downs. That would result in a Green 30 yard run and even with the missed 2 point conversion, the route was on. Bishop Canevin would take 5 total offensive snaps in the next 8:17, with 3 of the 5 plays being Josh Page interceptions of the Crusaders Matt Butter. Page would end up with 4 picks on the night, taking one back for a touchdown. Butter meanwhile struggled. He went 2-14 for 19 yards and 6 interceptions. For Green, he went 4-6 for 128 yards and had 7 carries for 53 yards with 4 total touchdowns on the night as Clairton would roll into the semi-finals with a big 47-0 win.

Springdale Dynamos 30 – Monessen Greyhounds 6
For the fifth time in 8 years, the Springdale Dynamos eliminated the Monessen Greyhounds from the postseason. In 2010, it was a convincing 30-6 Springdale win at Penn Trafford’s Warrior Stadium as the ‘Mo’s advance to the WPIAL semifinals for the first time since 2007. Monessen QB Brady Kunsa threw an interception on the first play from scrimmage to Springdale CB Brandon Bruske, and nine plays later Dynamos QB Joe Killian walked into the endzone from 1-yard out for a lead Springdale would not relinquish. Bill Arch tacked on a 2-point conversion run on the Killian TD, as well as on the subsequent Sean Dugan 3-yard TD run in the first quarter for a 16-0 Springdale lead after 12-minutes of play. Greyhounds’ RB Trae Cook ripped off a 57-yard TD run 3 minutes later for Monessen’s only score of the game, but Springdale made it 3-for-3 on TD drives to start the game with a 10-play, 63 yard journey capped off by Arch’s 4-yard TD on a jet-sweep, making it 23-6. Killian would add another TD run, this one from 7-yards away in the 3rd quarter to complete the scoring, as Monessen simply could not stop the Springdale rushing attack. All told the four-headed Dynamos run game accounted for 348-yards rushing on 55 carries between Killian, Arch, Dugan, and Chris Liberto. Each of those ballcarriers had at least 10 carries, with Arch leading the way with 146-yards on 14 totes. All four entered the game with about 70-carries apiece in a balanced triple-option offense, handled mostly with Killian in the shotgun and Arch motioning from the slot. Overall, it will be the 5th semifinal appearance for the Dynamos in an 8-year span as they move on to face #1 seed Clairton. It should be noted that Springdale was the last team to upend Clairton in the playoffs, with a 22-21 win in the 2007 semis.

Rochester Rams 35 – Beth-Center Bulldogs 0
Nick Tapia ran for 127 yards and three touchdowns leading Rochester past Beth-Center, 35-0, putting the Rams in the WPIAL semifinals for the ninth time in the past 10 years. Beth-Center’s season ends at 8-3. Rochester (11-0) drove 62 yards after the opening kickoff, quarterback Jasson Adamson capping the drive from six yards out to put the Rams on the board with 5:31 to play in the quarter. Beth-Center’s first possession ended on downs when Jeff Tarley was stopped a half-yard short of the sticks. Seven plays later, Tapia found the endzone on a 12-yard scamper, putting Rochester up 14-0. Four minutes later, Tapia scored from a yard out, closing the first half with a 21-0 lead. The Rams ran for 188 yards in the half, holding Beth-Center to just 48 yards. After a scoreless third, Tapia broke several tackles on the way to a 26-yard scoring run, put the Rams up 28-0 less than a minute into the fourth. Rochester’s final score came on a 13-yard fumble return by Brandon Scott who picked up a fumbled punt and took it to the house with just over two minutes to play. Tapia’s yards came on 14 carries. Dante Marsick carried a dozen times for 59 yards, Adamson chipped in 53 yards on nine carries. Cody Durant led the Bulldogs with 60 yards on nine carries.

Avonworth Antelopes 17 – North Catholic Trojans 3
North Catholic was able to win without their starting quarterback in the opening round, but they could not do it again in the Class A Quarterfinals against rival Avonworth at Fox Chapel High School. Defense was the name of the game for the Antelopes, who earlier this season, beat the Trojans 7-0 in an Eastern Conference contest. The Avonworth defense picked off three passes, registered eight sacks of North Catholic quarterback Brandt Gribbin and forced two fumbles, one of which led directly to a Ryan Schmid touchdown as the Antelopes won 17-3. The Antelopes, playing without star running back Ricky Lawniczak who is out with a broken collarbone, were led on offense by quarterback Brian Vales, who was 6 of 12 passing for 108 yards. Jack Szolis scored the Antelopes lone offensive touchdown on a second quarter 3-yard run as the ‘Lopes improve to 10-1 and will now face Rochester in the Semifinals. North Catholic’s season ends with a final record of 7-4.

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