Highway to Heinz – Quarterfinals Recaps 2015
Friday, November 13, 2015 | 11:23 PM
You had to know some strange things would happen when Quarterfinals Friday fell on Friday the 13th. Undefeated teams Belle Vernon in AAA and Washington in AA were upended as was AAA 3rd-seed West Allegheny…Unbeaten Penn-Trafford and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic needed fourth quarter comebacks to pick up their 11th win of the season…and a Tri-County South Conference team is in the Final Four. Strange but true. Here are the summaries from an exciting Round Two as the Highway to Heinz has reached the midway point.
A special thanks to Paul Paterra, Mark Uriah, Adam Hoerner, Rick Smith, Brandon Showers, Bob Barrickman, Tom Hays, Cory Campano, Bob Orkwis, Bob Gregg, James Dotson, Mark Schaas Mike Zappone, Randy Gore, Dan Wallace and Adam Gusky for their help on these recaps.
WPIAL CLASS AAAA Quarterfinals:
Woodland Hills Wolverines 40 – Bethel Park Black Hawks 20
The two headed monster that Woodland Hills (11-0) deploys in its backfield combined for 6 touchdowns and well over 300 yards, as the top seeded Wolverines pulled away from 8th seeded Bethel Park(7-4) 40-20 in the WPIAL Quarterfinals at West Mifflin High School. Woodland Hills led 21-7 at Halftime, as Miles Sanders scored 2 first half TDs and Jo-El Shaw scored once. The lone Blackhawks score in the first half came on a 56 yard pass from Levi Metheny to Jake Dixon in the 1st quarter. However, Bethel Park stormed back in the 3rd Quarter, cutting the Woody High lead to 1. But Shaw responded with a 33 yard score to thwart the Blackhawks comeback attempt, and the Wolverines put the game away in the 4th quarter with TD’s from Sanders and Shaw. Woodland Hills, formed in 1987, will make their 15th appearance in the WPIAL Semifinals, as they face 5th seeded Central Catholic next Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings 31 – North Allegheny Tigers 17
Pittsburgh Central Catholic forced three second-half turnovers and Ronnie Jones rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns as the fifth-seeded Vikings defeated the fourth-seeded North Allegheny Tigers, 31-17, in the WPIAL quarterfinals on Friday night. Avenging their only loss of the season to the Tigers back in week three, the Vikings took a 17-10 lead into halftime thanks in part to a Jones 2-yard touchdown run and a 3-yard touchdown run by quarterback Troy Fisher. In the second half, Central Catholic’s Rashad Wheeler recovered an Ethan Maenza fumble on the first drive of the half and the Vikings reached the end zone just six plays later on a Fisher 7-yard scamper for a 24-10 advantage. The Tigers trimmed the score to 24-17 when Riley Trueman toted the football 17 yards for a touchdown with 51 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Central Catholic jumped back ahead by two touchdowns when Jones rushed for an 8-yard score with 7:57 left to play in the fourth quarter. The Tigers ensuing drive was abruptly halted on a Trueman fumble that was recovered by Damar Hamlin at the Vikings 39-yard line with 5:49 remaining. The Trueman fumble was the third of the half by North Allegheny and effectively put the game on ice for Central Catholic. The Vikings improved to 10-1 overall with the win and advance to face the top-seeded Woodland Hills Wolverines in the semifinals. North Allegheny’s season ends with a 9-2 record.
Penn-Trafford Warriors 39 – McKeesport Tigers 32 in Overtime
Brett Laffoon threw for 3 touchdowns and ran for another leading Penn-Trafford back from deficits of 12 and 11 points to a 39-32 overtime win over McKeesport in the WPIAL Quad-A Quarterfinals. The Warriors trailed by 11 when Nick Tarabrella made a 30 yard field goal. After stopping McKeesport on downs at their own 31 yard line with just over 2:00 to play, Laffoon found Tyler Bruno alone in the end zone for a touchdown to pull the Warriors within 2 points with 1:07 to play. Jonah Lisbon then took a pitch and won a foot race with Tymar Sutton to the end zone for the two point conversion to send the game into overtime. Penn-Trafford opened the overtime by going 11 yards backwards on their first three plays, but on 4th down from the 21 yard line, Tim Vecchio snuck behind a McKeesport defender to score on a perfectly-thrown ball from Laffoon. McKeesport’s last chance ended on a 4th down from the 12 when a throwback pass from Khaleke Hudson towards Tymar Sutton was knocked down by Andre Guest. Hudson finished with 158 yards on the ground to lead McKeesport’s rushing attack to 334 yards. The win sends Penn-Trafford to their 3rd straight semifinal appearance and marks the first time the Warriors have ever beaten the same team twice in the same season.
Pine-Richland Rams 42 – Mount Lebanon Blue Devils 13
The Pine-Richland Rams are returning to the WPIAL Quad-A Semi-Finals for the second consecutive year as the defending champions scored on all six of their first half possessions to take a 42-0 halftime lead on their way to the quarterfinal win over Mt. Lebanon at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium. Phil Jurkovec hit Joey Joy with a 23-yard TD pass to cap the opening drive for the Rams and they would not look back from that start, putting up 21-points in each of the first two quarters. The sophomore Jurkovec found Matt Zoeller for a 37-yard touchdown on the next possession and the quarterback would let his legs do the work on the third drive of the first quarter. One play after a Jordan Crawford scoring run of 52-yards was negated by a holding penalty, Jurkovec scampered up the middle and then cut to his right to find the end zone from 57-yards out for his 11th rushing TD of the season and Pine-Richland led 21-0 with: 16 left in the opening quarter. Joy caught his second touchdown of the game on a beautifully executed flea flicker by Pine-Richland. Jurkovec took the shotgun snap and threw a backwards pass to the right sideline which was grabbed by junior Ryan Duran as he stepped back from the line of scrimmage. Duran then hit the senior Joy streaking down the near sideline from 24-yards to put the Rams up 28-0. Senior running back Jimmy Graf would score his 18th rushing touchdown of the season finding pay-dirt from 15-yards at the 8:08 mark of the second quarter and Jurkovec would throw his 3rd touchdown pass of the game on a 4th down on the next Rams drive. Freshman Tyler King hauled in the scoring reception from 18-yards out to put Pine-Richland ahead by 42-points at intermission which set up the Mercy Rule to start the second half. To their credit, the 6th seeded Blue Devils didn’t quit, scoring the only points in the second half. Backup sophomore QB James Stocker threw a pair of TD passes, hitting Jack Young from 17-yards for Young’s 9th touchdown reception of the year and then connecting with Patrick Tommassi on a 45-yard catch and run with :27 left to make the final score 42-13. Jurkovec finished with 89-yards rushing and a TD. He threw for just 65-yards on the night, but three of his five completions went for scores while playing only the first half. Graf added 78-yards on the ground to go with his score for the Rams and the Pine-Richland defense forced 4 Blue Devils turnovers, 3 in the first half, and recorded four sacks in the win. Mt. Lebanon ends the season with a (9-2) record. The Rams, seeded 3rd in the Quad-A tournament, improved to (10-1) with the win and Pine-Richland will now face undefeated Penn-Trafford next week in the semifinals. The #2 Warriors rallied against McKeesport to post a 39-32 overtime win and improved to (11-0). Next week’s matchup will take place on Friday night at a site to be determined and can be heard right here on the MSA Sports Network.
WPIAL CLASS AAA Quarterfinals:
Central Valley Warriors 42 – Hampton Talbots 9
Deante Bradley got Central Valley off to a fast start with a 13 yard touchdown run and a 54 yard pick 6 to give Central Valley a 21-0 first quarter lead. Kyle Vreen also ran it in from 13 yards out for the Warriors. Hampton got on the board with a 3 yard touchdown pass from Ross Andersson to Brad Gable to make it 21-7 but Kyle Vreen scored another touchdown from 3 yards out to make it 28-7 Central Valley at the half. Terry Woods scored on a 13 yard run to make it 35-7 Central Valley with 9 minutes left in the third quarter. Hampton got their only 2 second half points when the Warriors snapped the ball over the punters head late in the third. Deante Bradley scored for the third time in the game with a 6 yard touchdown run to make the final score 42-9 Central Valley with 7 minutes left in the game. The Warriors advance to the semi finals for the sixth staight season to face Mars.
Mars Fighting Planets 35 – Ringgold Rams 0
Despite getting off to a rough start, Mars shutout Ringgold 35-0 in the triple-a quarter finals. Following its first possession a Ringgold punt hit a Mars player and the Rams recovered the ball at the Planets 20-yard line. The Mars defense held the Rams to a 28-yard field goal attempt that was wide right. Planets quarterback Sam Morrissey was intercepted on the next possession by Dalton Holt, but again the rams could not take advantage, thanks to the a mars defense that held Ringgold to four first half first downs, eight total in the game. Isaiah Johnson, who left the game in the second quarter with an injury and did not return, scored on a three-yard run to put the planets up 7-0 with 8:49 left in the first quarter. Morrissey then hit John Castello with a 12-yard score with 34 seconds to go in the first half. Eli Brooks took any fight out of the rams (9-2) when he raced 63 yards on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. Brooks later caught a 40-yard t-d pass from Morrissey and Garrett Reinke added a 47-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion to send the game to the mercy rule with 9:25 to play. Morrissey completed eight of 12 passes for 122 yards and a score to lead mars (10-1) to the Semifinals against Central Valley.
Franklin Regional Panthers 28 – Belle Vernon Leopards 7
Franklin Regional seemed to come into the game with a simple game plan – “We’re going to run the ball and we’re not going to let you run the ball.” Mission was, indeed, accomplished. The Panthers ran the ball efficiently, controlled the line of scrimmage and took advantage of a few too many Belle Vernon mistakes. The first of those mistakes – a fumble – led to Franklin Regional’s first touchdown. The Panthers had just committed a turnover of their own, when they got the ball back. Ten plays and 57 yards later a scoring drive was culminated with a one-yard run by Santino Birty. The Franklin Regional quarterback – who added a 6-yard scoring run in the third quarter – carried the ball 21 times for 64 yards. Many of his carries came out of a power formation in which two fullbacks (Nate Moore and lineman Jake Pickup) lined up in front of Birty and he took the snap and ran the ball. Birty received a lot of help in the Franklin Regional running game. Jacob Ross actually led the Panthers in rushing with 111 yards on 17 carries, including a 28-yard gallop with 9:00 left in the game. Sophomore running back Stephen Johns rounded out the scoring for the Panthers with a 58-yard scamper with 4:40 to play. As for the Belle Vernon running game, senior running back Luke Durigon was stifled repeatedly by the Franklin Regional defense. The 1,000-yard rusher was only able to muster 11 yards on 10 carries. The Panthers forced Belle Vernon QB Mike Fine to try to beat them from the air and he was able to throw for just 75 yards. Fine did connect with Timmy Labuda on a 14-yard scoring pass at the 9:06 mark of the second quarter. Fine threw three interceptions, including what looked to be a game-changer on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Leopards had just recorded a first down on the final play of the third quarter and started the fourth quarter trailing 13-7, at their own 44 and were about to move with the aid of a stiff wind. However, Fine was intercepted by Bennett Verona at the Franklin Regional 42 and the Panthers never looked back. The interception led to Ross’s touchdown run. Franklin Regional (9-2) advances to the WPIAL semifinals to play Thomas Jefferson. Belle Vernon falls to 10-1.
Thomas Jefferson Jaguars 14 – West Allegheny Indians 0
The number 6 seeded Thomas Jefferson Jaguars upset the number 3 seeded West Allegheny Indians Friday night avenging their loss to them just one year ago in the playoffs. TJ totally dominated the contest shutting out their opponent 14-0. Although that score looks close, the game was far from it. TJ held the Indians to a total of 11 total yards and possessed the ball for over 20 minutes of play in the second half. Head Coach Bill Cherpak will take the Jaguars to another semi final match up next week where they face the winner of Belle Vernon and Franklin Regional.
WPIAL CLASS AA Quarterfinals:
South Fayette Lions 54 – Beaver Bobcats 7
Top-seeded South Fayette (11-0) rolled to a 54-7 quarterfinal win over #9 Beaver at West Allegheny High School’s Joe DiMichela Stadium Friday evening. The two-time defending WPIAL and PIAA Class AA champions extended their winning streak to 43 games, third-best in District 7 history. On the game’s first play from scrimmage, Beaver quarterback Darius Wise was tackled in the end zone to give the Lions a 2-0 edge just 19 seconds into the contest. A harbinger of things to come, South Fayette’s stingy defense bottled up Wise, a talented junior who is only the fourth WPIAL player to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards in a season, throughout the competition. The Lions quickly took advantage of the good field position following the free kick, as Hunter Hayes capped off a three play, 45 yard drive with a 15 yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 9-0 just 86 seconds into the game. A 27 yard field goal by Dan Trimbur extended the South Fayette lead to 12-0 at the end of the first quarter. Wise would bring the Bobcats (8-3) back to within five points early in the second quarter, stripping the ball away from Hayes and racing 75 yards for Beaver’s only score of the night. But Mike Speca’s 15 yard touchdown run out of the Wildcat set with 4:31 remaining gave the Lions a 19-7 halftime cushion. The second half belonged completely to the defending champs, as South Fayette scored touchdowns on each of its four third quarter possessions. Hayes scored on runs of 10 and 49 yards, Geovoni Love tallied a 1 yard touchdown plunge, and sophomore quarterback Drew Saxton hit tight end Ryhan Culberson on an 8 yard corner route for the other score. With the game being played under the Mercy Rule for the final 13 minutes, Will Allen scored the Lions’ final touchdown on a 5 yard run with 7:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. Hayes led all rushers with 211 yards on 22 carries while Saxton finished with 7 completions on 15 attempts for 135 yards. South Fayette moves on to the semifinals for a rematch with Steel Valley. The Lions defeated the #5-seeded Ironmen, 37-0, back on October 9th.
Steel Valley Ironmen 24 – Beaver Falls Tigers 18
The Steel Valley Ironmen are into the WPIAL semifinals for the first time since 1991 following their 24-18 victory over the Beaver Falls Tigers. The defense was iron clad, forcing three Tigers turnovers in the contest. It was the special teams that got it started for Steel Valley. Cameron Brookins blocked a punt deep in Beaver Falls territory, and Trey Earl Edwards punched it in for the first score of the game. Brookins also had a fumble recovery on the evening. The Beaver Falls defense would fight back, forcing an Edwards fumble on their next possession. On the next play, Malik Shepherd rushed it in from 30 yards. From there, it was Trey Earl Edwards taking control for the Ironmen. Trey found pay dirt twice more, finishing with a fitting trio of touchdowns. The resilient Tigers would not give up, as a 55-yard kick return from Shepherd set up a Adam Brady touchdown on a QB sneak to make the score 22-12. The Ironmen defense stepped up, with Elisha Hughes tackling Derrell Carter in the end zone for a safety. The safety was set up by a 63-yard punt that got caught in the strong winds and was downed at the four-yard-line. The defensive war continued, this time with the Tigers blocking a punt with just under four minutes to play. Carter would redeem himself and punch one in with 2:40 left to cut the score to 24-18. The defense then forced a turnover on downs to give the dynamic Tiger offense one last attempt to tie or potentially win the game. Out of timeouts, Beaver Falls drove into Ironmen territory in the two-minute drill, but Kaleb Hughes picked off an errant Brady pass, the third Tiger turnover of the night, to ice the game. Edwards led the way offensively for Steel Valley with 97 rushing yards on 26 carries. Workhorse DeWayne Murray had 107 yards of offense as well for the Ironmen, who will take on Century Conference rival South Fayette in the semifinals. The Lions won the first matchup 37-0.
Aliquippa Quips 46 – Seton-LaSalle Rebels 6
University of Pittsburgh recruit Kaezon Pugh was questionable all week due to concussion like symptoms which forced him out in the second quarter of Aliquippa’s opening round win over Keystone Oaks. Pugh got the okay to play and his performance was anything but questionable as he ran for four touchdowns and 247 yards in only a half as the Quips cruised past Seton-LaSalle Friday night, 46-6. The WPIAL quarterfinal match at Ambridge also saw Aliquippa defensive back Sheldon Jeter return an interception 105 yards for a touchdown. Alex Riggins picked off a Rebel pass and took it 25 yards for a score to go along with Pugh’s touchdown runs of 44, 49, 79 and 46 yards. Aliquippa led 40-0 at the half and the mercy rule began in the third quarter. Seton LaSalle scored its only touchdown on a 67-yard run by Lionel Deanes with seven minutes to go in the third quarter. Jelani Solomon of the Quips closed out the scoring on a 13-yard scamper with seven minutes remaining in the fourth. Pitt recruit Paris Ford suffered an injury early in the game for the Rebels and played sparingly thereafter. Seton-LaSalle finished its season at 8-3 while the 11-0 Quips will play in the semifinals for the ninth straight year. Aliquippa meets 10-1 Freeport next Friday evening.
Freeport Yellowjackets 24 – Washington Little Prexies 14
Ryan Weigold passed for two touchdowns, Ian Miller ran for a score and the Freeport defense stuffed Washington well into the fourth quarter as the Yellowjackets downed the Little Prexies, 24-14. With the win, Freeport advances to the WPIAL AA semifinals for the first time since 1989. After a scoreless first quarter, Freeport drove 65 yards in 12 plays, capped by Weigold’s 11-yard scoring throw to Josh Beale in the back of the endzone. Jake Sarver PAT put the Yellowjackets up, 7-0. A muffed handoff on the Little Prexies second play gave Freeport the ball at the Washington 20 yard line. Sarver booted a 25-yard field to build the lead to 10-0 with a little over four minutes left in the half. An illegal block on the kick return pinned Washington back at the 8-yard line to start and the Little Prexies looked to go deep. Markel Pulliam’s passed into double coverage was underthrown and intercept by Evan McCrea and returned to the WHS 21. Miller powered in from two yards out on fourth-and-goal to take a 17-0 lead into the lockerroom. The Yellowjackets (10-1) took advantage of a couple penalties, then threw deep, Weigold to Dylan Hochbein for 31 yards and a touchdown that put the game away. Pulliam ran for one score and passed to Isaiah Robinson for another in the final four minutes of the game to close the scoring. The win keeps Freeport perfect in the playoffs against Washington, now 5-0 all-time, and moves the Yellowjackets to a meeting with Aliquippa, just the second post-season contest between the two schools. Weigold went 15-of-25 for 172 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, and went over the 2,000-yard passing mark with his first completion of the game. Miller crossed the 1,000-yard rushing mark early in the second quarter. Freeport held Washington (10-1) to just two first downs in the first half and four more over the first 18 minutes of the second half.
WPIAL CLASS A Quarterfinals:
Clairton Bears 46 – Avonworth Antelopes 21
The final score on Friday night between Clairton (11-0) and Avonworth (8-3) might have been very similar to the 2014 WPIAL Class A title game, but how we got to that 46-21 final was a bit different. The Antelopes opened the game with a 16-play, 9:09 drive which ended on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Zach Chandler to Garrett Day. Along the way, Chandler had to sit out a few plays with arm trouble, but Day carried the load on the ground with 45 yards on nine carries. The Bears answered right back less than two minutes later with a 27-yard touchdown run by Lamont Wade, but it was a sloppy drive which included three penalties and three dropped passes. The two teams would trade touchdown runs in the second quarter, and Cole Pappas nearly drilled a 39-yard field goal as time expired following a blocked punt by Avonworth, but it stayed 14-14 at the break. Clairton really won this game in the third quarter, setting the tone just as the opposition had in the first. Wade ripped off scoring runs of 50 and 91 yards, but the play that really put it out of reach came defensively. Maurice Reeves timed a Chandler snap count perfectly and took the ball right out of his hands for a 70-yard return that put his team up 34-14 after three. Chandler got the Antelopes back within two possessions with his second score of the night early in the fourth. The Bears answered right back with a 55-yard strike from Aaron Mathews to Noah Hamlin and later got Harrison Dreher’s second touchdown run of the night from 26 yards out midway through for the final word. Chandler completed just 8-of-21 passing for 132 yards, but also ran 18 times for 78. Day picked up 82 rushing yards on 14 carries in the first half, but left the game late in the second period with an apparent concussion. Cole Jenkins caught five balls for 95 yards in the losing effort. The winning side featured 225 yards on 12 carries from Wade along with 84 yards on 10 totes for Dreher. Mathews would finish 7-of-16 passing for 114 yards while rushing for 57 more on six carries. Noah Hamlin contributed 86 yards on four catches to the victory. The defending WPIAL champs take on Frazier in the Semifinal round next Friday night.
Frazier Commodores 14 – Shenango Wildcats 13
Friday night’s WPIAL Class A quarterfinal matchup between Shenango and Frazier was the epitome of a game that was a tale of two halves. The first half was all Shenango Wildcats. The Wildcats put together a solid opening drive that chewed up 4 minutes and 45 seconds off of the first quarter clock that was capped off by a 6 yard rushing touchdown by Tyler Root to open the scoring. The Wildcats would get the ball back very quickly as Frazier would fumble the ball on their opening possession and after the turnover Shenango would take over inside Frazier territory. After taking another 4 minutes and 43 seconds off the clock Shenango would settle for a 28 yard Dylan Kleckner field goal to make it a 10-0 Shenango lead. The Wildcats would tack on another 26 yard Dylan Kleckner field to head into halftime with a 13-0 lead. In the second half the momentum would shift and it would be all Frazier. Two Shenango fumbles in the second half would lead to both of the Commodore touchdowns. The first came on an 8 yard connection between Hunter Patterson to Josh Cox to make it a 13-7 game. The second started on the ensuing kickoff when the Shenango returner, Tyler Root, fumbled the kickoff and set Frazier up at the Wildcats 16 yard line. 7 plays a 2 minutes and 23 seconds later Hunter Patterson punched it in from 1 yard out to give Frazier the 14-13 lead. On the next few possessions the teams would trade field position with punts before Frazier cornerback Caleb Cox would come away with an interception of Shenango quarterback, Evan Kendall to put the game away. Frazier comes away with the 14-13 win over Shenango even though the Commodores were out gained on offense 206 yards to 100 by the Wildcats.
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans 49 – Bishop Canevin Crusaders 20
In a rematch of Class A Black Hills Conference foes the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans were able to again beat the Bishop Canevin Crusaders, this time by a score of 49-20 to move onto the semi finals once again. This will be the Trojans 4th consecutive semi final appearance this time facing the Jayhawks of Jeannette next week. The two teams traded 3 and outs the first drives even though the Trojans got very good field position on their first drive. The Crusaders’ defense came up big and gave up no yards to the Trojans on their first drive forcing them to punt away. The ball was downed inside the Bishop Canevin 10 yard line. Thats where the Crusaders would start. Their first play from scrimmage was a 3 yard loss on a pass from Austin Scott to Sean Fitzgerald. Unfazed by that the Crusaders went back to the Scott/Fitzgerald connection again for a 95 yard TD pass that Fitzgerald had to tight walk the side line to get into the end zone. The Trojans would answer with a score of their own on their next drive as Erick Taylor hooked up with Thaddeus Benson for 12 yards on a touchdown strike. The extra point however was blocked making it 7-6 Bishop Canevin. Special teams blunders would be the story of the game for North Catholic as they also had a punt blocked on a late in the 1st half almost taken into the end zone for a score but setting up a 2 yard TD run to tie it at 14 going into the half. The Trojans would get their first lead of the game of 14-7 on a 49 yard touchdown pass from Taylor to Vashon Graham. After the aforementioned blocked punt the Crusaders’ Austin Liebro plunged in from 2 yards out and the game would be knotted at 14 at the half. Before the game we talked with Trojans’ head coach Jason Gildon and he told us they wanted to emphasize the run and the first half played out a bit differently as Taylor was 7 of 14 for 131 yards and two touchdowns and the Trojans had a total of 42 yards on the ground on 17 rushing plays. The second half the Crusaders’ defense looked up to the task as they were able to take a Mario Latronica fumble to the house for a score as Jake Reddy scooped the fumble from 28 out and went into the end zone again giving Bishop Canevin the lead 20-14 as the extra point was blocked by Cardinal Wuerl. That was the last lead the Crusaders would have as the next 5 scores were by the Trojans. Erick Taylor was able to connect with Khalil Weathers from 7 out giving North Catholic the 21-20 advantage. Taylor then added two consecutive 36 yard TD passes to Vashon Graham and Dominic Serventi. The Serventi score came on the first play after the 3rd interception thrown by Austin Scott of the 2nd half giving Cardinal Wuerl a 35-20 lead. That is when then Trojans took to the ground attack scoring on a 6 yard Mario Latronica run then a 27 yard jaunt by Keith Wells to finish the scoring at 49-20. For Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Erick Taylor was 18 of 30 for 316 yards and 5TDs. He also threw two 1st half interceptions. Mario Latronica carried the ball 13 times for 63 yards and a score and Vashon Graham had 8 catches for 169 yards and 2TDs. For Bishop Canevin Austin Scott was 12 of 22 for 232 yards and 4 costly 2nd half interceptions. Sean Fitzgerald hauled in 10 of Scott’s 12 completions for 196 yards and a score as well.
Jeannette Jayhawks 25 – Neshannock Lancers 15
In a rematch of the 2014 quarterfinals, the third seeded Jayhawks advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2012 with the victory at Big Macs Stadium in Canonsburg. Junior quarterback GioVonne Sanders ran for 122 yards and a score, threw for a score and intercepted two passes to push Jeannette to the win. Jeannette scored first on a Ryan Swinton 2 yard run, set up by a Sanders pass to Anthony Schmidt for 66 yards. Neshannock tied the game in the second on a Robert Lindsey 8 yard run. The Jayhawks had an opportunity to lead at the half but Swade Redman’s 20 yard field goal was blocked by Ty Sear on the final play of the first half. It was all Jeannette in the third quarter as the Jayhawks marched right down the field as Sanders scored on a 2 yard run, he added a 2-pointer to give Jeannette a 15-7 lead. Redman boomed a 40 yard field goal with the wind and the Jayhawks led 18-7. Neshannock fought back as Frank Antuono hit Danny Welker for a 40 yard touchdown. Welker also scored the 2-pointer on a direct snap. Jeannette answered to put the game away as Sanders found Schmidt for an 11 yard td with 7:29 remaining. It was the defense’s turn to stand up again. After stopping Neshannock on downs 3 times in the first half, Sanders picked Antuono off twice to seal the victory. Sanders finished with 24 carries for 122 yards and added 174 thru the air. Leading rusher Kareem Hall did not play for a second straight week after being injured in the regular season finale. Jeannette moves to 10-1 overall. For the sixth seeded Lancers, Antuono was held to 8 yards rushing in the second half, he finished with 62 yards. Lindsey did not see much action carrying the ball in the second half, Neshannock’s season ends at 9-2.
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