Janeda’s 4th-quarter plays help Montour get past Chartiers Valley, into WPIAL playoffs

Friday, October 29, 2021 | 11:33 PM

Brock Janeda is a catcher on the Montour baseball team, but Friday night he was the closer on the football field.

Janeda scored two rushing touchdowns and intercepted a pass in the final minute to propel Montour to the WPIAL playoffs with a 34-27 victory at Chartiers Valley.

In a battle for the final playoff berth in the Class 4A Parkway Conference, the Spartans (4-6, 2-3) advanced. The Colts (4-6, 1-4) saw their season come to an end.

“That is the stuff you prepare for the first day of camp and when you walk into the weight room in the summer. … You live for moments like that,” Janeda said. “Our team is built for this. All we wanted was a chance to get into the dance, and now we’re dancing.”

Janeda scored on a 58-yard run early in the fourth quarter that gave Montour its first lead at 27-20, and he got the winner on a 10-yard run with less than three minutes remaining.

Prior to the fourth quarter, Janeda only carried the ball three times, but finished the game with 132 yards on seven carries. Caleb Williams had 160 yards on 17 carries for the Spartans, who had only six passing plays.

“We are very confident with our two backs,” Montour coach Lou Cerro said. “Caleb killed it in the first half, and Brock killed it in the second half. They both made plays, and that’s all they we’re asking of them. Hat’s off to our team. We’ve lost a lot of close games this year, but tonight we finally won one.”

Nicholas Trout, Chartiers Valley’s third string quarterback, orchestrated a drive into Montour territory, but Janeda jumped a pass that was intended for Lamont Payne Jr. at the Spartans’ 25 with 56 seconds remaining.

“Lamont is a heck of a player, so you knew that he was one of the players they were going to go to down the stretch,” Janeda said. “I had him keyed, the ball floated and I just jumped the route and made the play. The cards fell in our favor tonight. The football gods blessed us.”

Trout was in the game because Colts second-string quarterback Gavin Owens was injured in the fourth quarter. Prior to exiting, Owens threw for 212 yards and three touchdowns. He was filling in for Anthony Mackey, who was injured two weeks ago and had thrown for 899 yards and 11 touchdowns, while rushing for 610 yards.

Owens was strong in his absence prior to the injury.

“We were proud of our kids, and we feel like we do a good job preparing everybody at our practices for everyone to be in a position to play,” Chartiers Valley coach Dan Knause said. “We always tell them you never know what’s going to happen. We knew (Owens) was special for some time, but he was behind someone special (Mackey). We’re excited about (Owens) moving forward.”

After a scoreless first quarter, both teams traded a trio of touchdowns in the second. Owens threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Austin Efthimiades, and 12 and 33 yard scores to Abraham Ibrahim.

Ibrahim had eight receptions for 154 yards.

Sandwiched between each Owens touchdown pass was a touchdown run by Montour. James Hazard had a 1-yard score, Williams scored from 21 yards and Jake Wolfe added a 1-yard touchdown run.

After the game, Knause said his thoughts were with the family of Jayson Kidd, a 12-year-old from the Chartiers Valley school district who died after collapsing at a basketball practice Wednesday. He also expressed sadness for his players after falling short of making a second consecutive playoff appearance.

“Our hearts go out to the Kidd family. It puts things in perspective,” Knause said with tears in his eyes. “I also hurt for our kids, because they put every ounce they had into this program. We had every intention of making the playoffs, but a tip of the hat to Montour. They made more plays than us. Injuries are a part of the game, and we just weren’t able to overcome them.”

Watch an archived broadcast of this game on Trib HSSN.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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