Road to Hershey Semifinals Recaps
Sunday, December 8, 2013 | 7:14 AM
The three remaining WPIAL football champions on the Road to Hershey have all met their final destination of playing for a state title next weekend at Hersheypark Stadium, two of them based on impressive one-sided victories while the other struggled, but prevailed as Pittsburgh Central Catholic, South Fayette and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic all improved to a perfect 15-0 with PIAA Semifinals on Saturday.
PIAA CLASS AAAA: Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings 45 – Lower Dauphin Falcons 0
In a PIAA Semifinal defensive performance for the ages, WPIAL AAAA Champion Pittsburgh Central Catholic (15-0) pounded District 3 Champion Lower Dauphin 45-0 at Mansion Park Stadium in Altoona.
The Vikings, who advance to their fifth PIAA Championship in school history, out-gained the Falcons 304-21 in total yardage and allowed Lower Dauphin (13-2) just one first down in the game.
Central Catholic was paced by Senior Running Back Luigi Lista-Brinza, who carried 19 times for 123 yards, including touchdown runs of 3, 19 and 19 yards.
Central Catholic's dominance was not immediately obvious though, as their first drive stalled and resulted in a punt. On their second drive, Riley Redman converted a 4th-and-2 by rushing for a 10-yard touchdown.
The Vikings would not look back after that. Lista-Brinza scored his first touchdown on a 3-yard dive with 11:54 left in the 2nd. He would add another score three minutes later on a 19-yard blast.
Junior Kicker Mitch MacZura would convert a 28-yard field goal and J.J. Cosentino would find Shafer Swann on a tremendous, leaping touchdown pass before the halftime whistle, giving the Vikings a 31-0 lead at the break.
Lista-Brinza would score on another 19-yard run on Central Catholic's first drive of the second half, putting the game into the mercy rule at 38-0.
John Petrishen, who tore up Lower Dauphin on special teams all day, returned a punt 68 yards for a touchdown, giving Central Catholic the 45-0 final score.
Cosentino, a Florida State recruit, finished 4-of-11 for 66 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 34 yards on four carries.
Lower Dauphin Quarterback Troy Spencer, who rushed for over 1500 yards this season, finished with 13 carries for 16 yards, while passing 2-of-5 for one yard.
Central Catholic, which has allowed 90 yards of total offense in the PIAA Playoffs, advances to the PIAA AAAA Championship Game against District 12 Champion St. Joseph's Prep (12-2) on Saturday at 6pm at Hersheypark Stadium.
PCC: 7 – 24 – 14 – 0 = 45
LD: 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 = 0
4:32 PCC- Riley Redman 10 Run (Mitch MacZura kick), 7-0 PCC
11:54 PCC- Luigi Lista-Brinza 3 Run (MacZura kick), 14-0 PCC
7:51 PCC- Lista-Brinza 19 Run (MacZura kick), 21-0 PCC
2:56 PCC- MacZura 28 Field Goal, 24-0 PCC
0:47 PCC- Shafer Swann 27 Pass from J.J. Cosentino (Maczura kick), 31-0 PCC
8:36 PCC- Lista-Brinza 19 Run (MacZura kick), 38-0 PCC
5:36 PCC- John Petrishen 68 Punt Return (MacZura kick), 45-0 PCC
PIAA CLASS AA: South Fayette Lions 23 – Hickory Hornets 20
Grant Fetchet's 37-yard scoring run early in the fourth proved to be the difference as South Fayette rallied to down District 10 champion Hickory, 23-20, Saturday afternoon at Slippery Rock University's Mihalik-Thompson Stadium. The Lions advance to the PIAA Championship game for the second time in four seasons and will take on District 12 champion, Imhotep Charter, a 20-0 winner over Berks Catholic.
The scoring run, Fetchet's second of the day and 20th of the season, put South Fayette (15-0) up 23-14 after a turnover-filled first half. The run around the left end with 10:20 to play in the game came four plays after Justin Watson partially blocked Jordan Wombacher's fourth punt of the half, and one play after Logan Sharp snared a pass down around his knees and carried a would-be tackler beyond the first-down marker.
Hickory (12-2) got a one-yard touchdown run from Matt Voytik, his third score of the day, with less than a minute to play. South Fayette's Conner Beck recovered the ensuing on-side kick attempt and the Lions kneeled it down to end the game.
The Lions took the opening kickoff and drove 84 yards in 14 plays, Fetchet scoring on a 4-yard run. Brian Coyne successful PAT made it 7-0 with 6:16 left in the first quarter. Hickory answered quickly, tying the game on Voytik's 57-yard scramble around the left up and down the SF sideline. Jordan Wombacher's kick squared the game with 4:48 remaining in the opening period.
Two fourth-down conversions keyed South Fayette's next possession, but a holding call inside the Hornets' 20-yard line stalled out the drive on downs. After Hickory got a first down on a 12-yard pass, Voytik was sacked twice, fumbling on the second sack, then covered the ball in the endzone for a safety, South Fayette taking a 9-7 lead with 11:06 remaining in the second quarter.
When the Hornets' free kick went out of bounds, the Lions took over at the Hickory 45-yard line, and moved to a first-and-goal at the Hickory 8-yard-line. Another holding penalty backed South Fayette up, to the 15-yard line. Brumbaugh's pass to the left was tipped by a defender, by Hayden Orler-the intended receiver and picked off by Anthony Canone, his fourth of the season. A missed field goal attempt into the wind ended a nearly 6-minute Hickory possession. Unable to capitalize on the momentum, Fetchet fumbled the ball on second down. Voytik scored from 26-yards out on the next play, giving the Hornets a 14-9 lead at the half.
Neither team punted in the first half, then each kicked the ball away ending their first two possessions after the break. On Hickory's third possession, a running loss, an incomplete pass and an illegal procedure penalty left the Hornets looking at 3-and-18 from their 14-yard-line. Voytik was flushed out of the pocket and scrambled to the near sideline. Watson forced him out of bounds a half-yard shy of the sticks and Wombacher punted for the third time.
The teams then traded fumbles on consecutive plays, Hunter Hayes putting the ball on the ground at the Hickory 17. Chuck Carr fumbled it right back on the first play and the Lions were set up at the Hickory 19. Hayes ran for a first down to the six. Two plays later, JJ Walker scored for 5-yards out, putting the South Fayette in front with his 18th rushing td of the year. Brumbaugh passed to Beck for the two-point conversion, putting the Lions up 17-14 with 0:41 left in the third. When the Lions forced another Wombacher punt, Watson partially blocked the kick, getting the ball back at midfield, setting the stage for Fetchet's final scoring run.
Brett Brumbaugh completed 10 of his first 12 passes but only 10 of his last 23, including one interception, just the eighth the junior quarterback has thrown this year in 367 attempts. Voytik, who completed all five of his throws in the first half, hit on just one of the first six after the break. The Hickory senior then connected on eight of his last 11, setting up his final touchdown and the potential on-side kick.
Fetchet carried 22 times for 162 yards and now has 1,338 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. Hayes ran six times for 44 yards, setting up Walker's touchdown. Brumbaugh went 20-35-1, 169 yards, often passing into a defense that dropped 10 men into coverage. Logan Sharp caught five passes for 66 yards. Beck had six receptions for 37 yards, Watson hauled in five throws for 36 yards. Beck also added three punt returns for 41 yards.
Voytik ran 14 times for 70 yards and all three Hickory touchdowns, finishing the season with 762 yards rushing and 11 scores. His 14-22 passing afternoon without an interception led to 198 yards and set up the final score. Canone caught six passes for 80 yards. Andrew Pryts had 70 yards on four catches, DeQuan Lewis added three grabs for 30 yards.
South Fayette 7-2-7-6=23
SF Grant Fetchet 4-yard run (Brian Coyne kick), 6:16 1st
H Matt Voytik 57-yard run (Jordon Wombacher kick), 4:48 1st
SF Safety (Voytik covers own fumble in endzone), 11:06 2nd
H Voytik 26-yard run (Wombacher kick), 1:10 2nd
SF JJ Walker 5-yard run (Conner Beck pass from Brett Brumbaugh), 0:41 3rd
SF Fetchet 37-yard run (kick wide left), 10:20 4th
H Voytik 1-yard run (kick wide left), 0:38 4th
1st downs, SF 23, H 14
Rushing SF 43-for-224, H 31-for-106
Passing SF (Brumbaugh) 20-35-1, 169 yards, H (Voytik) 14-22-0, 198 yards
Total offense SF 393 yards, H 304 yards
Penalties SF 6-41, H 4-30
Individual rushing: SF: Grant Fetchet 22-162, 2 td; Hunter Hayes 6-44; JJ Walker 7-18; Conner Beck 5-11; Brett Brumbaugh 2- -10.
H: Matt Voytik 14-70, 3 td; Lou Derloni 11-19; Chuck Carr 5-13; DeQuan Lewis 1-4.
Individual receiving: SF: Conner Beck 6-37; Logan Sharp 5-66; Justin Watson 5-36; Hayden Orler 2-17, Ryan Schmider 2-13.
H: Anthony Canone 6-80; Andrew Pryts 4-70; DeQuan Lewis 3-30; Lou Derloni 1-18.
Punting: SF: Conner Beck 2-45. H: Jordan Wombacher 3-130 (1 blocked).
Punt returns: SF: Conner Beck 3-41.
PIAA CLASS A: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojans 39 – Clarion Bobcats 12
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 39-12 win over District 9 champion Clarion in the PIAA Class A Semifinals Saturday at DuBois' E.J. Mansell Stadium.
The Trojans struck quickly, leading 22-0 just three minutes in to the second quarter on two short touchdown runs by Quarterback PJ Fulmore and a 6-yard score by Jerome Turner. North Catholic, who threw the ball just two times all game – both of which were intercepted – racked up 376 yards on the ground, led by Turner's 178 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns. Fulmore scored three times, amassing 112 yards on 18 carries. Freshman Mario Latronica added 94 yards on 16 carries.
The Trojans defense forced four Clarion turnovers, including three interceptions of Bobcat quarterback John Katis. Entering the game, Katis had thrown just one interception all season.
North Catholic will face District 2 champion Old Forge, a 26-7 winner over Steelton-Highspire, in the PIAA Class A Championship game Friday at 1 p.m. at Hersheypark Stadium.
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