Serra’s defense sparks key victory over South Allegheny
By: Sean Saputo
Saturday, October 13, 2018 | 12:24 AM
Entering a Week 7 game, Serra Catholic was allowing an average of 25 points, ranking at the bottom half of the Class 2A Three Rivers Conference.
On a night in which the Eagles needed a victory to help its push toward a potential third straight trip to the playoffs, the defense allowed just six points and limited South Allegheny (4-4, 3-2) to just 169 in a 23-6 victory on the road.
During the first half of play, neither team had much going offensively as the score was just 7-6 at the half.
South Allegheny took a 6-0 lead on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Nolder to Eli Webb.
Serra Catholic (5-3, 3-2) took the lead at 7-6 with 1:01 left in the half on a Khalil Smith 2-yard touchdown run.
At the half, Serra Catholic mustered just 106 total yards, but was successful defensively, holding the Gladiators to just 62.
The most impressive part of the Eagles’ first-half defense was the ability to protect the short field early. On their first three drives, the Gladiators started at the Eagles’ 37, midfield and the Eagles’ 33 and were held to just six points.
The Eagles scored the final 17 points in the second half.
The lone score in the third quarter came off the leg of kicker Nik Fedora who smashed a 43-yard field goal to make it 10-6. In the fourth quarter, the Eagles ran a pitch pass, and Smith found wide receiver Jayvon Holt for a 19-yard touchdown catch.
Holmes responded three minutes later to put the exclamation point on the game with a 27-yard touchdown run.
Smith paced the Eagles’ run game but managed just 52 yards on 25 carries while also throwing for 19 yards and a touchdown.
Quarterback Patrick Brennan threw for 121 yards on 6 for 15 passing. Brennan’s target of the night was Matt Ulishney, who caught three balls for 79 yards.
Sean Saputo is a freelance writer.