South Fayette wraps up conference title with win over Montour
By: Steve Nagler
Friday, October 26, 2018 | 11:03 PM
For the ninth time in 10 years, the South Fayette Lions finished undefeated in conference play as they downed Montour, 31-0, on Friday night.
Senior quarterback Jamie Diven threw for three touchdowns and ran for another on a night that featured constant rain and gusty conditions. Diven finished 12 of 27 through the air and threw touchdowns to Rayquin Glover, Andrew Franklin and Mike Trimbur.
After Montour won the coin toss and elected to receive, the South Fayette defense forced a punt after the Spartans offense was unable to get a first down. Diven finished the ensuing drive with a 5-yard run.
After dropping back to pass, Diven tucked the ball and scampered into the end zone on the third-and-goal play.
“I saw the pocket collapsing and a big hole opened up right up the middle, so I took advantage of it,” Diven said.
The score gave the Lions (9-1, 7-0) their first lead and the only points they would need.
Montour had a chance to draw even late in the first quarter as it drove the ball down to the South Fayette 3-yard line after sophomore quarterback Luke Persinger connected with Ean Jones on a 32-yard pass.
But, on first-and-goal from the 3, the Spartans ran a misdirection play to Anthony Tambellini, who fumbled the football and was able to recover, but he lost 12 yards and the Spartans eventually missed on a 32-yard field goal.
Diven then led his Lions offense on a 75-yard drive that would give them a 14-0 lead with 2:12 left in the first quarter.
Diven connected with Glover on a 41-yard screen pass for the score.
Ryan Coe added a 33-yard field goal with 4:32 left in the first half, and Diven connected with running back Andrew Franklin on a 6-yard touchdown with just less than three minutes to go before halftime to give the Lions a 24-0 lead.
The Lions scored the only second-half touchdown as Diven found Trimbur streaking down the middle of the field on a post pattern for a 49-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
“Conditions weren’t the best but Coach Rossi always says ‘battle the elements,’ ” Diven said. “During practice yesterday, we dipped the footballs in buckets of water to prepare for the conditions tonight.”
Montour (3-7, 3-4 in Northwest Eight Conference) had the chance to make the playoffs by beating South Fayette but, with the loss and New Castle’s victory over Ambridge, the Spartans lost out on Gardiner Points and finished out of the playoffs.
Montour was led on the ground by junior running back Billy White, who carried the ball 17 times for 65 yards. Persinger was 5 of 11 for 77 yards and an interception.
South Fayette’s shutout was the team’s fifth this season.
Steve Nagler is a freelance writer.