WPIAL Class 5A final by the numbers: Penn-Trafford 24, Moon 21

Saturday, November 27, 2021 | 10:29 PM

Penn-Trafford 24, Moon 21

Penn-Trafford 3-14-7-0 — 24

Moon 7-14-0-0 — 21

How they scored

PT: Nathan Schlessinger 34 field goal

M: Ben Bladel 44 pass from Tyler McGowan (Jacob Weiland kick)

M: Bladel 2 run (Wieland kick)

PT: Cade Yacamelli 53 run (Schlessinger kick)

PT: Yacamelli 92 pass from Carter Green (Schlessinger kick)

M: Bladel 1 run (Wieland kick)

PT: Green 29 run (Schlessinger kick)

Team statistics

PT … Moon

First downs 11 … 20

Rushes-Yards 34-223 … 52-236

Passing yards 101 … 166

Passing Att-Comp-Int 6-2-0 … 18-10-0

Total offense Plays-yards 40-324 … 70-402

Punts (number-avg.) 3-23.7 … 2-29.5

Fumbles-lost 1-1 … 1-1

Penalties-yards 4-38 … 8-72

Possession time 28:27 … 19:33

Individual statistics

Rushing: PT: Cade Yacamelli 17-136, Carter Green 17-87; M: Jeremiah Dean 13-80, Tyler McGowan 13-70, Dylan Sleva 13-46, Brandon Weaver 2-2, Ben Bladel 7-13, Ian Foster 4-5

Passing: PT: Green 2-6-101-0INT-1TD; M: McGowan 10-18-166-0INT-1TD

Receiving: PT: Yacamelli 1-92, Jacob Otto 1-9; M: Taite Beachy 6-75, Weaver 2-38, Bladel 1-44, Jalen Broxie 1-9


Penn-Trafford’s first WPIAL championship came after losses to Upper St. Clair (1997), Central Catholic (2015) and Gateway (2017).

Even the predecessor schools lost in the title game. Penn Joint of Claridge lost to Albert Gallatin in 1961 at Connellsville Stadium, and the Trafford Tomahawks lost to Bridgeville, 64-0, in 1949 at Wilkinsburg’s Graham Field.

This is the 50th season of Penn-Trafford football. The Warriors are 24-29 in WPIAL playoff games.

Moon was going for its second WPIAL title. The Tigers defeated Blackhawk in 1998. Moon is 16-15 in WPIAL playoff games.

Warriors rule

WPIAL winners this season include Penn-Trafford and Central Valley. Both schools are called the Warriors.

The last time two schools with similar nicknames won WPIAL titles was in 1982 when North Hills and Monaca — both named the Indians — won titles.

Cramming in plays

In the frantic last minutes of the game, Moon got the ball at its 20 on a touchback with 2 minutes, 45 seconds left. The Tigers ran 15 plays in 2:38 before the field goal try.

Overall, the Tigers ran 70 plays, compared to Penn-Trafford’s 40.

Defensive gem

Junior linebacker Dan Tarabella of the Warriors had a spectacular game, credited with 17½ tackles, two going for losses. Seth Dunlap checked in with 10 tackles.

For Moon, Dylan Sleva had 8½ tackles.

Yacamelli builds up total

Wisconsin-bound Cade Yacamelli had another outstanding night for P-T with 136 rushing yards; he now has 1,634 on the season. Carter Green’s 87 yards now gives him 1,106 for 2021.

Moon quarterback Tyler McGowan finished his senior season with 1,381 passing yards.

Up next

The newly crowned WPIAL champion Warriors will be in action next weekend in the PIAA semifinals. Penn-Trafford will play Exeter Township, a suburb of Reading, at Bald Eagle Area High School stadium.

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