WPIAL Football Saturday Playoff Summaries

Sunday, November 6, 2016 | 8:54 AM

For the first time in years, there was a Saturday game on opening weekend in the WPIAL Football Playoffs. With both Keystone Oaks and Bishop Canevin earning opening round home games at Dormont Stadium, KO joined 62 other teams in action Friday night while BC hosted California for the 32nd and final football postseason game for the first weekend of scholastic gridiron playoff action.

A special thanks to Bob Orkwis for this recap.

WPIAL CLASS 1-A First Round:

Bishop Canevin Crusaders 56 – California Trojans 21
Bishop Canevin’s running back Maleik Hemmingway had a string finish to the regular season rushing for 506 yards in the final two games and scoring 13 touchdowns in the final three weeks. That theme continued for the Crusaders tonight at Dormont Stadium as the junior rushed for career-high 329-yards and tied a career high with 5 touchdowns as Bishop Canevin moved into the WPIAL Class 1A quarterfinals with a 56-21 win over the California Trojans. Hemmingway scored on TD runs of 1 and 40-yards in the first quarter. He scored the game’s only touchdown on a 45-yard run. He added scoring runs of 96 and 65-yards in the third quarter, and if that wasn’t good enough, he added a 97-yard touchdown pass to Kellan Gustine: 11 into the fourth quarter. Zach Trusky added a 3-yard run for the Crusaders final score. Sophomore Tyreese Jennings raced 40-yards for a touchdown after a Jon Wood fumble on the final play of the first quarter for Bishop Canevin. Turnovers were a key in this game as well; as California turned the ball over seven times (5 fumbles & 2 interceptions.) The Trojans actually scored the game’s first touchdown when Tim Sheehan blocked Cam Rush’s punt and fell on the ball in the end zone to give California a 7-0 lead 3:16 into the game. The Crusaders led 28-15 at halftime but two important plays at the end of the first half and early in the third quarter helped shape the game. California put together an impressive drive to end the second quarter, starting at its own 31-yard line with 8:28 remaining. The Trojans drove 15 plays and had two chances to score from inside the one-yard line but Bishop Canevin denied both tries. Then, on the initial drive of the 3rd quarter, the Trojans were poised to score again, but Cochise Ryan was stripped of the football at the goal line and the fumble was recovered by Jacob West. Hemingway dashed 96-yards on the next play from scrimmage and the Crusaders controlled the game from that point. Fifth-seeded Bishop Canevin racked up 378-yards rushing from its first string as both first teams combined for 714-yards rushing in the game. Ryan led California with 166-yards on 26-carries and scored touchdowns on runs of 14 and 20-yards, but he fumbled twice. Sophomore Jelani Stafford added 127-yards rushing on 19 carries, but he also fumbled twice. The Trojans finish the season with a (6-5) record. The Crusaders now stand at (8-2) and will head the quarterfinals for the first time since 2011. Bishop Canevin will face #4 Northgate next Friday at a site to be determined. The Flames shutout Mapletown 37-0 in the First Round on Friday, to post the team’s first playoff win in 13 years.

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