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PITTSBURGH – North Allegheny’s black and gold uniforms bore that of a slightly old-school look, with a triple stripe pattern on the sleeve and a thick double stripe pant pattern.

And for the first 24 minutes of the WPIAL AAAA championship game, North Allegheny gave Woodland Hills an old-fashioned butt kicking. However, it nearly wasn’t enough.

 

The Tigers’ Clay Bunting intercepted Wolverine quarterback Pat Menifee with 17 seconds left in the game to preserve North Allegheny’s (12-1) 21-14 victory despite a furious comeback effort by Woodland Hills (9-4). With the victory, the Tigers will advance to the PIAA playoffs, where they will face District 6/9/10 AAAA subregional champion State College Area (7-6) Friday, December 3 at Pine-Richland High School.

 

The WPIAL championship victory was North Allegheny’s first since 1990 and second title in six appearances since 1983. The 21 points scored was the most NA scored in any of those appearances, topping a 15-point effort in the 1996 title tilt against, of all teams, Woodland Hills.

And Tigers’ head coach Art Walker had his game plan predetermined.

 

“I had my mind made up that we were going to play-action it and throw early to loosen them up,” Walker said. “Because I knew they’d load up the box and try to stop the run.”

 

The plan worked. Senior quarterback Mike Buchert, who entered the game with just 862 pass yards, opened the first half 6-of-6 for 137 yards and two touchdowns – passes of 3 yards to Purdue commit Rob Kugler and 18 yards to James Kleinhampl. Those scoring strikes helped North Allegheny build a 14-0 lead with 6:29 left in the first half.

 

In fact, the Tigers’ opening drive was set up by two beautiful play-action passes from Buchert to wideout Dan Slivka, spanning 45 and 33 yards. Slivka finished the game with three catches for 105 yards.

 

“We didn’t think they would pass the ball that much,” said Woodland Hills head coach George Novak. “They caught us a couple of times on bad coverages.”

 

The Woodland Hills’ defense, to put it mildly, wasn’t at its best in the first half. Not only were the Wolverines gouged for 229 yards of offense on just 27 NA plays, but the turquoise and black committed three enchroachment penalties and had six total flags against them in the first 24 minutes. Additionally, a 46-yard pass from Menifee to Shakim Alonzo to the NA 5 yard line resulted in a fumble on the very next play, thwarting a potential scoring opportunity.

 

Woodland Hills had only 25 rushing yards on 16 carries at halftime and 74 yards of total offense.

 

Alex Papson’s 43-yard touchdown run with 2:56 left in the opening half pushed the Tigers’ advantage to 21-0, and it appeared the rout was on. But stop the presses, because in the second half, Woodland Hills awakened, both offensively and defensively.

 

Menifee hit Alonzo for a 46-yard touchdown pass to break the Tigers’ shutout with 4:35 left in the third quarter, slicing the 21-point margin to just 14 after Sam Scifo’s extra point.

 

And North Allegheny was minus its featured tailback. Papson was having his shoulder examined on the sideline during the third quarter and he did not return to the game, finishing the night with 123 yards on 22 carries.

 

NA’s troubles continued to mount as a bad snap on a punt sailed over the head of sophomore backup Jack Henderson, losing 27 yards and giving WH life at the Tiger 24.

 

Woodland Hills wasted no time. Lafayette Pitts (18 rushes, 49 yards) darted 24 yards for a touchdown on the very next play, bringing the Wolverines to within a possession and the crowd on the visiting side of the stadium to life.

 

But that was as close as Woodland Hills would get.

 

“You want to play against a team when they’re at their best,” Novak said. “(It would have been nice) if the defense had played that way with him (Papson) out there.

 

“I’m proud of them (WH) for their effort. They hung in until the end and didn’t quit,” Novak added. “But we made our share of mistakes.”

 

Menifee finished with 112 passing yards on a 5-of-16 night and also ran for 14 yards on nine carries. Alonzo had the two receptions for 92 yards and fullback Alfonzo Strozier added 36 yards on four attempts. Woodland Hills finished with 206 yards of offense and two turnovers, along with nine penalties for 55 yards.

 

North Allegheny amassed 268 yards of offense and 15 first downs, split almost evenly rushing (131) as passing (137). Buchert finished 6-of-9 passing and ran 12 times for just 3 yards. Fullback Nick Passodelis added 15 yards on 3 carries and Vinnie Codengo had 8 yards on 5 carries in relief of Papson.

 

After hafltime, North Allegheny managed just 39 yards of offense and one solitary first down.

 

But it mattered little to Walker, who won his third WPIAL title as a head coach (and fourth if you count the title as West Allegheny’s offensive coordinator in 1997).

 

“It means a lot,” Walker said of winning the title. “From where we started six years ago to where we have come to…they (the kids) have trusted us and we’ve trusted them. The entire community was here tonight to support us. So yes, it means a lot.”

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PITTSBURGH – During the postgame press conference, Central Valley sophomore Robert Foster took a seat behind head coach Mark Lyons, somewhat hidden from view.

 

But on the Heinz Field surface, Foster was front and center for the Warriors, helping the Carolina blue and white to etch its program in history.

 

Central Valley (10-3) scored 24 unanswered points to become the WPIAL’s first merged football program since Sto-Rox in 1966 to win a championship, defeating Montour (12-1) 24-7 in the AAA title game. The Warriors used two big touchdowns from Foster to help key the effort, as well as a stout defensive performance that harrassed Spartan field general Dillon Buechel all game long.

 

“(When we started the season) the message was simply, ‘Whatever we do will be etched in stone,’” said Lyons. “I was on the lines for the first loss, the first victory, the first shutout. And I’m happy that we also have the first WPIAL championship.

 

“It’s a proud opportunity to bring back the WPIAL football championship to the Central Valley community,” Lyons continued.

 

Central Valley, which claims a Monaca address, is a first year program merged between the former Monaca and Center high schools. And Lyons formerly served as the head coach of the Monaca Indians, guiding the red and blue to WPIAL title game appearances in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

 

The fourth try was the charm.

 

And the Warriors super speedster of a sophomore, Foster, was, for lack of a better term, ubiquitous.

 

Foster carried the ball, completed a 17-yard pass on a faked punt, caught two passes and also played a role on special teams, returning kicks and punts. He made a trio of game-changing plays – a 54-yard run, a 35-yard punt return for touchdown and a 70-yard reception for a touchdown on a pass from junior Matt Bradford.

 

In all, Foster ran for 56 yards, threw for 17 and had 75 receiving yards. Of Central Valley’s 66 points scored the last two weeks, Foster has scored 36 of them.

 

On the punt return for a touchdown, which broke a 7-7 tie with 1:50 left in the first half, the soft-spoken Foster summed it up in one sentence.

 

“I just did what I had to do,” Foster said.

 

And that simple modus operandi – just doing what needed to be done – helped the Warriors reach the pinnacle of the WPIAL.

 

For the second time in four years, Montour was on the short end.

 

“We got the (first) score and then they went down and got that 54-yard run and stole the momentum,” said Spartan head coach Lou Cerro. “Then it snowballed a little bit.”

 

Junior feature back Julian Durden broke the goose eggs on the scoreboard with a 24-yard run just 44 seconds into the second quarter, and the black and yellow had a 7-0 lead. And after Foster hit the 54-yard run, Bradford was intercepted in the end zone by the Spartans’ Aaron Reed.

 

And that’s when things stopped going well for Montour. Bradford answered the Spartan touchdown with a 1-yard scoring run of his own with 3:29 left in the half. Foster’s punt return, fielded in stride on a single bounce, even further tilted the momentum to CV.

 

Foster’s second touchdown nailed Montour’s coffin shut.

 

On a play Lyons said the Warriors installed Thursday during practice, Bradford hit a streaking Foster down the far sideline for a 70-yard dagger of a touchdown that pushed CV’s lead to 21-7. Greg Nicastro capped the Warriors’ scoring with a 30-yard field goal.

 

The Warriors’ defense stifled Montour’s offense in the third quarter, limiting the Spartans to a paltry 32 yards in the period. Montour finished with 297 yards for the game and 18 first downs and Durden ran for 158 yards in the game, but Montour had three costly turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble) and a turnover on downs after driving to the CV 14-yard line. Buechel (19-of-36, 147 yards, 2 INT) was sacked on 4th and 13 for a 10-yard loss.

 

Bradford finished 2-of-4 passing for 75 yards. Aaron Law ran for a team-high 75 yards on just three carries, and Tre Crumpton added 13 yards on seven carries for the Warriors.

 

Despite the result, Cerro said he wouldn’t change anything.

 

“They got the job done tonight and we didn’t,” Cerro said.

 

“The Parkway’s the best conference in the WPIAL…I don’t care what anybody says,” Cerro added.

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PITTSBURGH – History, they say, has a way of repeating itself.

 

In last year’s WPIAL AA title game, Aliquippa turned the ball over five times in a humbling 33-7 defeat to Greensburg Central Catholic.

 

Consider the Quips’ 2010 WPIAL finals appearance a case of deja vu.

 

South Fayette (13-0) recovered three Aliquippa (12-1) fumbles inside its own territory and senior field general Christian Brumbaugh fired two touchdown passes for a 19-6 victory in the WPIAL AA championship game from Heinz Field.

 

With the victory, the Lions will face the District 9 champion Brockway Rovers in a PIAA AA quarterfinal game next Friday, December 3rd, at West Allegheny High School.

 

Aliquippa head coach Mike Zmijanic, as is typical, made no excuses for the loss.

 

“Those (turnovers) are all part of the game,” Zmijanic said. “And sometimes, games turn on those. I would say today’s game turned on those.”

 

The three turnovers Aliquippa’s boss spoke of occured at the South Fayette 12, 17 and 15 yard lines. The initial fumble, recovered by senior LB Eric Myers at the SF 12, turned into the game’s first touchdown just five plays later, as Brumbaugh hooked up with Tyler Challingsworth on a 39-yard pass, catch and run for a 6-0 lead. The Lions covered the 88 yards in just 1:57, and also used a Jeff Davis 33-yard run to help set up the scoring play.

 

Aliquippa countered on its ensuing possession, as freshman Drayvon Henry crashed in from 3 yards out, capping a 3:37 drive.

 

“I thought we played very well defensively and we did well offensively, too,” Zmijanic said.

 

He was right. Aliquippa did amass 357 yards of offense – 224 rushing and 133 passing. The Quips moved up and down and up and down the Heinz Field turf, totaling 17 first downs.

 

“We’ve given up yards all year,” said South Fayette head coach Joe Rossi. “But we’ve found ways to get it done.”

 

And because it bent, but didn’t break, South Fayette took a 6-6 tie into intermission. The Lions broke that tie on the initial possession of the second half on a 5-yard scoring pass from Brumbaugh to Zach Challingsworth. Aliquippa would force Brumbaugh into an interception later in the period, but Tyler Challingsworth recovered a fumble at the Lions’ 17 yard line to thwart the threat.

 

South Fayette broke the Quips’ backs with a drive that began at the 8:26 mark of the fourth quarter. Using mostly power and pro formations, the Lions plowed their way 70 yards – all on the ground – to put the game out of reach. Trevor Fiorentini scored the title-clinching points with a 2-yard run with 2:25 left in the game.

 

“They’re a physical football team,” Brumbaugh said of Aliquippa, “but I think we came after them today.”

 

Senior lineman Nick Faraci agreed.

 

“We like to pound the ball up the middle,” Faraci said. “I think we did a good job up front. I think we have the best line in the WPIAL.”

 

“We showed we’re more than a passing team,” Brumbaugh said.

 

Rossi said South Fayette can execute the power running game.

 

“We’ve shown the ability to do that this season (like the playoff game with Ellwood City),” Rossi said. “We’ve pounded it when we need to.”

 

Brumbaugh finished with 147 passing yards, completing 12-of-23 passes, to give him 2,875 passing yards and 39 touchdowns this season. Davis ran for 85 yards on 18 carries and caught three passes for 25 yards. Tyler and Zach Challingsworth each caught three passes – Tyler finished with 54 yards receiving and Zach with 33.

 

Ben Cobb paced the Quips’ ground game with 107 yards on 18 carries. Henry added 55 yards on 11 totes and Darius Walker posted 47 yards on six carries. Junior field general Mikal Hall finished the game 9-of-16 for 133 yards. Leading receiver Haetaun Mathis caught four passes for 70 yards.

 

Winning the WPIAL title, Brumbaugh said, was great

 

“It feels great to accomplish this,” he said.

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PITTSBURGH – For the scoreboard watchers, seeing the Clairton Bears be kept below 20 points for the first time all season might seem a shock. But then again, consider the opponent – Rochester – a team that has always given Clairton fits.

Clairton head coach Tom Nola didn’t think the final score was atypical.

 

“It was a (rather) typical Clairton/Rochester game,” Nola said. “It was tough to get points (on the board) and there was a lot of good defense.”

 

Clairton (13-0) forced two Ram turnovers and allowed only 43 rushing yards, posting its ninth shutout of the season in a 12-0 shutout of Rochester (12-1) in the WPIAL Class A championship game from Heinz Field.

 

With the win, Clairton will take on District 5 champion North Star (9-3) next weekend in a PIAA Class A quarterfinal Friday, December 3rd at Somerset Area High School.

 

Rochester head coach Gene Matsook took a slightly defensive stance in postgame comments when asked how good Clairton’s defense is.

 

“Just as good as ours,” Matsook said. “Our defense played a fantastic game against a team that has more skill than the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

 

Clairton does have a lot of skill, from QB Desimon Green to RBs Tyler Boyd and Karvonn”Mud Puppy” Coles to WRs Trenton Coles and Josh Page. But defensively, Clairton may be most similar to the Steelers. They are like a Steel Curtain.

 

Rochester found that out early and often. Through three quarters, the Rams were held to 39 yards of total offense and completed only one pass (a 9-yard screen to Nick Tapia). For the game, Rochester ran 34 times for only 43 yards and completed just 2-of-10 passes for 21 yards.

 

And on a few of Rochester’s first pass plays of the game, quarterback Jasson Adamson was rolling out toward Green’s side of the field.

 

That move surprised Green very much.

 

“I was shocked,” Green said. “But I hadn’t been playing my best on defense, so I thought they’d try (to come to my side). But I wasn’t going to let that happen.”

 

Green didn’t let much of anything happen, defensively speaking. He finished the game with 10 tackles (2 for loss) and a sack. He also got things done offensively, too, having a hand in both Bear touchdowns while throwing for 82 yards and running for 48 more.

 

But aside from Green and “Mud Puppy” Coles’ 64 yards on six totes, Clairton had some offensive sputters. The Bears committed 10 penalties for 84 yards and had three turnovers – two interceptions and a lost fumble. Clairton also missed an opportunity with less than two minutes left in the first half to extend its lead to 12-0 on a failed 4th-down pass into the end zone, intended for Josh Page.

 

“We made a few more plays than they did, especially on defense,” Nola said.

 

The first of those plays was Green’s 26-yard touchdown run with 8:28 left in the first half. The second, a 21-yard Green touchdown pass with :37 left in the game to Trenton Coles to put the game on ice. The third – Clairton’s defense stopped Rams’ feature back Deandre Moon for a 12-yard loss on a 2nd down and 3 situation from the Clairton 18 yard line in the fourth quarter.

 

Rochester also missed a golden touchdown opportunity on a dropped screen pass in the third quarter. Had the Rams’ Devon Glass hauled in the Adamson pass, he had nothing but wide open spaces in front of him.

 

“We caught them on it,” Matsook said. “But it didn’t work out. We capitalize on a play there, it’s six.”

 

Rochester was paced by Glass’ 20 yards rushing on nine carries. Tapia added 20 yards on five carries and Moon finished with 9 yards on 8 carries. Rochester had 64 yards of offense and six first downs.

 

Clairton finished with 253 yards of offense (171 on the ground). Production spread between Boyd (31 rushing yards; 41 receiving yards), Brandon Small (20 rush yards), Page (20 receiving yards) in addition to the contributions of the Coles, Trenton and Karvonn, and Green.

 

Green, Small and Bishop Neal (1 INT on defense) all said they got up early in the morning for the game, which kicked off at 9:30 a.m.

 

“5:30 a.m.,” Neal said of his waking hour.

 

This day, however, the Rams were the ones sent to an early hibernation.

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PECKVILLE – In the first two meetings between District 2 “A” power Riverside Vikings and District 4 “A” power Southern Columbia Tigers, the Vikings were able to pull off hard-fought victories. In 1997 they were the only team in a 13-year stretch that could keep Southern out of the state title game, up-ending the Tigers 35-28 in the eastern final. In 2008 they over-powered a rebuilding Tiger squad by a score of 25-7. The 2010 version of the match-up was looking to shape up much differently with Southern seemingly on a roll and in true play-off form for the first time since ’06, but the Vikings had other ideas. Riverside won the battle up-front and ran all over Southern in a 36-0 lambasting.

 

To say that Riverside had Southern’s number would be an understatement. Coach Roth’s Tigers could find no answer for Vikings quarterback, Corey Talerico. He threw for four touchdowns and ran for a fifth. Skylar Lavage and Nick Dranchak each hauled in two touchdown passes. If Southern was stopping the pass, Talerico found another way to get the first-down. Other times, stud running back, Nick Rossi was pounding his way down-field on one of his 20 carries for 108 total yards.

 

Southern just never was able to gain any momentum, and seemed to have left their football on the bus or possibly back at Tiger Stadium where they were able to win their 19th district crown. Wherever it was it couldn’t help the Tigers as they watched their season come to an abrupt end along with the football careers of many fine senior athletes. For their part, Riverside was able to capitalize on every Southern mistake, and just plain out-play them in every aspect of the game.

 

Southern Columbia (10-3) ends the season with a District 4 Class A title. They seemed to bring the program one step closer to its former state championship form, but there is no room for any let-up this time of year, and that lesson was learned the hard way for this year’s squad. Congratulations Tigers on another fine season.

 

Riverside improves to 12-1 for the year and sets its sights on the Hurricanes(11-2) of Schuylkill Haven after their 42-28 victory over Calvary Christian Academy. Best wishes to coach Armstrong’s Vikings from here on as they seek their first state championship.

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Langhorne, Pa., The Neshaminy Redskins used a ground and pound offense controlling the line of scrimmage and the running of Tailback Anthony Woodroffe enabled the Skins to dominate in a 33-7 victory over the Bayard Rustin Golden Knights in last night’s District 1, AAAA semifinal at Neshaminy’s Harry Franks stadium.

 

Both teams came into the contest with 11-1 records and from the outset Neshaminy coach Mark Schmidt’s plan was to rotate his three headed monster running attack of Woodroffe, Corey Majors and Sean Ulmer and it worked to perfection all night long. On the Skins second possession they used a 12 play, 50 yard, seven minute drive (Woodroffe accounted for 45 of those yards) ending with Majors one yard touchdown run. After a Rustin three and out Neshaminy only needed eight plays with Majors scoring again this time from the two yard line and a 14-0 lead they took into the locker room at halftime.

 

Neshaminy took the second half kickoff and again generated another time consuming six minute drive going 74 yards and culminating with a Quarterback Charlie Marterella 14 yard touchdown pass to Dwight Williams.  On the Skins next possession Marterella went to the air again connecting on a 60 yard toss to Ulmer setting up another Majors 2 yard TD and a 27-0 lead. They put an exclamation point on the victory with Woodroffe’s 55 yard touchdown run.

 

“Our defensive game plan was to try to eliminate the big play strike offense Rustin has used a lot this year, especially with their number 18 (Rustin WR star Anthony Nash)” quipped Schmidt. I was very proud of the way the defense adjusted to him and their entire offensive attack” Rustin has averaged over 300 yards and 33 points per game but the Skins held their big play offense to only 210 yards in this one.

 

It was also a heartwarming playoff for the Skins faithful. The entire program has dedicated the season to the recovery of a lymphoma condition that Senior RB Marco Dapkey has had to endure. Dapkey was all over the Skin sideline coaching up the defense and looked like he could put the pads on and play. Schmidt, in a solemn moment was very realistic about this year’s team. “I wasn’t sure how the guys would respond this year especially with what Marco has had to overcome. His passion out there absolutely energized this entire team game in and game out”

 

Neshaminy now heads toward a showdown with North Penn (a 28-14 winner over CR South) and the District 1 crown. Knowing Dapkey he’ll no doubt be the 12th man on the field in that one.

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SCRANTON –This game was a rematch from last year.  Allentown Central Catholic (13-0) won a close one last season 28-14 at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium. The Vikings put together a flurry of punches and knocked out Abington Heights early.

 

Quarterback Brendan Nosovitch and Kevin Gulyas connected for four touchdowns in the first half and their defense forced four turnovers. The Vikings built a 40-0 lead at halftime and went on cruise control in the second half in a 54-14 win over Abington Heights (12-1) at Scranton Memorial Stadium Friday night.

 

The Vikings had 311 yards of total offense in the first half.

 

Harold Fairclough talked about his first half, “We wanted to try and establish a running game and last year they took that away from us. This year we thought we could move the ball on the run and mix that in with the passing game.”

 

Abington Heights got the ball first, drove down and attempted a field goal that was no good. But a penalty by the Vikings moved them closer to a first down. The Comets fourth down pass fell incomplete and the Vikings took over on downs.

 

The Vikings took their opening drive and marched right down the field. The six-play drive ended on a Nosovitch to Gulyas 26-yard touchdown pass. The Vikings led 7-0.

 

After another three-and-out by the Comets the Vikings scored again. On fourth down and 29 Nosovitch found Gulyas for the touchdown pass. The Vikings built a 14-0 lead with 4:50 left in the first quarter.

 

The Comets offense couldn’t get going and things got even worse. Quarterback Dante Pasqualichio’s pass was intercepted by Jalen Sndyer-Scipio who took it deep into Abington Heights territory.

 

This would start a big second quarter by the Vikings. Nosovitch threw touchdown passes of 8, 30 and 4 in the quarter.

 

Kevin Gulyas talked about Nosovitch, “He really makes good decisions. Easy as a receiver to get open and he finds open guys. That’s what he did the first half.”

 

Nosovitch and Gulyas would get the hat trick. The eight-yard touchdown pass was the third of the first half. The dynamic duo connected for a fourth time. This time it went 30-yards for the score.

 

Fairclough talked about the dynamic duo, “It’s a great combination. They have been playing together a few years now. When they are hot they are hot.”

 

Colin McDermott added a two-yard run and Nosovitch finished the first half scoring with a four-yard touchdown pass to Jack Sandherr.

 

Turnovers and three and outs hurt the Comets in the first half. The Vikings went into halftime leading 40-0.

 

Last week, Nosovitch set a single-game record for the Vikings passing five touchdowns against Southern Lehigh. This week he did it in one half. He completed 15-of-22 for 186 yards before sitting out the entire second half.

 

The Vikings defense in the first half held the Comets to 52 yards rushing and 93 total yards of offense.

 

Fairclough talked about his defense, “Greg Moore put together a great game plan and the kids came out and executed. We wanted to come out and be physical.”

 

The Vikings offense started where they left off in the first half. Gulyas started the opening drive by taking the kickoff 87-yards for the touchdown. They led 47-0.

 

Gulyas finished the night with seven catches for 101 yards and four touchdowns.

 

The Vikings played their backups most of the second half. The Comets James Fruehan’s 35-yard touchdown run put the Comets on the board.

 

The Vikings Kevin McDermott one-yard touchdown run with 3:15 remaining added to their lead.

 

Corey Degilio’s 51-yard run for the Comets finished the scoring.

 

The Vikings move on next week and will face unbeaten District 9 champion Clearfield next week in a Class 3A state quarterfinals at a date and time to be determined.

 

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EASTON – Justin Pacchioli threw for one touchdown and ran for a two-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to lead the Red Rovers come back win over Whitehall 13-10 at Cottingham Stadium Saturday night.

 

After a tough loss two days ago to Phillipsburg NJ on Thanksgiving Day, Easton Area (12-2) bounced backed to win back-to-back District 11 4A titles and earn a shot next week at the defending state champs LaSalle College High School.

 

Pacchioli talked about winning another title, “It’s an amazing feeling. Especially coming out as a senior winning your last one at Cottingham and showing the younger guys what it is all about and it feels good and it erases the Phillipsburg lost.”

 

The Red Rovers drove 54 yards on seven plays to take an early lead in the second quarter. Pacchioli threw a perfect pass to Jonathan Bisci for a seven-yard touchdown. Bisci caught the ball in the back of the end zone and managed to get one foot in for an amazing catch. The kick failed and the Red Rovers led 6-0.

 

The Zephyrs answered their scoring drive with one of their own. Josh Cirocco’s     32-yard field goal with 5:19 remaining in the first half cut the Red Rovers lead in half 6-3.

 

The Red Rovers were on the move again late in the third quarter. The Zephyrs defense came up with a big sack and two plays later Michael Williams intercepted the pass and took it deep inside Red Rover territory.

 

With 50 seconds left in the third quarter, Eric Fiore plowed his way in for the three-yard touchdown run. The Zephyrs led 10-6.

 

Early in the fourth quarter, Whitehall Quarterback Chris Polony injured his leg keeping him out of the rest of the game. Nicholas Shafnisky came into the game.

 

The biggest momentum change in the game happened next. Shafnisky avoided the sack and found Tyler Artim who broke free for the 41-yard completion. He was off to the races, but Pacchioli trailed behind him and caught up to him. He ripped the football out and Ian Hayden fell on it to give Easton the ball with 10:17 remaining in the game. The Red Rovers took over on their 26.

 

Pacchioli talked about the turnover, “We got that huge turnover at the end and we kinda said this is it and if we were going to go we have to go now. We put are heads together and drove right down the field and scored.”

 

Pacchioli converted big third downs and a fourth down play during the drive and had big runs. The Red Rovers drove 74 yards on 12-plays as Pacchioli called his own play and went straight up the middle for the two-yard score. The Red Rovers comeback put them up 13-10 with 4:24 left in the game.

 

Quarterback Justin Pacchioli talked about the game winning drive, “It was a drive we put together and we were talking about it the whole second half. All it was going to take is one drive and drive us down the field and win the football game for us.”

 

Pacchioli finished the game passing for 82 yards and he rushed for 83 yards.

 

The Zephyrs offense wasn’t in sync after that.  They had bad snap after bad snap that hurt them late in the game. Their last two drives ended with a punt and they turned it over on downs.

 

The Red Rovers defense held Chris Polony to 33 yards passing and Eric Fiore to 56-yard rushing and one score. They out rushed Whitehall 207 to 68 yards.

 

David Caldwell Jr. talked about Easton’s defense, “Our defense carried us in the game today. We played good all season and we don’t get down on each other. We come together when we need to.”

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BANGOR – Jared Pierce threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns as visiting Berwick came from behind to defeat Bangor Area 28-21 in a Class AAA Eastern Conference showdown Friday night.

 

After both teams traded punts it took Berwick one play to get on the scoreboard. Quarterback Jared Pierce hit Sean Ridall for a 64-yard bomb. The two-point conversion failed and the Dawgs led 6-0 with 7:19 left in the first quarter.

 

The Slaters answered right back with a 7-play 68-yard drive. Quarterback Drew Nicholas rolled out of the pocket and threw off balance to Ryan Hester who got behind the defense for the 27-yard touchdown catch. Ryan Fraunfelter’s extra point put Bangor up 7-6.

 

The Dawgs went on the move again late in the first quarter. They put together a 16-play drive that started at their own 14-yard line. Caleb Getterolf scored on a one-yard touchdown run and Pierce called his own play and went in for the two-point conversion to give the Dawgs a 14-7 lead with 5:48 remaining in the first half.

 

The Slaters went on to run five straight running plays led by Scott LaValva as he broke tackle after tackle and had two big runs to setup his eight-yard touchdown run. The extra point went wide left and the Dawgs led by a slim margin 14-13.

 

The first big turnover of the night went in favor of Bangor. Pierce’s pass was called a lateral and Bangor recovered the ball deep in Berwick’s territory. The Dawgs defense came up big and forced a field goal attempt by Bangor. The kick was no good by Fraunfelter. The Dawgs took over on downs with 1:08 remaining in the first half.

 

Jeremy Freeman’s punishing running on Berwick’s opening drive in the second half led to the only score of the third quarter. Pierce threw a strike to Ridall on the slant pass that went 35-yards for the score. The two-point conversion failed when Bangor’s Josh Pensyl sacked Pierce. Berwick led 20-13.

 

After the Dawgs defense stopped Bangor and forced a punt, Pensyl recovered the fumble on the punt return by Berwick. A personal foul by Berwick gave Bangor a first down and goal on their eight-yard line.

 

With 1:59 remaining in the third quarter Bangor was facing a third down and 13. Nicholas tossed a pass to LaValva who took it in for the score. But a holding penalty wiped out the touchdown and pushed Bangor back to the 27. The Dawgs defense dodged another bullet as LaValva pass fell incomplete. They took over on downs.

 

Things started to get interesting in the fourth quarter. Bangor’s defense stopped the fake punt by Berwick with 6:38 remaining in the game. Bangor would take over on the 43.

 

It looked like Bangor’s drive ws going to end on an interception by Ridall. But a pass interference call gave Bangor a 1st down and 10 on Berwick’s 13. After three straight run plays LaValva scored on the one-yard run with 4:01 left in the game.  Trailing 20-19 Russ Horn followed his offensive line right into the end zone for the two-point conversion. Bangor led 21-20.

 

LaValva finished the game rushing for 156 yards and two scores.

 

Head coach Frank Scagliotta talked about Scott LaValva’s career, “Well there surely aren’t words to describe what he has meant to our program the last four years. The kid has done everything to make our program successful.”

 

The Dawgs got the ball back and a penalty by Bangor gave them good field position late in the game. Pierce’s short passing game set up the game-winning touchdown. Freeman broke free right up the middle and went 31-yard for the score with 2:59 remaining in the game. Freeman snuck in for the two-point conversion and the Dawgs jumped right back into the lead 28-21.

 

Berwick head coach Gary Campbell talked about the game winning drive saying, “Resiliency has been our motto all year long. That was a heart breaker when they scored the touchdown late. We could have packed it in but we came right down and made the plays.”

 

Bangor’s season came to an end on a fourth down incompletion. Berwick ran out the clock and moved on to the Class AAA Eastern Conference finals. They will face Valley View who won 28-7 over Coughlin.

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Plymouth Meeting, Pa., Two weeks after combining to score 82 points in their first meeting, everyone wondered what kind of fireworks would happen the second time the Archbishop Wood Vikings and Cardinal O’Hara Lions met. This time the defenses played more a part in Wood’s 24-7 victory last night at Plymouth Whitemarsh High and the D12, PCL, AAA championship as their reward.

 

The first time these teams met the Vikings huge offensive line and the running of cousins Desmon and Brandon Peoples vs. O’Hara’s three man front provided the difference throughout. Last night O’Hara coach, Dan Algeo put more men in the box more often and it proved effective to some degree. But when you have a running back (Peoples) who could burst a big gainer at any time, there’s always a roll of the dice that you take.

 

Immediately the Lions keyed on the cousins and it was effective the first six times they touched the ball. After the Vikings first series and a punt, O’Hara was pinned on their own 11 yard line. After a three and out series and being forced to punt, the Vikings got good field position on the Lion 33.  Six plays later on a burst through the middle Desmon scored on a 23 yard run and a 7-0 lead.

 

It appeared that the Lions were going to be effective throwing the ball on their next series. Starting on their own 26 yard line, O’Hara then generated a 14 play, six minute drive with three completions from QB Ryan Laughlin for 45 yards. The drive stalled on the Wood 16 and Steve Weyler’s 32 yard FG attempt went wide right.

 

Wood went right to work on O’Hara’s missed opportunity with their own six play drive. The last two, Desmon’s 16 and 47 yard run. The latter was a beauty and a touchdown and a Wood 14-0 lead at the half.

 

O’Hara had immediately attempted to take momentum in the second half but two costly fumbles (the last on a muffed punt return and recovered by Wood’s Andrew Guckin) gave Wood the ball on the O’Hara 17. The Lions, with their backs to the wall and to the credit of their defense tightened up and forced the Vikings to add on to their lead with a Nick Visco 35 yard field goal and a 17-0 lead.

 

The momentum temporarily went the Lions way when on their very next offensive play; Laughlin hit Drew Formica with a 71 yard touchdown and clawing to within 10 at 17-7. However any chance O’Hara had of a comeback were immediately thwarted by Wood’s defense.  A host of Vikings sacked Laughlin for a 12 yard loss on their next series and swinging the momentum back Wood’s way.

 

The clincher for the Vikings was their next drive, which took up six minutes and ending with Peoples third touchdown of the night from the two yard line.

 

Just prior to game’s end Wood coach Steve Devlin got the water cooler treatment and immediately realized that the championship was theirs.

 

Wood is a team to watch as they move on. Besides Peoples, their defense and offensive line looked nothing short of sensational. There are not many weaknesses on this team. Quarterback Joey Monahan is very effective running the offense and their passing game will work when they need it. The OLine with guys like Frank Taylor, Brandon Archidiacono, Rory Clark, Chris Knott and Colin Thompson are all imposing. The defense had Laughlin on his heals all night, sacking him four times (two by Thompson).

 

In addition to his three TD’s, Peoples ran for 180 well earned yards and can score from anywhere on the field.

 

O’Hara finished the season losing only two (both to Wood) and would give any team in the state a difficult game. They played their hearts out and deserve credit for a great season including five shutouts. Wood now goes on to play the Public league champion Murrell Dobbins Tech for the D12, AAA championship at a venue to be determined.

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PEN ARGYL – North Schuylkill’s one two punch of Kody Flail and Ed Pavalko led their running attack in a 35-23 win over Pen Argyl Saturday afternoon.

 

The Green Knights went to the air and struck first on the scoreboard. Quarterback Nathan Hood found Joey Wagner for the 57-yard touchdown pass. The kicked failed and Pen Argyl led 6-0.

 

The Spartans would answer Pen Argyl’s drive by going to their strength, Ed Pavalko. He took over by running the ball five of the seven times during the drive. Kody Flail finished the drive with a four-yard touchdown run. Charlie Hutnick ‘s extra point put North Schuylkill up 7-6.

 

Pavalko talked about his offensive line, “Offensive line is everything and that is where it starts. If they get a good push off the ball all we need is a little gap and we have backs good enough to make a play.”

 

Pen Argyl would drive deep into Spartan territory. The Spartan defense held the Green Knights to a field goal attempt. Wagner’s 24-yard field goal puts Pen Argyl back up 9-7 with 11:45 remaining in the first half.

 

The Spartans would drive right down the field behind the running of Flail and Pavalko. Flail’s seven-yard score put the Spartans up 14-9.

 

Both defenses came up with turnovers mid-way through the second quarter. After a punt by Pen Argyl, the Spartans went on the move with 2:13 remaining in the first half.

 

Big runs by Flail took the Spartans down to Pen Argyl’s 23. Ryan Henning scrabbled out of the pocket then threw the ball up to the end zone as a Pen Argyl defender was hitting him. Ethan Motsney fought off Conor Gum to catch the 23-yard touchdown pass with 44.9 seconds left in the first half.

 

On the next drive by Pen Argyl, Ethan Motsney would intercept Hood’s pass. The Spartans scored on the turnover by driving 52 yards. Scott Houser’s five-yard touchdown run capped off the Spartan drive. They led 27-9.

 

It looked like the Spartans defense came up with the stop but a personal foul gave new life to Pen Argyl. The Green Knights capitalized on the drive. Dylan Evans broke several tackles and went in for the 40-yard score. Hood threw a dart to Evans for the two-point conversion and Pen Argyl cut the lead to 27-17.

 

Both teams scored one more time in the third quarter. Mike Shinkus scored on a 19-yard run. Hood hit Wagner for the 22-yard strike to end a wild third quarter.

 

Hood finished the game passing for over 300 yards and two scores.

 

North Schuylkill led 35-23 going into the fourth quarter. The Spartans defense tightened up and shut down Pen Argyl ‘s passing game. The scoreless fourth quarter would end on a knee by Henning.

 

North Schuylkill’s Head coach Rick Geist talked about the adjustments in the second half, “Putting a extra defensive back in. It’s what we call cover 12 putting two safety over the top and man to man underneath.”

 

Despite sitting out for some of the game with an injury the work horse Ed Pavalko finish the game rushing for 160 yards.

 

Geist talked about Pavalko, “Ed is the heart and soul of the team.”

 

With the win they move on next week to face either Northern Lehigh or Jim Thorpe for the District 11 AA title.

 

Side note: North Schuylkill came into the game with 7 shutouts in 9 games. They gave up only 22 points in the nine games. In one game Pen Argyl scored 23.

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BRIDGEVILLE, Pa. – For all of the game planning, film study, practice and work that goes into a week of playoff football, North Hills’ veteran head football coach Jack McCurry was caught slightly off-guard. But not by the opposing game plan.

“I’ve got six shirts on, and long johns, and I’m still freezing for God sakes,” McCurry said as he stepped outside of the home locker rooms at Chartiers Valley High School.

 

But the play of North Hills’ defense, and senior Mark DeVita (#2) had to warm the 271-game winner at least a little bit.

 

DeVita caught five passes for 132 yards and kicked a 24-yard field goal while North Hills (10-1) denied Upper St. Clair (8-3) a tying two-point conversion run with 3:48 left in regulation for a thrilling 16-14 victory in the WPIAL AAAA quarterfinals.

 

With the victory, North Hills will play Woodland Hills, a 29-22 victor over Mt. Lebanon, next weekend in a WPIAL AAAA semifinal. The winner of that game would then face either Pittsburgh Central Catholic or North Allegheny for the WPIAL championship.

 

Never one to offer many thoughts after a loss, Upper St. Clair head coach Jim Render issued a one sentence reaction to his team’s performance.

 

“We played well in the second half,” Render said as he walked toward the visiting locker room.

 

The second half was much more kind to USC, as junior dual-threat quarterback Dakota Conwell was making run after run after run after pass after run for the red and black.

 

After USC forced a North Hills’ interception with 6:36 left in the third quarter, Conwell registered runs of 11, 6 and 10 yards (each of which gained first downs) to move the Panthers to the NH 21. Faced with a 3rd-and-5 situation, Conwell eluded pressure, rolled right, then back to his left, and fired a prayer into the end zone for Chris Colditz, who snagged the pass to get USC on the board. A successful two-point pass cut North Hills’ lead to just 16-8.

 

But USC was lucky to still have a chance in the ball game, as North Hills jumped to a 7-0 lead on a miracle play of its own. The Indians had set up 1st and goal at the USC 9, only to see a center snap sail well over the head of quarterback Taylor Schmidt for a 22-yard loss. Faced with a 4th-and-goal from the 27 yard line, fellow senior Steve Dutkowski hit DeVita for a touchdown to give the red and white a 7-0 lead.

 

DeVita was able to capitalize on the play because USC’s starting safety, Connor Scott, was injured on the opening play of the game and did not return.

 

“That’s what we were thinking (to attack the area vacated by Scott),” DeVita said. “Fourth-and-27 is a tough situation. Too close to punt and too far to kick a field goal.”

 

NH pushed the lead to 13-0 with a Schmidt (17 rush, 83 yards) 10-yard scoring run with 6:10 left in the first half, and DeVita’s field goal as time expired in the first half pushed the advantage to 16-0. And North Hills’ defense, a traditional staple of the red and white’s program, had held USC to just 86 yards of offense on 22 plays, 41 of which came on a Conwell run for USC’s first first down of the game.

 

“We were kind of lackadaisical,” Conwell admitted. “But our line got hungry in the second half.”

 

USC’s line helped pave the way for a 139-yard rushing effort in the second half. And Conwell, who was just 2-of-8 passing in the first half, connected on six more passes in the second 24 minutes, including a 7-yard scoring pass to Colditz with 3:48 left in regulation to set up the deciding two-point play.

 

On the play, Conwell said the play (a quarterback keep out of the single-wing) was designed to go outside, but North Hills’ defense was ready.

 

“We turned him back in,” McCurry said.

 

And, as a result, Conwell was stuffed a yard and a half shy of tying the game.

 

All told, Conwell ran for 155 yards on 27 carries and completed 8-of-21 passes for 90 yards. He finished with more than 1,080 rushing yards and 920 passing yards for his junior season.

 

Dutkowski completed 10-of-15 passes for 188 yards for North Hills. Backs Josh Neurohr (5 rush, 19 yards) and Mike Seiber (9 rush, 36 yards) helped key an NH ground attack that finished with 115 yards on 32 carries.

 

Fullback Zach Deitrick added 37 yards on 10 carries for USC.

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EDINBORO, Pa. – Toward the beginning of the 2010 football season, Wilmington’s multi-sport star Sutton Whiting signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Louisville.
During Satruday’s District 10 AA quarterfinal game against North East, Whiting, to use a baseball analogy, had a two-home-run game.
Whiting contributed to both Wilmington touchdowns – a 78-yard run and a 50-yard pass – and the Greyhounds’ (7-4) defense shut out the Grape Pickers’ (8-3) potent Wing-T offense 14-0 Saturday afternoon at General McLane High School’s Linden Field.
With the victory, the Greyhounds will face Sharon Area (9-2), a winner over Girard, next weekend in a District 10 AA semifinal at a site and time to be determined.
“We did a great job defensively,” said Wilmington head coach Terry Verelli. “If you can’t stop the power running stuff, you’ve got problems.”
In short, Wilmington put the Grape Pickers’ offense through the “proverbial” wine press. North East did move the ball on certain occasions against the Hounds’ Hammer defense, but it couldn’t crack the goal line.
Twice did the Grape Pickers’ move to or inside the Wilmington 20 yard line, and twice were the maroon and gold denied, turning the ball over on downs. The first such stand came with 1:11 left in the first quarter after NE had driven from its 44-yard line to the Hounds’ 20. The second came on NE’s initial second half possession (8:30 in the third period), driving from its own 30 to the WA 14.
“I don’t know that we did anything special,” Verelli said. “It was just having everybody (on defense) stay in their spot (and make plays).”
Wilmington also thwarted another North East drive with a Zack Llewellyn interception at the 18-yard line with :02 left in the third quarter. North East had gained possession at the Wilmington 41 following a Whiting fumble with 2:14 left in the third quarter.
But Whiting’s fumble was about the only miscue both he and the Hounds’ made this day.
Whiting got Wilmington on the scoreboard with :59 left in the first quarter following North East’s first turnover on downs. He took a power pitch designed to go right, but cut back left and had nothing but green space. He raced 78 yards, practically untouched.
Whiting’s final dagger came with 7:15 left in the fourth quarter. On a designed play, Whiting took a toss right, pulled up and hit junior Ryan Crawford for a 50-yard pass to push the advantage for the blue and gold to 14-0.
“It was a jet pass,” Whiting explained. “We’d run it once earlier in the season. I guess it worked.”
Whiting finished with 109 yards rushing on 13 carries and added 50 passing yards on his only attempt of the game. Quarterback Josh Tekac added a 2-of-3 passing effort for 16 yards and ran for 11 yards on eight attempts. Gunnar Donati added 23 yards on nine carries and Jake DeVido added five totes for 13 yards. Wilmington finished with 222 yards of offense (156 rushing) and six first downs.
North East was paced by Alex Svetz’ 22 rushes for 63 yards, giving him more than 1,000 yards rushing on the season. Tyler Johnson, a 1,070-yard rusher entering the game, was limited to 49 yards on 12 carries, and quarterback Curtis Bailey added 37 rushing yards and completed 4-of-15 passes for 45 yards.
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CLARION, Pa. – In the present day and age of major collegiate football, the famous phrase “style points” is often used in describing victories.

 

Thank goodness “style points” aren’t needed come playoff time. Whether it be pretty or not, a win is a win. And there was nothing stylish about District 9 AA’s semifinal game.

 

Brookville (9-2) amassed 314 rushing yards and the Raiders’ defense held Moniteau (5-6) to just a single second half first down in a 14-7 victory Saturday night at Clarion University’s Memorial Stadium. The win catapults Brookville to the District 9 AA championship game, where the Raiders will face Brockway (10-0), who is averaging 49.9 points per game this season, Friday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. from Clarion University.

 

Raiders’ head coach Chris Dworek’s eyes lit up when he saw his team had amassed the 314 yards on 58 carries. And Dworek admitted the heavy dose of Ryan Kerr, Steve Kennedy and Conan Gilhousen on the ground was to hamstring Moniteau’s dynamic playmaker at quarterback, junior Kyle Armagost.

 

“Their QB is tough,” Dworek said of Armagost. “When he doesn’t have the ball in his hands, he can’t beat you.”

 

Truthfully, Armagost didn’t really beat Brookville’s defense that much, save for a 31-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Pry that capped a 96-yard scoring drive in the second quarter. Armagost, who entered the game with 1,268 passing yards and 1,156 rush yards, finished just 6-of-22 for 91 yards and ran 16 times for 23 yards.

 

For the game, Moniteau finished with just 59 yards rushing, five total first downs and 150 yards of offense. Brookville’s defense sacked Armagost four times in the second half and also forced an interception and three turnovers on downs.

 

“I’m proud (of the defense) almost every week,” Dworek said. “We had a great week of practice and their confidence was very high.”

 

But while the Raider defense was pinning back its ears and blitzing like the concept was going out of style, the Brookville offense did sputter at critical times. The Raiders had opportunities to add at least 20 points to their game total, but couldn’t cash in their chips.

 

Brookville’s initial possession ended with a turnover on downs at the Moniteau 5 yard line after Kennedy had the Raiders in prime position following a 51-yard run to the Moniteau 10. Gilhousen lost a fumble (recovered by Moniteau at its own 4 yard line) as the Raiders, up 7-0 at the time, were driving to a potential second touchdown with 3:22 left in the half. That turnover set the stage for Moniteau’s six play, 96-yard scoring drive.

 

Brookville also failed on two attempted field goals – one missed to the right and the other due to a bad center snap. The Raiders also committed six penalties for 50 yards and committed three turnovers (two fumbles and an interception).

 

“The penalties – that’s a mental thing – we’ve got to bounce back better after those,” Dworek said.

 

But there were plenty of positives for Brookville, too, like feature tailback Ryan Kerr, who finished the game with 197 yards rushing on 34 carries and scored both Brookville touchdowns.

 

Kerr got the Raiders on the board with a 2-yard dive up the middle with 30 seconds left in the first quarter. His 27-yard scoring run with 10:48 left in the game allowed Brookville to break a 7-7 stalemate.

 

“In the first Moniteau game, we realized he (Kerr) could be the workhorse in our offense,” Dworek said of #5. “He had a little spring in his step pregame.” (Kerr has run for more than 1,400 yards on the season).

 

Kennedy added 63 yards on 14 carries and also threw for 83 yards. Gilhousen added 29 yards on eight totes for Brookville.

 

Beyond Armagost, Moniteau was paced by freshman running back Dustin Geegan (9 rush, 36 yards) and receiver Ethan Pry, who had receptions of 41 and 31 yards in the first half and finished with five catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.

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Bellefonte Downs BEA 32-14 To Recapture The Curtin Bowl

 

Written by: William Albright on Saturday, November 6th, 2010

By BILL ALBRIGHT

WesternPAFootball Writer

 

BELLEFONTE — For Brad Grieb, Torin Miller, Nate Schultz, Tyler Lucas, Corey Ross, Brandon Quay and the rest of the Bellefonte Red Raider seniors, the wait is finally over.

 

During their careers as a Red Raider football player, the Bellefonte seniors were never on the winning side of the Curtin Bowl game with Bald Eagle Area. That was until Friday night at Rogers Stadium.

 

With their last chance to end the frustration facing them, the Raider seniors seized the final opportunity as they defeated the Eagles, 32-14, in the regular season finale.

 

“It has been their season and they have worked their butts off to earn everything they have gotten,” said a jubilant Bellefonte head coach Duffy Besch. “This was the last one little thing they needed and it has been bothering them. It is something they wanted for a long time. We were able to come back and weather their storm because they (BEA) are a good, solid team that wouldn’t give up. We were able to answer them and make the plays. Again, this is a senior class that wanted it (the win over BEA) so bad they weren’t going to be denied and tonight, they went out and got it.”

 

With the win, the Raiders move their record to a fine 7-3 and they are headed to the District 6 Class AAA playoffs. For Besch, a graduate of Bellefonte, the victory means a whole lot more than the other six “Ws”.

 

“When you always have this rivalry it makes it a little more special,” Besch said. “Take nothing away from coach (Jack) Tobias because his kids played hard, but it is always special to beat Bald Eagle. This is a good jump start for us heading into the playoffs. We have been playing for 10 weeks now, but we have another tough game next week. Every week we had to come in and step up and our kids have risen to the challenge. I am so proud of them.”

 

As for turnarounds, check this one out. In 2009, the Raiders finished 1-9 before going 7-3 this season.

 

“I had faith in these kids that they would able to turn things around,” Besch said. “Honestly and truthful about it, we were all just hoping to get a winning season to be able to put ourselves in this position. We all thought to finish 7-3 might have been a little bit of a stretch, but as we started and played through the season it just became more realistic. We just focused in on our schedule week by week so that we would be able to play our best every week. Each week has become more and more important and there is no exception to that.”

 

Although disappointed with losing the game, BEA coach Jack Tobias felt his players gave everything they had in them.

 

“We had our chances and opportunities to get things done,” said Tobias. “They made plays when they had to make plays and at times, we couldn’t stop them. They were able to hit a couple of big pass plays and we didn’t tackle well at all tonight. We had them bottled up at times, but somehow they were able to get out and go for 25 or 30 yards. That (tackling) is a fundamental of winning football games and we just didn’t tackle well at all tonight.”

 

Trailing by a 20-7 count, the Eagles came out to score a touchdown on their first possession of the second half to cut the Bellefonte lead to 20-14, but they couldn’t stave off the efforts of the Raiders to get any closer.

 

“I told the guys at halftime, hey, we are down by two scores, but if go out there and score, it is a one-score game and if can score a couple, we could go on top and go home on the bus a winner, said Tobias. “But again, we couldn’t score after, they made plays and scored points and in the end, we just came up short.”

 

While the win propelled the Redmen into the playoffs, the loss ended the season for Tobias and his Eagles who finished at 4-6. Players like Justin Taylor, Kyle Womer, Coleman Hoffman and Brice Beals played their final game as BEA gridders, and although their presence will be missed, their contributions to the Eagle program will never be forgotten.

 

“I told the seniors I was proud of the way they performed,” said Tobias. “I have been here three years and they have been here with me all of that time. J.T. (Justin Taylor), (Kyle) Womer, Ruger (Brower) and (Cody) Hicks are all kids who have been committed to the program. They played hard and did what they needed to do. They play with heart and I just told them that if they ever need anything in their life, I’ll be there for them.”

 

En route to their win, the Raiders had excellent balance in their offensive attach as quarterback Tyler Lucas threw for 165 yards and four touchdowns, while Raider scatback Nate Schultz, although he didn’t reach the end zone, carried 23 times for another 174 yards to set up the Raiders in the red zone.

 

“Our offensive line was just great all season and there are always holes in there,” said Schultz. “Once I got past the line, I was able to make some moves to get to the second level. Our coaches preach to us to run hard and tonight, that is how I ran the ball to pick up extra yards.”

 

In addition to the outstanding individual efforts of Schultz and Lucas, Brandon Quay proved to be Mr. Efficient as he hauled in three passes for 70 yards, scoring a touchdown on each of his receptions. Jonas Holderman scored on Lucas’s fourth TD aerial in the game.

 

For BEA, the Taylor boys, Justin and Jacob each scored, Justin on a 2-yard run and Jacob on a 17-yard jaunt.

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For Garnet Valley to make the Playoffs in the final week of the regular season it was out of their hands. The Garnet Valley Jaguars needed to win and needed some help from other teams. Entering this final week the Jaguars sat at number 17 in the District One rankings; only 16 teams make the playoffs.

 

            The Jaguars needed at least one of the two teams ahead of them to lose, either West Chester Henderson or Penn Wood. Last night West Chester Henderson won their game against Downingtown East by six points, 30-24. The Jaguars only hope was for Penn Wood to lose their game against Chester. The Penn Wood and Chester game started at 2:00pm. A half an hour later the Jaguars kicked off their game against the Lower Merion Aces at Lower Merion.

 

            Just one minute and forty five seconds into the game the Jaguars scored. On fourth down at the nine yard line senior quarterback Jake Helmes threw a nine yard touchdown pass to Justin Pyle for a 7-0 lead.

 

            At halftime the Jaguars led the Aces 7-0. The halftime score at Chester began to look hopeful for the Jaguars. Chester led Penn Wood 8-0. Going into the second half the Jaguars were looking for more touchdowns and they were hoping Chester continued to win.

 

            In the last couple of games the Jaguars began to play their senior, Jeremy Irving both ways; linebacker and fullback. Irving scored back to back touchdowns in the third quarter. His first was a 17 yard carry. The Jaguars went to him again and Irving scored on an 11 yard run to put the Jaguars up by three scores, 21-0. “Our right guard crushed the defensive player in front of me (on the 11 yard touchdown run) and I just scored easily” said Irving.

 

            The Jaguars biggest defensive stand came in the fourth quarter. The Aces began driving down the field into Jaguars territory using their senior running back Josh Novak and senior running back Jimmy Chimekas. On fourth down and one yard to go on the Jaguars 16 yard line, junior quarterback, Desmond Ellis handed the ball off to Chimekas and he was stuffed by the Jaguars and short of the first down which turned the ball over to the Jags. Head coach of Garnet Valley, Mike Ricci said, “We played well defensively and consistently and created a couple of turnovers. I just thought we played a good solid game on defense.”

 

            Late in the game the 6’2, 180 pounder Chimekas did finally find the end zone on a 1 yard dive with only 2:25 to go in the game. Lower Merion needed a miracle to come back down two scores. Jaguars’ defensive back, Austen Conrad ended all hope as he intercepted Ellis ‘pass and ended the game and the regular season with a 21-7 Garnet Valley win.

 

            Halfway through the fourth quarter the Jaguars received bad news. Penn Wood came back and beat Chester by a score of 18-8; which means for the first time in four years the Garnet Valley Jaguars would not be competing in the Playoffs. The Jaguars did though end the regular season with a 7 and 3 record. “I am proud of these guys. We had a couple things that didn’t go our way during the course of the season and it never stopped us from giving everything we had. It’s just a great group to coach and be around.”

 

            Mike Ricci commented about his senior class and said, “We have great, seniors…we always have great kids, at Garnet Valley.”

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PEN ARGYL – Pen Argyl’s defense set the tone early when Mike Racciato put a big hit on Bangor’s wide receiver Ryan Hester. The defense forced five turnovers as Pen Argyl defeated Bangor Area 17-7 Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.

 

After both teams started off slow, Pen Argyl took their second possession and drove down the field. Quarterback Nathan Hood connected on two big pass plays to Joe Wagner to setup the field goal attempt.

 

Wagner kicked a 22-yard field goal to give the Green Knights a 3-0 lead with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter.

 

Bangor answered right back. It would only take four plays for Josh Wing to score from 38-yards out. Bangor led 7-3.

 

The Green Knights countered with a right punch. It only took one play. Hood handed off to Dylan Evans who gave it back to Hood for the flea flicker. Hood found a wide-open Wagner who broke free from two defenders for the 65-yard bomb.

 

With 1:52 remaining in a wild first quarter Pen Argyl led 10-7. Evans ended Bangor next drive when he picked off a Drew Nicholas pass.

 

The first quarter would end with Pen Argyl leading 10-7. The Green Knights were on the move again. They were inside the 10-yard line when Hood fumbled the ball.  Bangor’s defensive lineman Robert Naylor recovered it.

 

There would be no scoring in the second quarter. Both teams came up with key stops as Pen Argyl went into halftime leading 10-7.

 

In the second half the Green Knights defense bent but didn’t break. They forced turnovers and came up with the big plays.

 

After a scoreless third quarter the Green Knights were on the move again after a Josh Wing fumble.

 

The Green Knights ate up the clock on their 16-play drive that was capped by a two-yard score by Evans.

 

With 6:58 remaining they led 17-7.

 

Bangor drove down the field and looked like they would cut the lead to three on a touchdown run by Wing. But a penalty wiped out the play.

 

Evans would come up with his second interception in the end zone to end Bangor’s drive.

 

Bangor got one more crack in the end. Nicholas threw another interception. Racciato cut in front of wide receiver Ben Ammermann for the interception to seal the win.

 

With the win Pen Argyl (9-1) will host undefeated North Schuylkill next week in the District 11 Class 2-A playoff game.

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HARRISBURG, Pa. – There’s a large, white banner spanning Market Street a few blocks west of Bishop McDevitt High School that reads, “Be a friend, not a bully.” The sign is part of an anti-bullying campaign in Harrisburg area schools.

 

But there was just one problem. Bishop McDevitt’s ferocious defense obviously was unaware of said campaign.

 

Bishop McDevitt (8-2) forced four turnovers and turned the gifts into 14 first half points to defeat Harrisburg (8-2) 21-7 from a sun-splashed Severance Field at Harrisburg High School Saturday afternoon.

 

The victory gave McDevitt the #3 seed in the upcoming District 3 AAA playoffs, where the Crusaders will face Big Spring. Harrisburg, meanwhile, will face Penn Manor in the D3 AAAA bracket.

 

But the Cougars have bigger problems than what youthful Penn Manor brings to the table in a week’s time.

 

“We need to find a quarterback,” said Harrisburg head coach George Chaump.

 

The Cougars had ridden the coattails of senior quarterback Jalen Fitzpatrick, a three-year varsity starter who entered the McDevitt game with 1,700 passing yards and more than 1,000 rushing yards. #4 had been lighting things up for the silver and black all season, especially during their 7-game winning streak since a Week 2 loss to Pennsbury.

 

But in the second quarter, Harrisburg’s dreams of a possible District 3 championship may have come crashing to a halt. On his seventh keeper of the game, Fitzpatrick gained a yard, but was injured. He needed to be helped off the field, and received extensive attention on the sideline for the duration of the half. After halftime, Fitzpatrick emerged from the locker room sporting a pair of crutches.

 

Fitzpatrick, who ran for 95 yards and didn’t complete a pass in six attempts, did not return to the game. And, as a result, most of the life was sucked out of Harrisburg’s offense.

 

“He may be lost for the rest of the year,” Chaump said of #4.

 

Backup field general Stanley Lumpkin Jr. replaced Fitzpatrick, and finished 0-for-3 passing with an interception and carried the ball five times for minus-11 yards.

 

“Lumpkin doesn’t get that much work,” Chaump said. “It’s a complicated offense we run (with the option and reads), and Jalen (receives most of the work each week). We need to lick our wounds and work out something for the playoffs. But that ruined a good ball game.”

 

Good if you were a fan of defense. The Crusaders and Cougars combined for five turnovers within the first 17 minutes of game clock (McDevitt -2; Harrisburg -3) and defense resulted in McDevitt’s first two touchdowns of the day.

 

After forcing a Fitzpatrick fumble on Harrisburg’s second play from scrimmage, McDevitt moved 18 yards in six plays, finishing the “drive” with a 4-yard scoring run from senior field general Matt Johnson. Another Cougar fumble, this with 7:00 left in the first half, was recovered in the end zone by linebacker Sean Barowski, giving the blue and gold a 14-7 lead.

 

Fitzpatrick got Harrisburg on the board with an 85-yard scoring run down the home sideline with 7:06 left in the first quarter, but that was one of the few offensive highlights this day for the Cougs, who finished with 134 yards of offense (all rushing) and just six first downs.

 

“Our defense, for the most part (aside from the Central Dauphin game) has played really well all year,” said Crusader boss Jeff Weachter.

 

And offensively, while Harrisburg was bent on shutting down Pitt commit Jameel Poteat (14 rush, 26 yards) pretty much all game long, McDevitt countered with an almost West Coast style passing attack, using screen passes and quick hitters to negate Harrisburg’s lethal defensive front seven.

 

McDevitt tallied five first downs on its first three possessions of the second half – the second of the three possessions yielded the game’s final touchdown, a Poteat 7-yard run on a toss around left end.

 

Johnson, battling a pretty sore hip in the second half, broke off a pair of 19-yard runs, booted two second half punts of 41 and 33 yards to pin Harrisburg deep, and finished 17-of-25 for 146 yards with an interception.

 

“Matt Johnson is one of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached,” Weachter said. “He’s a warrior. He’s so competitive. I kept asking him, ‘Are you OK?’ and every time he told me, ‘Coach, I’m OK. I got it.’”

 

McDevitt finished the day with 229 yards of offense and 16 first downs. Johnson added 11 yards on 12 carries and Darnell Holland chalked up five carries for 39 yards for the gold domes.

 

Harrisburg’s ground attack was paced by Niam Williams (6 rush, 19 yards) and Ray Burnett (10 rush, 25 yards).

 

Asked to speak to McDevitt’s defensive effort this day, Chaump said succinctly, “They didn’t have much to defense (against).”

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While Downingtown West was playing for pride and a fifth straight non-losing season, Bishop Shanahan was playing for a whole lot more.

 

The first seven win season in school history, the first District One AAA football playoff game in school history and more importantly, the first .500 season in the Ches-Mont in school history. But they would have to do it without explosive star Keegan Lawton who was out with a hip pointer injury

 

Bishop Shanahan accomplished all the above and more with a 21-19 Ches-Mont win over Downingtown West Saturday afternoon at Jack Mancini Field in Downingtown.

 

The “more” that the Eagles accomplished was the fact that they will host their first ever playoff game next week at Mancini Field against Springfield (Delco).

 

“I told Keegan  before the game he wasn’t playing” said Eagle Head Coach Paul Meyers. “He didn’t even put his shoulder pads on in the second half”.

 

“This was a huge win for us,” said Eagle Quarterback Ryan Egolf who was 11-28 for 187 yards and two touchdown passes to Chris Cordivari and scored a rushing touchdown.  “Last year they beat us up a little” he added.

 

After a scoreless first quarter,  Downingtown West (4-6 overall, 3-3 league) got on the scoreboard first as Running Back Zach Barr scored on a 23 yard run with 10:29 to go before halftime for a 6-0 lead. The touchdown was set up when Mike Oddo recovered a fumbled punt that gave the Whippets the ball on the 23. Barr led the Whippets with 67 yards on only four carries.

 

Bishop Shanahan then answered as Egolf found Cordivari for a 16 yard touchdown with 5:38 left before halftime. Adam Kamanski then added his first of three extra points and Shanahan went into the locker room with the 7-6 lead. The touchdown was set up on an interception by J.T. Blyden that gave the Eagles the ball on the Whippet 25 yard line.

 

Shanahan then increased their lead to 14-6 as Egolf once again found Cordivari (3 receptions 45 yards) for 20 yards this time with 4:38 left in the third quarter.

 

But back came the Whippets.

 

On the ensuing kickoff, Peter Mulville returned it all the way down to the Eagle 35 and could have gone all the way if not for a touchdown saving shove out of bounds by kicker Kamanski.

 

West then only needed three plays as Barr scored his second touchdown of the game. This time from 27 yards out to cut the Eagle lead 14-12 with 3:05 to play in the third quarter. west then went for the two point conversion and Dontae Horrell was stopped just short of the goal line.

 

“We had 2 different seasons,” said Whippet Head Coach Mike Milano. “We struggled in the scrimmages and the first three games. Then we beat Quakertown and realed off four straight wins. Then we were down 35-14 to Downingtown East and scored two quick touchdowns to get back in that game. Then we had Coatesville the following week and it was 14-10 deep in that game and Shanahan today..

 

Shanahan then seemed to ice the game with 6:51 left as Egolf went over from six yard line to increase the Eagle lead to 21-19.

 

“I told the kids on the sideline that the game wasn’t over yet,”  Meyers. “I told them that they could score quickly”.

 

And that is what happened.

 

Dante Horrell scored on a nine yard run on a fourth and one play with 1:31 left in the game that capped a 80 yard 11 play drive that cut the Shanhan lead to 21-19. Quarterback Kenneth Fuhrmann (10-27 passing, 102 yards) was six of nine for 67 yards in the drive.

 

Shanahan then recovered the ensuing onside kick to run out the clock.

 

” We battled all year” said Milano, whose teams had won 42 games over the previous four years. We have a small senior class and we have nine kids returning on the offense.”

 

As for Shanahan, they now prepare for not only the first playoff game in school history against Springfield (Delco), but they get to play it at home.

 

“We hope to have a big home crowd next week”.  said Egolf.

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