McKenzie leads Washington past South Fayette
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Washington exorcised one demon from the 2011 season Friday night. Now, the Prexies will try to rid themselves of another at Heinz Field.
Shai McKenzie rushed for 293 yards and four touchdowns to lead No. 3 Washington to a 26-14 victory over No. 2 South Fayette in the WPIAL Class AA semifinals at Chartiers Valley High School.
“We watched films (on South Fayette) a lot,” McKenzie said. “We knew Beaver Falls ran on them a lot. We knew what we had to do. We're a running-style team ,and we like to just power the ball. We made it happen.”
With the victory, Washington (12-0) moved on to the WPIAL championship game, where it will meet No. 1 Aliquippa (12-0) at 5 p.m. Friday at Heinz Field.
The Prexies and Quips met in the WPIAL quarterfinals last season at Chartiers Valley. Aliquippa won that game, 36-6, holding McKenzie to zero rushing yards.
“We're a new team, they're a new team,” McKenzie said. “It's a new year.”
Friday night's battle of the WPIAL's top rusher in McKenzie and its top passer in South Fayette's Brett Brumbaugh went to the running back. Brumbaugh threw for 218 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score, but he also tossed two interceptions. South Fayette's previous low in points this season was 35.
“You can't completely stop a team like South Fayette from throwing the ball,” Washington coach Mike Bosnic said. “They're going to get their yards and they're going to make their plays. But (we) had the kids well-positioned. The kids worked really hard all week to prepare, and I'm really proud of them.”
McKenzie, meanwhile, passed former Fort Cherry star Mike Vernillo for the Washington County single-season rushing record. With 2,656 yards on the season, he needs 85 to pass Rushel Shell for the WPIAL single-season mark.
From the get-go, Washington's ball-control offense dominated.
The Prexies ran 22 offensive plays to South Fayette's five in the first quarter, possessing the ball for 10:21 and scoring on a McKenzie 8-yard run with 5.5 seconds left.
McKenzie struck again early in the second quarter, when he took a handoff and burst untouched through the middle for a 58-yard score.
But Brumbaugh ran for a TD and passed for another for a 14-all tie at halftime.
Washington retook the lead on the opening drive of the third quarter, when McKenzie scored on a 56-yard run.
Down 20-14, South Fayette drove inside the Washington 5, but the Lions turned it over on downs when Brumbaugh's pass to Tyler Challingsworth fell incomplete.
McKenzie sealed the win with a 7-yard run in the fourth.
“(We) came back with a strong second quarter, but the turning point was we need to score right there,” South Fayette coach Joe Rossi said. “We had opportunities.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Stupid Steelers
- Steelers running backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges
- Braves’ error, Sanchez’s sacrifice fly in 9th help Pirates snap long skid
- UPMC earnings turn positive, but pressures mount
- Pa. trooper injured in pursuit in Washington County
- It’s only exhibition, but these Steelers could solidify roster spots vs. Eagles
- 1 injured in Pa. Turnpike crash in Beaver County
- GOP: Wolf ‘Fresh Start’ campaign violates Pennsylvania law
- Karns City RB sets sights on playing full season
- Carroll incident draws police from 4 departments
- EDMC to cut costs, roll out new grant