Late TD catch secures title for Karns City
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Karns City junior wide receiver Dakota Mohney made nicer catches this season, but none mattered more than his final reception Friday night in the District 9 Class AA championship at Clarion University's Memorial Stadium.
Mohney bobbled a pass from Tyler Kepple a bit before he gained control for a 9-yard game-deciding touchdown with 12 seconds left in the top-seeded Gremlins' 33-27 win over No. 2 Kane. Karns City claimed its first title since 2009 and its ninth overall.
“It just bounced off my chest and into my legs, but I knew I had to catch it for him,” said Mohney, who finished with two catches for 29 yards.
“I bumped it back up on my knee and made sure I had it. It was a scary catch, but I wanted D9 for the seniors and for everybody from Karns City.”
With the win, the Gremlins also earned a spot in the PIAA tournament. Karns City (9-3) trailed, 20-12, at halftime and cut the deficit to two points in the third.
It took a 26-20 lead over Kane (7-4) on Zach Moore's 42-yard touchdown run with 6:30 left in the game, but the Wolves answered with a five-play touchdown drive that included a 55-yard completion from Sean Jordan to Jack Kocjancic. Jordan scored on a 1-yard touchdown sneak, and Sean Rolick's kick gave Kane a 1-point edge with 3:58 left.
Karns City dealt the final blow, though, as the Gremlins marched 65 yards in 15 plays to win.
Quarterback Tyler Kepple completed five of six pass attempts during the drive, including a 9-yard pass to Adam Whited on fourth-and-3 at Karns Citys' 42-yard line. The Gremlins also converted on fourth-and-1 at Kane's 40.
The clutch play in the final quarter stood in contrast to the other three quarters for Karns City, which twice turned the ball over inside the Kane 10 in the third. The Gremlins also had a fumble in the first quarter in Kane territory.
“They're always sweet, but there definitely was a lot of anxiety in this one,” Karns City coach Ed Conto said. “You're happy when you win the game. You're upset when they do things wrong. It's great when you can put something together at halftime, the kids listen and they come out and perform.”
Kane's offense might've capitalized on more of Karns City's mistakes if the Wolves had senior running back Jonah Smith in the second half. But Smith, who rushed for 94 yards on 11 carries through two quarters, suffered an ankle sprain and was forced out.
The Wolves still managed to move the ball with Jordan, who completed 21 of 27 pass attempts for 290 yards and two scores, and the quarterback's two favorite targets, Rolick (11 receptions, 159 yards, two touchdowns) and Kocjancic (eight receptions, 126 yards).
“Obviously (Smith's) a huge part of our offense,” Kane coach Todd Silfies said. “We talk about being a balanced team, and that kind of throws us off balance a little bit. But I thought our guys responded well.”
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or 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.
- Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
- Clairton among greatest WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette close
- Gilbert, son of ex-Pitt football standout, commits to Panthers
- Holiday cards evoke Pittsburgh cheer, benefit charities
- Take deal breakers off your list of deal breakers
- WPIAL history full of football dynasties
- WPIAL Class AAAA final preview: Penn-Trafford looking to reverse trend of playoff losses to Central Catholic
- Gorman: Dynasties began with devastating defeats
- WPIAL Class AA final preview: Rivals South Fayette, Aliquippa to play for title for record 3rd straight season
- Democrats unfazed by Paris
- WPIAL Class AAA final preview: Big-play passing attack paying off for defending WPIAL champion Central Valley