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Hempfield loses sixth straight, drops thriller at Altoona

| Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, 11:45 p.m.

ALTOONA — Braden Burchfield tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell Lawhead with four seconds left Friday night to give Altoona a pulsating 48-47 win over Hempfield in a WPIAL Southeastern Conference game at Mansion Park.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak for Altoona (2-5). It was the sixth straight loss for Hempfield (1-6).

“It was a great high school football game,” coach Rich Bowen said outside the quiet Hempfield locker room. “We had opportunities but couldn't pull it out.

“Give Altoona credit. I'm proud of our effort, but we've got to find ways to win.”

Both quarterbacks were outstanding. Altoona's Burchfield connected on 23 of 33 passes for 471 yards and five touchdowns. Burchfield also ran for a TD.

Hempfield's Justin Sliwoski hit 17 of 28 for 316 yards and three TDs. He also rushed for a pair of scores.

“Wow,” Altoona coach Nick Felus said after the comeback win. “It was a total team effort and to do it on homecoming was great.”

Sliwoski and Nick DiAndreth teamed up on a 40-yard scoring pass to give Hempfield a 47-42 lead with 1:20 remaining, but Burchfield drove Altoona 71 yards on nine plays.

Jim Lane is a freelance writer.

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