Armstrong spoils final game at Kiski Area's Davis Field
In a span of 20 seconds late in the third quarter, Armstrong spoiled Kiski Area's final game at Davis Field.
The Riverhawks forced a fumble and an interception on back-to-back possessions and capitalized quickly on both turnovers, scoring twice on its way to a 56-25 victory over the Cavaliers in a Big East 9 game Friday.
Trailing 18-13 late in the third, Armstrong forced a Ross Greece fumble at the Kiski Area 30-yard-line and scored on an Isaac Ridinger 7-yard run to take the lead. On the next Kiski Area play from scrimmage, Armstrong tipped a passed at the line of scrimmage that Tanner Stivason intercepted and returned the ball to the Cavaliers' 22.
Dawson Porter connected with Isaiah Price for a 22-yard touchdown on the first play following the interception to make it 28-18.
From there, the Riverhawks, who forced five turnovers, outscored Kiski Area, 28-7.
“When we got that second turnover, we wanted to take a shot,” Armstrong coach Frank Fabian said. “That's something we like to do when a team's reeling. We want to take a shot before they can grasp what happened.”
Kiski Area quarterback Ryne Wallace threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns. Wallace hit Troy Kuhn with a 28-yard score in the second quarter, had a 15-yard TD pass to Cameron Guercio in the second and found Luke Lander on a 24-yard pass that gave Kiski Area (1-9, 1-7) an 18-13 lead early in the third.
Porter led the Riverhawks with 276 passing yards, 107 rushing yards and five touchdowns.
Last week, Armstrong (6-4, 4-4) celebrated a win in its final game at Dave ‘Red' Ullom Field in Kittanning, but soured the mood in the Cavaliers' final game at Davis, the Vandergrift field where Kiski Area has played its home games since the school's inception in 1962. Kiski Area will move to the on-campus Dick Dilts Stadium next season.
“There's a lot of history here … I wanted our kids to be the last ones to win here,” Kiski Area coach Sam Albert said. “It's a process for us. We just seem to shoot ourselves in the foot.”
Turnovers hurt the Cavaliers. Greece fumbled on a punt return that led to an Armstrong touchdown and a bad snap on a punt gave Armstrong good field position. The mistake led to a Zac Steiner field goal in the final minute of the second quarter and gave Armstrong a 13-12 lead.
“We're in position, but we're just not making the play,” Albert said. “That's going to come. You can never fault our effort. We play all-out on every play, but we just have to make plays. We'll get there.
“I'm proud of our seniors. It's tough for them to have a new coach for their senior year, but they did everything we asked them to do. We feel like they've set the foundation for the years to come.”
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer.