Deer Lakes rallies past East Allegheny
Deer Lakes just wouldn't give up. And that mentality carried the Lancers to their first win of the season.
The Lancers rallied for a 23-22 victory over East Allegheny on Friday night in Class AA Allegheny play at Lancers Stadium.
The Lancers (1-3, 1-3) trailed the Wildcats (1-3, 1-3) through most of the game, until Deer Lakes quarterback junior quarterback Josh Plocki scored on a 7-yard touchdown run with 3:47 left.
The five-play drive that started at the East Allegheny 38 and featured all runs was setup after Deer Lakes forced an East Allegheny punt from its 11.
Defensively, Deer Lakes struggled to stop the East Allegheny passing attack in the first half.
The Wildcats scored touchdowns from 75 yards and 58 yards through the air. Junior quarterback Kyle Whipple threw for 197 yards and two TDs and had a first-half interception.
Both touchdowns went to senior receiver Shawn Adair, who had three catches for 132 yards and two TDs.
The second half was a different story. The Deer Lakes' defense held Whipple to just 18 yards and intercepted him.
The interception sparked Deer Lakes' comeback. With the score, 16-6, and East Allegheny with the ball on a third-and-18, senior linebacker Cody Keenan snagged the second Deer Lakes interception, returning it to the East Allegheny 32.
“Cody dropped back, and it looked like it was the scheme of a lifetime,” Lancers coach Todd Hazlett said. “He dropped back where he was supposed to as a middle linebacker and picked it off. That turnover was huge.”
Keenan also contributed in a big way offensively, rushing for 131 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries.
The ensuing drive saw Plocki throw a 3-yard touchdown to senior receiver Zack Burke to tie the score, 16-16. The extra point was no good.
Deer Lakes racked up 168 rushing yards, which helped keep the East Allegheny offense off the field.
“You have to give them credit. They did a nice job tonight,” East Allegheny coach Jason Ruscitto said.
“It's a tough loss for us, but you have to give them credit.”
D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.