Penn-Trafford pummels Kiski
Penn-Trafford will have a chance to defend its conference crown.
The Warriors (6-1, 6-0) rolled to their sixth straight victory by shutting out visiting Kiski Area, 27-0, on Friday night.
Penn-Trafford, ranked No. 9 in Class AAAA by Trib Total Media, will play No. 3 Gateway next week to determine the Quad East champion.
“(Gateway) is outstanding,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “They don't have a weak spot. It's going to take a great week of preparation to be in the game.
“They're well coached. They're physical. They're fast. They have it all. We have to play our best game of the year to be in it and to try and win it.”
Gateway eliminated Penn-Trafford from the WPIAL playoffs a year ago with a 34-9 victory in the quarterfinals. Penn-Trafford won the regular season meeting, 16-14.
The Warriors got off to a fast start against Kiski Area, as sophomore Devin Austin returned the opening kickoff 80 yards to the Cavaliers' 5. Tom Stinelli scored on the ensuing play to put Penn-Trafford up 7-0.
On the Warrior's next drive, Austin caught a screen pass from quarterback Dorian Stevens and went 91 yards to give Penn-Trafford a 14-0 lead.
“He's tremendous,” Ruane said. “He's a sophomore, he's 100-and-whatever pounds, but he's plays like a senior. We can call any play when he's in the game. He's a spark.”
Austin, who rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns in Penn-Trafford's 38-17 win over Connellsville a week ago, is looking forward to the showdown with Gateway.
“Coach Ruane coached there, so it's always a good game,” Austin said. “We're building good chemistry and coming together.”
Kiski Area (3-4, 3-3) kept the game close early but never capitalized on key opportunities. The Cavaliers drove to the Penn-Trafford 12 on their opening drive, but a fumble by freshman Lincoln Clayton gave momentum back to the Warriors.
Kiski also put together a 16-play, 61-yard drive in the second quarter that ended with a Ricky Carter interception. Carter finished with three interceptions.
“For whatever reason, we're making mistakes and shooting ourselves in the foot,” Kiski Area coach Dave Heavner said. “We weren't able to finish drives.”
Kiski, still in the playoff hunt, will close the season with games against McKeesport and Latrobe.
“We've got two winnable football games to go,” Heavner said. “We've got to refocus and win those football games.”
Ray Judy is a freelance writer.