Connellsville falls short of postseason
TribLIVE Sports Videos
ALTOONA — Host Altoona ended Connellsville's playoff hopes by dropping the Falcons, 27-12, on Friday night at Mansion Park Stadium.
Altoona finished 4-4 in the Foothills Conference and 4-5 overall to earn the wild card in the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs. Connellsville finished 2-6 in the conference and 2-7 overall.
Connellsville took the opening kickoff and marched to the Altoona 27 before turning the ball over on downs when quarterback Jade Maher's fourth-down pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage.
“We had that first drive and had a decision to make,” Connellsville coach David McDonald said of the fourth-and-2 call. “We had a guy wide open in the flat, and the ball was tipped. If we had gotten that first down and gone on to score, who knows what would have happened?”
Altoona took over and marched 73 yards on nine plays for its first score, a 2-yard burst by fullback Mante Barnes.
The Lions scored twice in the second quarter, on passes from Brennan Luciano to Avery Howsare (14 yards) and Jeff Hancock (24).
“They played a really good first half,” McDonald said. “They were pretty physical against us. Give them credit. They played well.”
Barnes' 6-yard run hiked Altoona's advantage to 27-0 in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Connellsville scored twice against the hosts' reserves in the final six minutes.
“We threw really well the first half,” Altoona coach John Franco said. “We figured they'd be loosened up, so we were able to pound the ball on the ground in the second half. Our offense did a really nice job the entire game.”
Backup quarterback Jimmy Cellurale scored on a 3-yard run and later scooped up an Altoona fumble and raced 27 yards for the Falcons' other TD.
McDonald, in his second year as coach, said the Falcons played several underclassmen.
“We graduated 22 seniors from last year,” he said, “so we were starting from scratch again, but I was really proud of my kids. ... We've got a lot to look forward to.”
Jim Lane is a freelance writer.
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.
- Leechburg’s Burtick, Knapp developing rapport in passing game
- West Mifflin will enter season without bona fide No. 1 running back
- Laffoon, Vecchio provide valuable passing attach for Penn-Trafford
- Uniontown’s Washington poised to have breakout season
- Big doings on tap for BVA’s home opener
- HSFB preview by position: Plenty of Division I talent on area offensive lines
- Clairton eyes return to PIAA championship game
- HSFB preview: New coaches set to lead teams to victory
- New football uniforms can change perceptions, help establish identity
- Gorman: Don’t judge WPIAL by the cover
- Plum tackle Tecak ready to make impact