Jeannette holds on to defeat Greensburg C.C.
When Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic have met in previous seasons, the Interstate Conference title was on the line.
The only thing up for grabs Thursday night at McKee Stadium was playoff positioning.
No. 4 Jeannette (8-1, 7-1) secured second place in the conference and a home game in the upcoming WPIAL Class AA playoffs with a thrilling 7-6 victory over Greensburg Central Catholic (6-3, 5-3), which saw its six-game winning streak stopped.
Greensburg Central Catholic will be the fourth-place team from the conference, and Mt. Pleasant will be third.
“I'm happy with the win, but I'm not satisfied with our performance, especially the penalties,” Jeannette coach Roy Hall said. “Every time we got something going, we shot ourselves in the foot. We're a better team than that.
“Credit goes to Central for hanging in there. We feel the only team that can beat us if we play our game is ourselves, and we almost beat ourselves.”
Jeannette dominated the first half, but only led 7-0 at halftime. The Jayhawks had an 18:16 to 5:44 advantage in time of possession and held a 201-46 yardage advantage. Jeannette ended up outgaining Greensburg Central Catholic, 300-136.
Shavonta Craft gave Jeannette the lead in the second quarter, scoring on a 30-yard run. He had a 76-yard punt return touchdown called back at the end the first half — Jeannette was penalized eight times for 91 yards — but his impact would be felt in the second half.
“There were two great football teams on the field,” GCC co-coach Matt Federico said. “Unfortunately, we came up a little short. Our team showed a lot of heart and we struggled with some things in the first half.
“We turned things around in the second half, but Jeannette played 48 minutes. It's hard to score when you don't have the ball. We have to do a better job getting the ball to our playmakers.”
Jeannette running back Jordan Edmunds was a handful for the GCC defense. The senior rushed for 139 yards on 21 carries and helped Jeannette sustain long, time-consuming drives.
“The credit goes to my offensive line,” Edmunds said. “They gave me the lanes to run through. We didn't play well, but it was a win. Anytime you defeat Greensburg Central Catholic, it's big.”
Nose guard Nathan Childs played well for Jeannette, and helped hold Greensburg Central Catholic to minus-15 yards rushing. GCC quarterback Chase Keller also was sacked six times. He did complete 10 of 20 passes for 151 yards and tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Zach Herman with 10:47 left to cut the lead to 7-6. But Craft, who blocked a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter, broke through to block the extra point.
“We had some leakage up front, and those blocks were the difference in the game,” Federico said.
While Hall was not pleased with the performance, he smiled we he learned what his defense did to GCC's running game.
“That makes me feel a little better,” Hall said.
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-836-5095.