Mars beats Hampton for Greater Allegheny title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Josh Schultheis rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns on 34 carries and threw for another score as Mars defeated host Hampton, 25-10, to capture the Class AAA Greater Allegheny Conference championship Friday night at Fridley Field.
Schultheis, a sophomore who weighs 225 pounds, rumbled for two short touchdowns before connecting with Garrett Ashbaugh for a 22-yard scoring pass for Mars (8-1, 7-1). Ashbaugh also caught a 50-yard TD from Owen Nearhoof, who atoned for two interceptions to put Mars on top, 13-3, in the third quarter.
“I knew it was going to be a slugfest,” Mars coach Scott Heinauer said. “We came out in the second half and wanted to move the football. Our kids wanted the game.”
Hampton (7-2, 6-2) received another strong showing from senior quarterback Jon Nigro, who threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jon Floss to pull the Talbots within 13-10.
The Talbots had two chances to tie the score or take the lead, but Schultheis' second short touchdown run, this one from the 3-yard line, and his surprise pass late in the fourth ended any comeback.
“I am really proud of our team,” Hampton coach Jacque DeMatteo said. “They got us a home game and a No. 2 seed in the playoffs. It is the start of a new season.”
The teams played a tight first half that ended with Mars leading, 7-3. Anthony Bianco's interception of a Nearhoof pass pushed Hampton within striking distance at the Mars 25-yard line, but Ashbaugh took the momentum when he picked off Nigro a few plays later.
The Planets then turned to their running game. Schultheis capped a methodical, run-only drive with a 2-yard carry to put the Planets up, 7-0. The nine-play, 72-yard surge took nearly seven minutes.
Nigro's 30-yard pass to Eddie Edwards and Frank Bello's 19-yard run to the goal line put the Talbots within inches of a score, but a high snap resulted in a 15-yard loss, and Hampton settled for Nigro's 25-yard field goal to make it a four-point game.
Brian Duermeyer 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.
- High school notebook: Thomas Jefferson, Clairton head into enemy territory
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Aliquippa wins 16th WPIAL title, ends South Fayette’s 44-game winning streak
- Clairton captures 12th WPIAL football championship
- Thomas Jefferson uses defense, running game to capture WPIAL title
- Clairton among greatest WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette close
- WPIAL Class AAAA final preview: Penn-Trafford looking to reverse trend of playoff losses to Central Catholic
- WPIAL Class AAAA notes: P-T unable to snap playoff skid vs. Central Catholic
- WPIAL Class AAA notes: Title games draw 16,500 to Heinz Field
- WPIAL Class A notes: Return sparks Clairton for 2nd straight week
- WPIAL Class AAA final preview: Big-play passing attack paying off for defending WPIAL champion Central Valley