Upper St. Clair blanks Kiski Area
No. 3 Upper St. Clair scored on every first-half possession but one in a 49-0 win over visiting Kiski Area in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs on Friday night at Panthers Stadium.
“I told the team I thought the moment was a little big for us tonight,” Kiski Area coach Dave Heavner said. “It's all new for these kids. What we experienced tonight was playoff football, and we certainly weren't ready for playoff football.”
Kiski Area made its first playoff appearance since 2006.
Upper St. Clair (9-1), which led 42-0 at halftime, moves on to play No. 11 Central Catholic (8-2) in the quarterfinals.
“We did some good things,” Upper St. Clair coach Jim Render said. “I thought we mixed the offense up a lot. We kept them off-guard a little bit in that first half.”
No. 14 Kiski Area (4-6) allowed Upper St. Clair quarterback Pete Coughlin to take over the game from the beginning.
The senior scored on a 32-yard run midway through the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. Later, Coughlin found junior Mac Pope for a 24-yard touchdown pass for a 21-0 lead after one quarter.
Coughlin added a 44-yard touchdown pass to receiver Marcus Galie early in the second quarter.
“Pete's a very versatile athlete,” Render said of Coughlin. “He demonstrated a lot of different skills tonight. He's a take-charge kid.”
Coughlin finished 5 of 7 passing for 117 yards and had four carries for 60 yards.
Kiski Area, meanwhile, could muster only 37 yards of offense in the first half.
Cavaliers freshman quarterback Chad Kuhn finished with four completions for 27 yards. Junior running back Pat Turner carried eight times for 34 yards, and junior tight end Shane Kuhn caught three passes for 30 yards.
“We've taken a giant step this year in the program,” Heavner said. “We worked hard. We fought and scratched for everything we got (this year). We earned everything we got.”
Dave Yohe is a freelance writer.