Jeannette rolls past South Allegheny
It took No. 4 Jeannette a half to get started Friday in the opening round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs at Norwin.
But once it figured out what South Allegheny was doing defensively, the Jayhawks turned a close game into a 40-7 rout.
Five different Jeannette players scored, including two touchdowns by Anthony Canady in a 28-point second half.
Jeannette (9-1) advances to the quarterfinals, where it will face Beaver, a 28-14 winner over Valley.
“We knew South Allegheny would come out with a lot fire,” Jeannette coach Roy Hall said. “This was their first trip to the playoffs since 1986, and their quick touchdown got our attention.
“We were sluggish in the first half. Once again it was penalties. But after we chewed them out at halftime and eliminated our mental mistakes, things fell into place.”
South Allegheny (7-3) grabbed a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a 61-yard run by Brendon Murn, who finished with 110 yards on 15 carries.
But six turnovers and Jeannette's crisscross reverse started wearing down the South Allegheny defense, especially in the second half.
Touchdown runs by Chiron Alexander (12 yards) and Seth Miller (1 yard) gave Jeannette a 12-7 halftime lead. Miller missed one field goal and had another blocked in the first half.
“You can't turn the ball over six times and expect to win,” South Allegheny coach Pat Monroe said. “We're a good team, but the turnovers were too much to overcome. Once you fall behind, you have to be aggressive and take chances.”
Jeannette, which has made the WPIAL playoffs 36 times, opened the second half with a 56-yard drive after a 20-yard kickoff return by Canady.
Jordan Edmunds, who was taken out of the game in the third quarter after rushing for 113 yards on 16 carries, scored on a 1-yard run to make the score 19-7.
Shavonta Craft, who rushed for 61 of his 68 yards in the second half, left the game with cramps. He set up the Jayhawks' fourth score, an 11-yard run by Canady.
“We weren't focused enough in the first half,” said Canady, who also intercepted a pass and returned a fumble 84 yards for a touchdown. “That's a player's dream, making a big hit, causing a fumble and returning it for a touchdown.”
Jeannette recovered four fumbles and intercepted two passes. Terell Canady had an interception in the fourth quarter, while Ryan Kish recovered a fumble and recorded a sack.
“I'm happy that we won but not satisfied,” Hall said. “We still have some things to clean up. We have to pay attention to details.”
Jeannette outgained South Allegheny, 348-195, including 306-128 on the ground.
Despite the loss, Monroe said his program took a giant step this season.
“I'm tremendously proud of these guys and what they've been through,” he said. “I hope the playoffs were worthwhile. It was a chance for these guys to experience the playoffs.”
Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-836-5095.