Karns City offense too much for St. Marys in district semifinal
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Karns City opened its District 9 Class AA semifinal game with its biggest play of the night, but the Gremlins' little gains made the difference in their home win over St. Marys.
The top-seeded Gremlins (8-3) sustained long drives with steady pickups during their 34-14 victory Friday night against the No. 4 seed Dutchmen (5-6). They used almost a dozen ball carriers to create a multi-threat attack that accumulated more than 340 yards offense, including 205 rushing.
“(Running backs) just rotate every three plays. We don't ride a hot hand,” said Karns City coach Ed Conto, whose team has reached the finals for a sixth time in seven years and will meet No. 2 Kane (7-3) next week. “The next guy up just does what he's supposed to do.”
Tristan Rhoades took the opening kickoff 79 yards for a score to put Karns City ahead, 7-0, just 13 seconds into the game.
Rhoades finished as the team's leading rusher, picking up 65 yards on five carries. Wyatt Everetts (six carries, 50 yards) scored on runs of 16 and 6 yards in the first half. Jake Laughery (five carries, 32 yards), Adam Whited (five carries, 27 yards) and Zach Moore (five carries, 24 yards) also contributed to the Gremlins' ground game.
“They did an exceptional job of being very diverse in their offense,” St. Marys coach Joe Schlimm said. “They throw the ball. They run the perimeter. They misdirect. They run the fullback. So they have a lot of weapons offensively that we didn't do a very good job of stopping.”
Quarterback Tyler Kepple, usually one of the Gremlins' leading rushers, managed just 4 yards on seven carries. But he did more than enough damage with his arm as he completed nine of 11 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
His first touchdown throw, which came midway through the third quarter and put Karns City ahead, 28-6, exemplified the gifts of Everetts, who took a screen pass down the left sideline for 47 yards, dragging several defenders over the last 10.
“Coach always says after the first hit, you have to keep your legs churning, keep going,” said Everetts, who had three catches for 89 yards.
“Big plays can go anywhere with us, basically. It depends what happens and who gets it. My card was drawn.”
St. Marys entered the game with a Wing-T rushing attack that averaged more than 300 yards. The Dutchmen gained 215 on Friday, but they failed to find a momentum-shifting run — and they passed for just four times for 4 yards.
Cody Baker had 71 yards on 11 rushes for the Dutchmen. Alex Feldbauer finished with 24 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns. He left the game early in the fourth quarter with a head injury.
“(Feldbauer) got nicked up a little bit with about eight or nine minutes left,” Schlimm said. “It was enough to call it a season. He's the key to what we do offensively.
“We thought we'd be able to move the ball efficiently on the ground, which I thought we did. But the fact that we were so one-dimensional did hurt us.”
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-543-1303.
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
- WPIAL Class AAA notes: Title games draw 16,500 to Heinz Field
- WPIAL Class AAA final preview: Big-play passing attack paying off for defending WPIAL champion Central Valley
- Clairton captures 12th WPIAL football championship
- WPIAL Class AAAA notes: P-T unable to snap playoff skid vs. Central Catholic
- Morgan Fitch set for ‘Feast of Fists III’
- Central Catholic wins 5th WPIAL football title
- Thomas Jefferson uses defense, running game to capture WPIAL title
- WPIAL Class A notes: Return sparks Clairton for 2nd straight week
- Jeannette junior Swinton says ‘football is my life’
- Thomas Jefferson boys basketball looks to contend in section race