Dominating first half leads Aliquippa past Karns City in PIAA quarterfinals
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In the record book, Friday's PIAA Class AA quarterfinal-round win over Karns City will represent the first time Aliquippa allowed more than 12 points in a game this season.
But in reality, the specifics of the final score were an afterthought for Quips (14-0), who dominated the District 9 champion Gremlins (10-4) enough in the first half of the 51-15 victory at Central Valley to use second- and third-stringers for the rest of the game.
“It's totally irrelevant,” Aliquippa coach Mike Zmijanac said of the season-high for points allowed. “The deal is that (putting back-ups in) keeps them working hard, keeps them coming to practice, keeps them paying attention. That's how you build a program. If you beat somebody 80-0 and keep your starters in, your young kids get disturbed and disgusted.”
Aliquippa scored touchdowns with its first six possessions and held Karns City's run-heavy offense to almost zero yards rushing in the first half.
“That is the best Aliquippa team I've ever seen,” Karns City coach Ed Conto said. “We had a good (opening) kick return, and then it went downhill, bang, bang, bang.”
Almost regardless of who carried the ball for the Quips, a big run ensued.
Dravon Henry scored on runs of 6 and 63 yards and went into halftime with five carries for 119 yards.
Terry Swanson also reached the goal line twice and had seven carries for 73 yards through two quarters.
Malik Shegog took a QB keeper 60 yards for a score.
And Jyier Turner's only rush of the half went 69 yards for a touchdown.
Karns City's first two possessions went backward, with the latter ending in a safety when Khalil Seaburn sacked Tyler Kepple.
“Coach (Dan) Short always says if you really want to win, you've got to throw the first punch,” said Seaburn, who also had a fumble recovery. “I sent that message early in the game.”
The Gremlins finally faced a fourth-and-manageable during their third drive. And they picked up their initial first down with a 20-yard pass from Kepple to Adam Whited in the first play of the second quarter.
During the same drive, Kepple used a 1-yard sneak on fourth-and-1 to reach Aliquippa's side of the field. The Gremlins advanced as far as the 41-yard line before they turned it over on downs with 7:15 left in the quarter.
The shutout ended late in the third quarter, as Karns City drove 50 yards and scored on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Kepple to Whited.
Aliquippa will play Saturday's winner of Hickory (11-1) and Richland (13-0) in the PIAA semifinals at a date, site and time to be determined.
Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com 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.
- HS highlight reel: Pair of title games to be on tape delay Saturday
- South Fayette, Aliquippa form unique traditions for Thanksgiving Day
- Strong running game has propelled Thomas Jefferson into WPIAL title game
- Seneca Valley football team hopes to improve in offseason
- Jeannette two-way star Sanders has Jayhawks back at Heinz Field
- PIAA Class AA first-round preview: Karns City vs. Bedford
- Gorman: Look out for unsung hero
- High school notebook: New classes put football finalists on the move next season
- Jeannette junior Swinton says ‘football is my life’
- HS highlight reel: Winter season set to tip off Dec. 4
- Frazier football well represented in all-conference honors