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Quaker Valley holds on to defeat Steel Valley

| Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, 12:27 a.m.
Ronald Vezzani Jr. | For the Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley's Dane Jackson runs downfield against Steel Valley on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, at Steel Valley.

Steel Valley coach Rod Steele said his team's game against Quaker Valley came down to mistakes.

And unfortunately for the Ironmen (2-3, 2-3), they finished with more than the No. 9-ranked Quakers (5-0, 5-0), who walked away with a 14-7 Class AA Century Conference victory Friday night.

“I tell the team all the time that mistakes cost you,” Steele said. “And it cost us tonight. Quaker Valley has a great football team with good athletes. Their quarterback is probably the best dual-threat quarterback we will see all season. But this is a game I think we should have won.”

The Quakers struck first on what appeared to be a broken play. Quarterback Dane Jackson collided with a teammate in the backfield, but the junior was able to turn upfield for a 65-yard touchdown run to give Quaker Valley a 7-0 lead it carried into halftime.

Steel Valley forced a three-and-out on the opening drive of the second half that led to a short punt. The Ironmen, starting the drive from the Quaker Valley 40, capitalized as Derek Taylor scored on a 34-yard run.

The momentum was halted on the ensuing kickoff as QV's Chris Conlan returned the ball 65 yards to the Steel Valley 30. Eleven plays later, Aaron Cunningham rumbled in from 1 yard to put the Quakers up 14-7.

The Ironmen had chances to score in the fourth quarter. On their first drive of the frame, a DeWayne Murray touchdown run was called back on an illegal formation penalty, and Brendon Caldwell tripped after making a catch with no Quaker Valley defenders between him and the end zone.

Late in the fourth, a bad snap on a Quakers punt gave Steel Valley the ball on the Quaker Valley 12-yard line. But on fourth down, quarterback Connor Stevens was stood up and the Quakers regained possession.

Murray had 71 rushing yards for Steel Valley.

It is the third Ironmen loss in a row since senior running back D'Andre Pickens left a Week 3 setback to South Fayette with a lower body injury.

“It is our job as coaches to get the kids back on track,” Steele said. “The staff needs to take the bull by the horns. It isn't getting any easier with West Allegheny next week and finishing with conference play.”

Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at nsmith@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.

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