South Fayette makes statement in win over playoffs-bound Quaker Valley
Before its game with South Fayette, Quaker Valley held a ceremony to honor the nine seniors on its roster.
But after the opening kickoff, a Lions junior stole the show.
Quarterback Brett Brumbaugh completed 15 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns as 2-AA South Fayette (6-0, 6-0) rolled over 7-AA Quaker Valley, 49-15, to take sole possession of first place in the Century Conference.
“We put a big emphasis on this game,” Brumbaugh said. “They are a good team. We wanted to show the conference that we are here, and we want to win it.”
The passing attack was able to carve the Quakers' defense in the first half. Brumbaugh found Penn commit Justin Watson on three touchdown passes — of 39, 34 and 29 yards — as the Lions built a 35-0 halftime lead.
“The receivers collectively and I have great chemistry,” Brumbaugh said. “They played a little one-one-one with Watson, so we tried to get him deep because he has a lot of speed. It was just him getting by his man and getting open.”
The South Fayette rushing attack also was in stride. Grant Fetchet finished with 131 yards and a score, and J.J. Walker scored twice.
The Quakers showed promise on two drives in the first half, but both stalled after bad snaps that sent the offense backward. Both plays had quarterback Dane Jackson lined up outside of his normal spot at quarterback as the team searched for a spark.
“We tried a new formation,” Quaker Valley coach John Tortorea said. “We just couldn't execute. South Fayette was South Fayette. That was the problem. They are a very good football team. We knew they were going to come at us. They are an upper-level team. We saw where we stand, and we will get better from it.”
Jackson was able to gain 96 yards on 11 carriesbut completed only four passes for 18 yards. Aaron Cunningham added 49 yards rushing.
“We knew we had to stop (Jackson),” South Fayette coach Joe Rossi said. “Outside of him, we knew their running backs are tough. They are good football players. They've run over everybody. We were excited about the challenge of having to stop them.”
The 15 points surrendered was the most given up by the Lions this season.
Both team have clinched a spot in the WPIAL postseason, but the Quakers (5-1, 5-1) must defeat one-loss Seton-La Salle next week to claim a home playoff game — the first postseason appearance by the Quakers since 1999.
“We are going to throw this out of our system tonight,” Tortorea said. “I told the guys we are probably not going to watch film on it. (South Fayette) is loaded, and sometimes you don't match up well. Our focus is now on Seton-La Salle.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com