Penn-Trafford holds off Connellsville
By Wes Crosby
Published: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 11:39 p.m.
Penn-Trafford survived a sloppy second-half performance to earn a 21-15 win over Connellsville in Quad East action Friday night at Warrior Stadium.
Down six points and with less than two minutes to play, the Falcons marched 55 yards to Penn-Trafford's 30-yard line to set up a final play with six seconds left. Connellsville quarterback Jade Maher heaved a pass to wide receiver Darrell Russell in the end zone, but Russell couldn't secure the ball. As the ball hit the ground, so did the Falcons' hopes of a comeback.
“Connellsville came out strong,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “They opened up their passing book a little bit, and they found some stuff they like and that was effective. It was a battle all night.”
Connellsville (1-5, 1-4) pulled to within five points after a botched Penn-Trafford punt snap resulted in a third-quarter safety.
Penn-Trafford (4-2, 4-1) controlled the ball for most of the quarter on its ensuing drive and extended the lead to 12 on quarterback Brett Laffoon's 6-yard pass to Brendan Reddy with 1:05 left in the third.
But the Falcons refused to go away, as Maher continued his impressive performance — he completed 13 of 25 pass attempts for 148 yards and two touchdowns — by hitting tight end Jimmy DeMarco for a 10-yard touchdown with 7:52 remaining.
Connellsville had an opportunity to drive for a lead with 3:53 left but made a crucial mistake on a trick play. On first-and-10, Maher pitched the ball to Dylan Knopsnider, who was intercepted by Penn-Trafford linebacker Tom Stinelli on the halfback option, giving the Warriors the ball and forcing the Falcons to use all their of their timeouts during the next drive.
“We just didn't get over the hump,” Connellsville coach David McDonald said. “We had some opportunities, but you have to give Penn-Trafford some credit for that. We had the momentum going in the second half; we were moving the ball. We really just didn't capitalize when we had the opportunity to capitalize.”
In addition to his defensive performance, Stinelli impressed at running back. He capped a nine-play, 66-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run through the left side of Connellsville's defense to give the Warriors a 14-7 lead.
“We expect him to play like that every week,” Ruane said. “He's as tough as they come. He's a dream to coach. He's going to give you everything he has every single week.”
Penn-Trafford running back Devin Austin also had a strong game, finishing with 82 rushing yards on 24 carries.
Wes Crosby is a freelance writer.
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.
- Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic dominates Clarion in PIAA semifinals
- South Fayette, Hickory share simliar offensive schemes by spreading it around
- Central Catholic delivers crushing defensive performance to qualify for PIAA championship
- Clarion’s explosive offense to test Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic’s stingy defense
- Central Catholic looks for knock out against District 3 champion in PIAA semifinals
- Young Plum tackle shares conference honors with big names