Kiski Area tops Penn-Trafford to lock down playoff bid
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With his team fighting for playoff positioning in a tight Quad East race, Kiski Area coach Dave Heavner recognizes the importance of every conference game.
Judging from their performance Friday night against Penn-Trafford, his players are also well aware.
Patrick Turner and Chad Kuhn rushed for two touchdowns apiece, Adam Mitcheson booted two field goals and the Kiski Area defense shut down Penn-Trafford for the majority of a 34-14 victory at Davis Field.
“Kiski Area players are smart, they work hard, they do what I ask them to do and they never give up,” Heavner said. “Tonight was a showcase of those qualities.”
With the win, Kiski (4-3, 4-2) secured a playoff bid for the second straight year and moved into a third-place tie with Hempfield and Penn-Trafford. The Cavaliers play No. 4 McKeesport next week.
“Every game is important, but especially a conference game,” Heavner said. “We knew it was going to be a tough battle. I'm just happy that our guys responded and we were able to get this win.”
Penn-Trafford (4-3, 4-2) took an early 7-0 lead, going 65 yards on nine plays on its opening drive and scoring on a 6-yard Devin Austin run.
Kiski Area buckled down after that, scoring the next 27 points before Penn-Trafford broke through again late in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers held Penn-Trafford's usually strong rushing attack to less than 50 yards on the night.
“We came right down the field and did what we wanted to do (on the first drive),” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said. “Our defense played great in the first half. They played winning football in the first half, and the offense did not other than the first drive.”
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, played without top running back Lincoln Clayton, but the offense hardly missed a beat. Turner rushed for 119 yards, and quarterback Chad Kuhn added 90 yards rushing and two scores. Kuhn also passed for 160 yards.
Turner's 28-yard touchdown run and Mitcheson's 31-yard field goal gave Kiski Area a 10-7 halftime lead. Turner added a 5-yard score in the third quarter, and Mitcheson added another 31-yard field goal.
Kuhn's two touchdowns came in the fourth quarter. The first, from 27 yards out, gave the Cavaliers a 27-7 lead. After the Warriors cut the deficit to 27-14 on a Tom Stinelli halfback pass, Kuhn scored from 54 yards out to put the game away.
“If we don't turn the ball over, I think we can beat anybody,” Heavner said. “This is the second consecutive week, knock on wood, that we didn't turn the ball over.”
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @dgulasy_Trib.
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