Kittanning steamrolls Deer Lakes, 50-14
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Two games will decide it all for Kittanning in the Allegheny Conference.
Freshman running back Zane Dudek rushed for 193 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries, and the Class AA No. 9 Wildcats remained perfect with a 50-14 win Friday over visiting Deer Lakes.
Kittanning (7-0, 6-0) moved into a tie for first in the conference with Shady Side Academy. The Wildcats control their path to the title with games against third-place Valley and Shady Side Academy remaining.
The offense continued to roll for Kittanning, which has scored 160 points in the past three games. Quarterback Braydon Toy was 9-for-10 passing for 178 yards and three touchdowns, and the junior also ran for a 19-yard score.
“Any time you don't punt the ball for three weeks, you're doing something right,” Kittanning coach Frank Fabian said. “I can't say enough about our offensive line. Over the course of the last few weeks, we really rode them. They seem to get better each week, which is encouraging with who we have going forward.”
Kittanning had a 22-0 lead early in the second quarter when Deer Lakes (0-7, 0-6) had its biggest moment of the game, a 15-play, 79-yard drive that took 6:21. The drive ended with the first of two rushing touchdowns for senior quarterback Josh Plocki, who finished with a team-high 82 yards on 14 carries.
“Josh Plocki has been an absolute warrior all season,” Deer Lakes coach T.J. Wiley said. “He's been through some down years for Deer Lakes football, but he comes in every day with a smile on his face, and he battles.”
Kittanning took a 36-7 halftime lead on touchdown catches by Max Mechling and Logan Slagle, but Dudek made the play of the game on a 71-yard run to set up Slagle's touchdown. The freshman took an option handoff running behind the left side of his line and bounced the play outside. Three defenders had a shot to bring him down near the first-down marker, but the freshman did a great job of changing speed, breaking tackles and using his downfield blocks to reach the red zone.
“(Dudek) was around 10 yards per carry coming in, and he improved that tonight,” Fabian said. “He just has an ability to make guys miss in open spaces, and he's the perfect running back for our offense. He has a knack for making the right cut, and we're going to need him these next two weeks.”
The next two weeks will determine where in the top three the Wildcats will finish, and Lancers coaches think Kittanning has a shot at the No. 1 spot.
“Kittanning is a phenomenal team, and they can really do everything,” Wiley said. “I respect Frank (Fabian) a lot, and we enjoy watching them because they do some things that are outside-the-box. They have a great team, and these last two weeks, I really do think they can compete and run the table.”
Wiley said he hopes his Lancers approach the last two as though they were playoff games.
“We never imagined being 0-7, but we have to move forward,” Wiley said. “I haven't had one kid quit on me all year, and I'm not going to quit on them.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.
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