Big plays carry East Allegheny over Burrell
Unable to contain East Allegheny's explosive playmakers, Burrell watched its slim playoff hopes fade away Friday night.
The Bucs fell 48-17 on the road to the Wildcats, who scored three touchdowns on plays of at least 75 yards in the Allegheny Conference game.
East Allegheny (4-4, 4-4) entered the game with no possibility of qualifying for the playoffs, having lost the tiebreakers to Valley and Summit Academy.
Burrell (3-5, 2-5) came out and made no bones about its offensive intentions.
The Bucs' opening drive ate up 9:12 and included 20 plays.
Ryan Sowol carried the ball 18 times on the Bucs' drive, but Burrell could muster only a field goal.
Sowol carried the ball 46 times and was the game's leading rusher with 175 yards.
East Allegheny responded on the next drive when Kyle Whipple ran in from 1 yard out to give the Wildcats a 7-3 lead.
Whipple was the Wildcats' offensive star, completing 9 of 14 passes for 142 yards and running for 47 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
Burrell answered when Anthony Potts returned the kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown for a 10-7 lead.
That was the last time Burrell scored for almost three quarters.
Dontez Allen made a shifty 82-yard fumble return early in the second quarter, making it 14-10.
Taizjon Brown and Whipple each added a touchdown run, and East Allegheny headed to the locker room at halftime up 27-10.
Brown had 153 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
“Whipple played a great first half,” East Allegheny coach Dom Pecora said. “He really stood in there and made some plays.”
The second half of senior night belonged to a freshman, as Wildcats cornerback T.J. Bull made two interceptions.
“(Bull) worked his butt off on scout team and made us play him,” Pecora said. “He's really worked hard.
“Freshman or not, he deserved to play.”
Burrell coach Kevin Horwatt harped on breakdowns on all sides of the ball.
“We just made too many mistakes and didn't capitalize on their mistakes,” he said.
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.