Kittanning nips Shady Side Academy, wins Allegheny Conference crown
Kittanning has the spirit of '76.
The Wildcats secured their first undefeated regular season since the nation's bicentennial year of 1976 with a thrilling and controversial win at Shady Side Academy, 28-27, that also decided the Allegheny Conference title.
Quarterback Braydon Toy was 20 for 34 for 238 yards passing and ran for 110 yards to lead No. 8 Kittanning (9-0, 8-0). Nick Bowers caught 10 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown, and he also threw a touchdown pass for Kittanning.
“This win means everything for our program,” Kittanning coach Frank Fabian said. “It validates everything we've been talking about and preaching from Day 1. Three or four months ago, if you had told me this would be the end result, I don't think even I would have believed you.”
Shady Side Academy (8-1, 7-1) was led by its two senior star running backs. Dennis Briggs ran for 107 yards and a score, and Jarred Brevard ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns.
It was after Brevard's second score that controversy arose.
Brevard scored the potential tying touchdown on a 7-yard run, but in the aftermath, Shady Side Academy was called for a celebration penalty.
That penalty moved the kick back 15 yards, and Dan Marous' extra-point attempt slid wide left to keep the Wildcats in front.
“We salute Kittanning for an excellent game,” Shady Side Academy coach Dave Havern said, but he declined further comment on the game or penalty.
Kittanning still had 3:59 remaining to burn off the clock, and they did so with style. Toy threw for two first downs on third-and-long, one of which came on a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch by Brady Crissman.
“Braydon and Nick (Bowers, who caught the other first-down pass) have been making plays for us all year, and we wanted to put it in their hands,” Fabian said. “They came through for us again, as they usually do.”
Those two first downs caused Shady Side Academy to burn their timeouts, and Kittanning was able to run out the clock after an 18-yard run by Toy.
Kittanning never led until it took its 28-21 lead on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Toy to Logan Slagle.