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Burrell outlasts winless Lancers

| Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, 12:03 a.m.

There was plenty of offense to go around as Burrell defeated Deer Lakes, 49-32, in the Class AA Allegheny Conference finale for both teams Friday night at Lancers Stadium.

In a game that featured 689 yards rushing, it was Burrell junior running back Ryan Sowol who stole the show, gaining 257 yards on 27 carries and scoring three touchdowns.

Burrell (4-5, 3-5) led at halftime 28-10, but an interception by senior quarterback Cody Wolfe on the opening drive to begin the second half gave Deer Lakes life. The Lancers capitalized as sophomore running back Hunter Burns sprinted 62 yards for the touchdown. The 2-point conversion was good, making the score 28-18. Burns finished with 21 carries for 166 and one touchdown.

After a 10-yard touchdown pass by Wolfe to senior receiver Nick Pattock, Deer Lakes again answered with a 47-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Josh Plocki. Deer Lakes clawed to within 11 thanks to the scores. Plocki rushed for 117 yards on 11 carries and scored three touchdowns.

Burrell, though, smothered any hope of a Deer Lakes comeback as Sowol scored his third touchdown on the night from 2 yards to open the scoring in the fourth.

“Ryan will tell you all that is possible through his line and all the other players around him,” Burrell coach Kevin Horwatt said. “Ryan's work ethic speaks for itself. But again, it's up to all these guys, all 11 on the field. You can just see the camaraderie they have right here. It's what made tonight possible.”

The loss completed a winless first season for Deer Lakes coach T.J. Wiley.

“Even though we're 0-9, I want to be here, and this is truly where I want to be and build here,” Wiley said. “We got a great group of young kids. Anybody that's followed us knows that we're loaded with young kids. My kids are already asking me when the weight room will be open. In the midst of this bad season, if you will, not one kid on my team has quit all year. These kids have battled all year and persevered and fought through, and that says so much about their character.”

D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.

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