Summit Academy tunes up for postseason with victory
Summit Academy concluded its regular season with a 38-20 victory over Freeport on Saturday afternoon.
The Knights, in the WPIAL playoffs for the first time in the school's 16-year existence, finished third in the Allegheny Conference.
Summit Academy (5-4, 5-3) finished tied with Valley for third but defeated the Vikings this season. It was the first time the Knights topped Freeport (2-7, 2-6) in eight meetings.
The Knights' Elijah Hardy and Note Cofer scored two touchdowns apiece.
Because it is a court-adjudicated institution, Summit had just one returning player from last season.
“I can't be happier for our kids; I can't be happier for our staff and the parents,” Knights coach Steve Sherer said. “It was important that we won this game after losing to Shady Side Academy last week. I'm proud of the kids, especially with most of them being first-year football players.”
Summit Academy will learn its first-round playoff opponent when brackets are announced Monday.
The Knights jumped on Freeport with two early touchdowns.
Hardy scored his 13th touchdown of the season on a 6-yard run.
Larry Richardson then recovered a Yellowjackets fumble on Freeport's second play from scrimmage and raced 28 yards to the 9-yard line.
On fourth-and-5, Anthony Mitchell caught a 5-yard pass from J'Ron Hill-Phillips to put Summit ahead 12-0 with 7:33 left in the first quarter.
Freeport quarterback Andrew Romanchak found Josh Brestensky open near the goal line to bring Freeport within 12-6.
“I liked it when it was 12-6,” Yellowjackets coach John Gaillot said. “We start out slow every game. I don't know what it is. Maybe since we're inexperienced we have to feel out a team, and once we realize we can play with them, we can move the ball and our defense can stop them.”
Cofer scored on a 3-yard run in the third period, but Freeport drove 72 yards in 12 plays to cut Summit's lead to 20-14 with 8:04 left in the game.
Michael Troup scored his first touchdown of the year on an 8-yard carry. Summit answered with a 47-yard run by Hardy. After Jalen Alexander's interception, Cofer ran 85 yards to put Summit in front 32-14.
Romanchak threw for 204 yards, including 103 yards in the fourth quarter.
George Guido is a freelance writer.