Eighth-seeded Quaker Valley draws No. 9 New Brighton in opening round
TribLIVE Sports Videos
When John Tortorea took over as coach of the Quaker Valley football team in 2011, he wanted to restore pride to the program.
The Quakers took another step forward this season as they clinched their first playoff berth since 1999.
“It's fun,” Tortorea said. “It is going to be a great experience. I am so happy for the school, the young men on the team and everyone involved in the Quaker Valley football family. Three years ago, this is where we planned to be.
“Now we are here, and hopefully we can stay here.”
No. 8 seed Quaker Valley (7-2) will face ninth-seeded New Brighton in the opening round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Chuck Knox Stadium.
The Lions finished the season with a 6-3 overall record and a 5-2 mark in Midwestern Conference play — finishing behind top-seeded Aliquippa and No. 6 Beaver Falls.
New Brighton averaged 33.8 points during the regular season, though the Lions could be ready to score more than that as quarterback Gabe Greco could potentially return after suffering an ankle injury in a 43-0 loss to Aliquippa on Sept. 20. Even if Greco doesn't play, the Lions have a strong quarterback in Payton Faith, who has more than 1,300 all-purpose yards this season.
Running back Scott Florence ran for more than 800 yards and seven touchdowns.
The defense allowed 30.7 points per game and allowed four opponents to score more than 40 points.
“We figured that would be the matchup,” Tortorea said. “After the Ellwood City game last week, we started hearing rumors so we have been preparing. They are an explosive team.”
The Quakers' first playoff game in Chuck Knox Stadium will give the team a chance to regain its focus after falling to Ellwood City, 27-16, in a nonconference game in Week 9. The usually sharp Quaker Valley offense had six turnovers in the setback. The Quakers led 16-14 heading into the fourth quarter, but two late Wolverines touchdowns led to the upset.
Quarterback Dane Jackson led the team in the loss with 99 passing yards and 66 rushing yards — including a 45-yard touchdown scamper.
Tortorea said losing in the final week of the regular season should get the team's attention heading into Friday's game.
“It was a slap in the face,” Tortorea said. “I hope it made the kids angry. I know it sure made me mad. We talked about that game this week, and we are going to use that as motivation on Friday.”
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @NSmith_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Statewide high school football notebook: Clairton’s scoring gaining attention across Pa.
- DC Picks: Connellsville area teams favored
- Gorman: Quitting not the answer
- Bishop Canevin football living on the edge
- Leader Times Q&A: Ford City’s John Bittner
- Monz resigns as Carlynton football coach
- Pine-Richland routs Fox Chapel
- Connellsville hopes to keep rolling
- Class AAA No. 2 Central Valley rips Quad-A No. 6 Penn Hills
- Heritage Conference favorite Blairsville looks to stay unbeaten against rival Ligonier Valley
- Kittanning’s explosive offense to face stiff challenge from stingy Highlands defenders