No. 14 Yough upsets Kittanning in first round
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With two offenses that showed no signs of slowing, Yough had just a little more firepower.
The 14th-seeded Cougars pulled off a major upset by going on the road to knock off the Allegheny Conference champ, No. 3 Kittanning, 57-42, in a Class AA first-round game with more than 1,000 yards of offense Friday.
Yough quarterback Tyler Donahue did it all for the Cougars (6-4), as he completed 14 of 18 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 137 yards and two touchdowns and added an 80-yard kickoff return for a score. Clayton Waldron had 144 yards rushing, 97 yards receiving and scored three times for Yough, which advances to face sixth-seeded Beaver Falls in the quarterfinals Friday.
It was the first postseason victory in Yough's school history, while Kittanning (9-1) still is seeking its first playoff win since 1975.
“It's not the way you draw it up, but it worked,” Yough coach Mark Crovak said. “Offensively, I said, Kittanning was going to be a handful, and they were. Our kids stepped it up in the second half defensively, and that was the difference.”
Zane Dudek led Kittanning with 192 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and Nick Bowers added 114 yards rushing, 69 yards receiving and a score for the Wildcats.
Kittanning quarterback Braydon Toy ran for 64 yards and a score and was 14 for 18 for 124 yards, but he was held without a touchdown pass for only the second time.
The Wildcats led by a touchdown four times in the first half, but each time, Yough answered. Once the Cougars made a stop, a 10-yard pass from Donahue to Waldron put Yough ahead, 36-28, at halftime, and never trailed again.
“We had a couple of opportunities to open up a bigger lead, and we didn't get it done,” Kittanning coach Frank Fabian said. “Give credit to their quarterback. He made every right decision (Friday).”
Kittanning was hurt by the loss of two defensive backs, Logan Slagle and Brady Crissman, and the Yough offense took advantage to outgain the Wildcats, 529-494.
“We never let them get momentum, and that's really important in a playoff game,” Crovak said. “I'm proud of our kids for never getting down. We kept coming at them, and I feel that we can play at a tempo that not many teams can play with.”
Yough took a two-score lead after Donahue scored on a 6-yard run to end a 16-play, 96-yard drive in the third quarter. Kittanning continued to score to pull back within one touchdown, but the Wildcats never got a stop or recovered an onside kick.
“I think our kids really brought this program back this year, and we're going to be forever grateful for that,” Fabian said. “They made our field house a place where kids wanted to be, and that's going to help our program moving forward.”
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Grubba_Trib.
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