Seton-La Salle tops Washington in WPIAL Class AA football playoff opener

| Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, 11:03 p.m.

In one of the most evenly matched first-round games of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs, Seton-La Salle avenged last year's quarterfinals loss by defeating Washington, 35-27, on Friday night at Washington High School Stadium.

“You had two very good football teams playing here (Friday),” Washington coach Mike Bosnic said.

The Rebels passing attack, led by quarterback Tyler Perone, was too much for the No. 7 Prexies, as 10th-seeded Seton-La Salle (8-2) gained 354 yards and four touchdowns through the air.

“We had confidence we could throw the ball,” Seton-La Salle coach Greg Perry said.

Perone started the scoring when he found Richard Mellick from 42 yards out midway through the first quarter.

“Our offense is coming along,” Perry said. “Our quarterback is growing. It's only his fifth start.”

Washington fought back early in the second quarter with a nine-play, 92-yard drive capped by a Malik Wells 9-yard touchdown run.

Perone then guided a 10-play drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown grab by Thomas Rizza. After a missed extra-point attempt, Seton-La Salle held a 13-7 halftime edge.

“We came out a little bit flat, but that's a really good football team we played,” Bosnic said.

Washington (7-3) grabbed its first lead of the game on the second half's first drive when quarterback Jonathan Spina ran it in from 1 yard out on fourth-and-goal.

The Rebels scored the next three touchdowns after Spina's, though, including scoring tosses of 38 and 59 yards to Danzel McKinley-Lewis.

“Our quarterback played well and got the ball to the playmakers outside,” Perry said.

McKinley-Lewis finished with four receptions for 111 yards and two scores, while Perone went 21 of 35 for 354 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. Seton La-Salle forced six turnovers.

The Prexies endured a lot this season just to get to this point, dealing with the loss of all-everything running back Shai McKenzie in Week 3 before dealing with the Quorteze Levy eligibility saga that was settled by the PIAA just a week ago.

They kept fighting Friday and added two late scores before succumbing to the Rebels.

“For these guys to still be fighting to the end here (Friday), I'm really proud of them,” Bosnic said.

The Rebels will face a Century Conference neighbor in No. 2 South Fayette, a 49-0 winner over Greensburg Central Catholic, next week in the quarterfinals at a site and time to be determined.

“We know each other very well,” Perry said. “We got to come ready to play.”

Justin Criado is a freelance writer

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