High school roundup: No. 7 Gateway comes back to defeat North Hills
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Gateway senior quarterback Jimmy Moore threw for 287 yards and four touchdowns as the seventh-seeded Gators (8-2) earned a 33-21 victory over No. 10 North Hills on Friday night in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs.
Seniors Montae Nicholson, Anthony Davis, Delvon Randall and Ricky Rogers each hauled in a TD pass from Moore, and Randall returned a kickoff 72 yards for a score that gave the Gators the lead for good with 6:15 left in the fourth quarter.
Montae Frank carried the ball 21 times for 148 yards and two touchdowns for North Hills (5-5). Gateway, which has won 12 straight first-round playoff games, will play No. 2 Central Catholic in the quarterfinals Friday at a site and time to be determined.
Central Catholic 56, Baldwin 10 — Three players ran for more than 100 yards as No. 2 Central Catholic (10-0) amassed 422 rushing yards in its first-round win against No. 15 Baldwin (4-6). Luigi Lista-Brinza ran 13 times for 120 yards and a touchdown. Riley Redman had 102 yards and two touchdowns, and J.J. Cosentino added 100 yards and two scores. Jake Elk put Baldwin in the lead in the first quarter on a 1-yard run before the Vikings outscored the Fighting Highlanders in the second quarter 28-3 to take control of the game.
McKeesport 54, Peters Township 28 — Mikell Moore rushed for 235 yards and Allen Wright ran for three touchdowns as third-seeded McKeesport (10-0) stayed unbeaten with a wild first-round victory over visiting Peters Township (5-5), the 14th seed. The Tigers advance to play Penn-Trafford in the quarterfinals.
Moore carried 21 times and scored on runs of 1 and 4 yards, while quarterback David Queen scored two rushing touchdowns and threw for another for McKeesport.
Tim Swoope, playing quarterback in place of injured Peters Township starter Cody Owen, passed for 246 yards and threw three touchdown passes to Max Augenstein.
North Allegheny 28, Bethel Park 0 — Issac Weaver had 120 yards and three touchdowns on six carries to lead No. 9 North Allegheny (7-3) to a first-round victory over No. 8 Bethel Park (6-4). Weaver scored on runs of 1, 40 and 60 yards. Quarterback Cage Galupi also scored for the Tigers on a 1-yard run. North Allegheny will play No. 1 Upper St. Clair in the quarterfinals in a rematch of the 2011 WPIAL championship game won by the Tigers, 28-21, in overtime.
Penn-Trafford 22, Penn Hills 16 — Brett Laffoon's 23-yard touchdown pass to Timmy Vecchio with 27 seconds remaining lifted No. 6 Penn-Trafford (7-3) to victory over No. 11 Penn Hills (5-5) in the first round. Each team's defense scored in the first half — Malik Russell on a 26-yard fumble return for Penn Hills and Vecchio on a 2-yard fumble return for Penn-Trafford.
Upper St. Clair 44, Kiski Area 13 — Trevor Morrow ran for 158 yards and five touchdowns on 11 carries to guide No. 1 Upper St. Clair (10-0) to a first-round victory over No. 16 Kiski Area (5-5).
Central Valley 40, Belle Vernon 7 — Jordan Whitehead returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown and returned a punt 77 yards for a score to lead No. 3 Central Valley (9-1) to a first-round win over No. 14 Belle Vernon (4-6). Preston Johnson scored twice for the Warriors, who will play No. 6 Mars in the quarterfinals.
Highlands 24, New Castle 19 — No. 7 Highlands (7-3) held No. 10 New Castle (7-3) to minus-10 rushing yards during a first half in which it led 17-6. Elijah Jackson gained 105 yards on 16 carries for Highlands, and Allan Cratsenberg scored on a 31-yard touchdown.
Julian Cox, despite missing most of the second quarter with an injury, completed 8 of 17 pass attempts for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
Highlands will play No. 2 Thomas Jefferson in the quarterfinals.
Indiana 28, Ringgold 14 — DeQuan West rushed for 153 yards and three short touchdowns to lead No. 9 Indiana (5-5) to a first-round victory at Ringgold (7-3). Sean Thompson threw for 164 yards for Indiana.
Mars 38, Elizabeth Forward 21 — Josh Schultheis ran for 102 yards and touchdowns of 11 and 3 yards to lead No. 6 Mars (9-1) to a first-round victory over No. 11 Elizabeth Forward. JaQuan Davidson ran for two TDs and threw for another for the Warriors (6-4).
Thomas Jefferson 39, Hampton 0 — Austin Kemp ran 31 times for 176 yards and four touchdowns as No. 2. Thomas Jefferson (10-0) blanked Hampton (4-6) in the WPIAL Class AAA playoffs. Chase Winovich and Kyle Senich also scored for the Jaguars.
West Allegheny 38, Hollidaysburg 6 — West Allegheny used a balanced rushing attack to take out No. 16 Hollidaysburg (3-7) in a first-round matchup. The top-seeded Indians (10-0) used 10 different rushers to amass 247 yards and racked up all of their points in the first half.
Aliquippa 41, South Park 0 — Terry Swanson ran for 103 yards and touchdowns of 39 and 19 yards as No. 1 Aliquippa (10-0) won a first-round game against No. 16 South Park (5-5). Dravon Henry also scored twice on runs of 16 and 53 yards.
Beaver 42, Shady Side Academy 21 — Alex Rowse completed 19 of 30 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns as No. 12 Beaver (7-3) upset No. 5 Shady Side Academy (8-2) in the first round. Shady Side Academy scored first on Matt O'Connor's 7-yard pass from Tucker Gillman before Beaver scored 42 unanswered points. Darius Wise caught nine passes for 141 yards and one touchdown, and Luke Scheidemantel caught a touchdown pass and kicked all six extra points.
Beaver Falls 50, Summit Academy 26 — Dan Stratton completed 6 of 8 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns as No. 6 Beaver Falls (8-2) defeated No. 11 Summit Academy (5-5) in the first round. Peter Lyons added two rushing touchdowns for Beaver Falls, which led at halftime 43-6. Larry Richardson ran 11 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns for Summit Academy, which was playing in its first playoff game in school history.
Mt. Pleasant 48, Valley 14 — Tyler Mellors ran for 231 yards and four touchdowns on 27 carries to lead No. 4 Mt. Pleasant (10-0) to a first-round win over No. 13 Valley (6-4).
Mellors scored on runs of 4, 14, 11 and 15 yards for the Vikings, who advance to play No. 12 Beaver in the quarterfinals.
Mt. Pleasant, which rushed for 448 yards, also got two touchdown runs from Ryan Ballew, who rushed for 87 yards.
Quaker Valley 29, New Brighton 15 — Quaker Valley (8-2) won its first playoff game since 1999 as it defeated No. 9 New Brighton (6-4) in the first round. The host Quakers forced three Lions turnovers and relied on the legs of Dane Jackson (119 yards) and Gennaro Trovato (93 yards) in the win. Payton Fath ran for 71 yards and two scores for New Brighton.
Quaker Valley will play No. 1 Aliquippa in the quarterfinals.
South Fayette 49, Greensburg Central Catholic 0 — In the opening round, Brett Brumbaugh threw for 152 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 2 South Fayette (10-0) to the shutout over No. 15 Greensburg Central Catholic (5-5). Grant Fetchet added 104 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The Lions will play No. 10 Seton-La Salle in the quarterfinals.
Yough 57, Kittanning 42 — Yough quarterback Tyler Donahue accounted for 384 yards of offense and five total touchdowns as the 14th-seeded Cougars sprung one of the biggest upsets of the first round by knocking off No. 3 Kittanning. Clayton Waldron ran for 144 yards and two scores for Yough (6-4), which recorded the first playoff win in school history. Zane Dudek ran for 192 yards and three TDs for Kittanning (9-1), and Nick Bowers added 183 yards of total offense for the Wildcats.
Apollo-Ridge 42, Beth-Center 28 — Jesse Zelonka threw for 182 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 163 yards and another score to lead No. 9 Apollo-Ridge (8-2) to victory at Beth-Center (9-1) in the first round. Tre Tipton caught two passes for touchdowns of 48 and 82 yards for Apollo-Ridge. Anthony Welsh rushed 26 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
Avonworth 34, Laurel 16 — Matt Donovan threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 7 Avonworth (9-1) to a first-round win over Laurel (7-3). Jesse Zubik ran for one touchdown and caught a 50-yard pass for another for Avonworth. Dalton Rosta paced Laurel with 110 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Clairton 33, Frazier 14 — Aaron Matthews ran 16 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns and caught another touchdown to lead No. 4 Clairton (9-1) to a first-round win against No. 13 Frazier (7-3). Harrison Dreher added 150 rushing yards for the defending champions. Ryan Williams threw for 100 yards and a touchdown for Clairton, while Frazier's Charles Manack threw for 138 yards and two TDs.
Fort Cherry 13, Carmichaels 12 — No. 12 Fort Cherry (9-1), the co-Tri-County South Conference champion, advanced to the quarterfinals with a first-round victory over No. 5 Carmichaels (8-1).
Neshannock 40, Brentwood 9 — No. 6 Neshannock (7-2) earned a first-round victory over No. 11 Brentwood (6-4).
Monessen 37, West Shamokin 14 — Clintell Gillaspie ran 18 times for 270 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 3 Monessen (10-1) to a first-round win against No. 14 West Shamokin (6-4). Alex Lasslo completed 11 of 14 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns to pace West Shamokin. Monessen will play No. 6 Neshannock in the quarterfinals.
North Catholic 24, Western Beaver 0 — Ronnie Meder caught four passes for 104 yards and touchdowns of 61 and 34 yards as No. 2 North Catholic (10-0) blanked No. 15 Western Beaver (5-5) in the first round. P.J. Fulmore completed 7 of 9 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown for the Trojans. North Catholic will play Avonworth in the quarterfinals.
Sto-Rox 36, Avella 7 — Lenny Williams completed 9 of 13 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns as No. 1 Sto-Rox (10-0) won a first-round game over No. 16 Avella (6-4). Williams also moved into eighth place in state history with 7,850 career passing yards. Brendan Blair also ran for three scores for the Vikings. Santino Paris threw for 193 yard and a score for Avella.
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