Tough encore assignment for Yough
After winning the first playoff football game in the school's history, what does Yough do for an encore?
How about facing one of the most tradition-steeped programs in all the WPIAL?
That's the chore awaiting the No. 14 seed Cougars (6-4) tonight when they go up against No. 6 Beaver Falls (8-2) in a WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal game at Canon-McMillan (7:30 p.m. kickoff).
Fresh off an impressive 57-42 win over previously undefeated No. 3 Kittanning last week, the Tigers will pose a different test to the offensively charged Yough squad.
Beaver Falls, which beat Summit Academy, 50-26, in the first round, has both an explosive offense and a tough defense.
Take out losses to No. 1 seed Aliquippa (34-28) and Class AAA No. 3 seed Central Valley (42-13) and the Tigers give up an average of just 12 points per game.
That will be a big test for the red-hot Cougars, who have won four straight games and averaged more than 46 points per game in that span.
Yough has been riding the arm and legs of senior quarterback Tyler Donahue, who has passed for 1,514 yards and 18 touchdowns (115-for-195) and rushed for 503 yards and scored 11 TDs.
His top receiver is running back Clayton Waldron, who has caught 47 passes for 524 yards and rushed for 746 yards while scoring a team-high 20 TDs.
Receivers Joe Pleva (19-307, four TDs) and Eric Borkovich (18-168, four TDs) give Donahue some other options in the Cougars' wide-open attack.
Beaver Falls has a pretty good quarterback of its own in Dan Stratton, who has completed 72-of-118 passes for 1,159 yards and 14 TDs. He has thrown four interceptions.
The Tigers like to spread the ball around as no less than 10 players have at least 10 carries this season and 13 players have caught at least one pass.
Damian Rawl is the top rushing threat with 1,105 yards on 133 carries and 13 TDs. Teammate Kahill Caracter has 538 yards on 54 carries and eight TDs.
Javon Turner has caught 18 passes for 365 yards and three TDs, while Sage Curry has 14 receptions for 432 yards and six TDs.
The winner of the Yough-Beaver Falls game will play the winner between the South Fayette (10-0) vs. Seton-La Salle (8-2) in the semifinals.
Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.