Beaver Falls ends Yough's magical season
Beaver Falls took care of business on Friday, beating out Yough, 43-7, in a WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal game at Canon-McMillan.
“I don't think you expect blowouts like that. You respect everyone coming in,” Beaver Falls coach Ryan Matsook said. “When it gets down to the playoffs, it's about fundamentals and I thought we took care of that tonight.”
Sixth-seeded Beaver Falls (9-2) has proved it is a Class AA title contender. After averaging 42 points per game during the regular season, the Tigers have scored 43 points in the first half in each of their playoff games, defeating Summit Academy last week, 50-26.
The Tigers will face No. 2 South Fayette (11-0) in the semifinals.
“They're kryptonite to the (Midwestern Conference).” Matsook said of South Fayette. “We haven't proved that we can beat them and certainly they should be the favorite. They've been an unstoppable machine.”
Yough (6-5), the No. 14 seed, saw its magical season come to a screeching halt. After three straight losing seasons, the Cougars upset Kittanning, 57-42, in the opening round of the playoffs for the first playoff win in school history.
“I just told the kids how proud of them I was,” Yough coach Mark Crovak said. “Our season was not about losing tonight to a clearly superior team. Our kids have worked hard and have come along way this season.”
Beaver Falls scored on a few long strikes early to build their lead. Dan Stratton threw for touchdown passes of 31 and 67 yards to Javon Turner and Joe Cohen, respectively, in the first quarter, and Khalil Caracter scored on a 64-yard run in the second.
Stratton finished 7 of 9 for 199 yards and three touchdowns, and Cohen had three catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Caracter led the rushing attack with 91 yards on eight carries.
Senior quarterback Tyler Donahue had a rough night for the Cougars. His receivers dropped roughly half of the passes that he actually had time to get away, including two that were wide open in the end zone and a third that would have been a sure touchdown.
Yough's only score of the night came on a 7-yard run by Donahue after a Beaver Falls fumble deep in its own territory.
“They were obviously the Cinderella story and they're dangerous with Donahue,” Matsook said. “But it's not about the feel-good story and this and that. It's about us. The pressure was on us, obviously, because they had nothing to lose.”