Sto-Rox stops Clairton in WPIAL Class A semifinals
By Mark Kaboly
Published: Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, 11:06 p.m.
After two fumbles and a pick-six within a span of a couple of minutes, Lenny Williams wasn't very happy with himself.
The WPIAL's most prolific passer of all-time picked the wrong time to have the worst half of his scholastic career — the Class A semifinal Friday against four-time defending champion Clairton.
“I told my teammates at halftime that it was going to be the real Lenny out there in the second half,” Williams said.
Indeed it was.
Williams returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown. He then led the Vikings on a game-winning drive that he capped with a 22-yard quarterback draw in the waning moments as Sto-Rox ended Clairton's 22-game playoff winning streak with a 24-19 win at Chartiers-Houston.
Sto-Rox (12-0) will play at Heinz Field in the Class A title game for the third year in a row at 11 a.m. Nov. 23 against Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic, a 27-14 winner over Neshannock.
“Some of those mistakes he made were on him, and he owned up to them,” Sto-Rox coach Dan Bradley said. “He said at halftime that he would overcome that and lead us to victory, and that's what he did.”
Williams completed 11 of 19 passes for 140 yards but hurt Clairton most with his legs. Williams, who came into the game averaging less than 40 yards rushing per game, ran 23 times for 133 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.
Williams accounted for all but 64 of Sto-Rox's 337 total yards.
“He's a good player,” Clairton coach Tom Nola said. “We had him a number of different times, but he always seemed to get out of it.”
None was bigger than with two minutes left and Clairton leading 19-18.
Sto-Rox faced third-and-2 at the Clairton 22-yard line with less than two minutes left. Bradley called a quarterback draw “to pick up the first down.” Williams provided more than that.
He shook off a tackler and raced around the left end for the winning touchdown. It was at least the third time Williams shook a couple of Clairton tacklers for big gains.
“We have been here before,” Williams said. “We did everything we could to keep playing, and we came through. This feels good, but this isn't what we came for. We didn't just want to beat Clairton. We want to play in the championship.”
Darryll Johnson intercepted Ryan Williams at midfield with 30 seconds left to seal the win for the Vikings and send the Bears to their first playoff loss since November 2007.
“It hurts,” Nola said. “Our kids played really hard but just came up a little short.”
Clairton got 68 yards rushing and a touchdown from Harrison Dreher but couldn't manage much offense other than that. Vance Allen returned a Williams interception 30 yards for a touchdown, and Aaron Mathews caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Williams.
“It's sad that it came to an end,” Nola said.
Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New WPIAL hall of famer Yannessa cherises the process
- Alle-Kiski Valley notebook: Apollo-Ridge’s Tipton gets offer from Toledo