Latrobe ends Connellsville's playoff hopes
TribLIVE Sports Videos
With their playoff hopes on the line, Connellsville needed to make a big play in Friday's Quad East game against Latrobe.
Instead, the Wildcats came through with 14 points in the fourth quarter on their way to their first conference victory of the season, a 21-14 road triumph.
The loss eliminated the stunned Falcons (2-6, 2-5) from playoff contention.
“We're just glad to get a win,” Latrobe coach Ray Reitz said after his team snapped a four-game skid. “The whole year we've turned the ball over, but we finally played a full 48 minutes.”
With the score tied at 14, Robert Vasinko caught a swing pass from Logan Carns and raced 19 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with just 25 seconds left.
For the Wildcats (2-6, 1-6), it was perhaps the biggest play of their season — especially after they had a 76-yard kickoff touchdown return called back on a pair of penalties moments before.
Starting from their 13-yard line, the Wildcats drove the field in the final moments thanks in large part to a 73-yard run by Vasinko, who finished with 123 yards.
“We committed a dumb penalty, but we got a nice gash,” Reitz said. “It was a total team effort, and we've been looking for that all year.”
Connellsville started strong, taking the opening kickoff and driving 61 yards on six plays, which ended with a Jordan McCrae 25-yard run as the Falcons gained a 7-0 edge. McCrae finished with 117 yards.
On their next possession, the Falcons' were in position to build on their lead as Zachary Cree, who finished with 121 yards on eight carries, ripped off a 77-yard run that gave Connellsville first-and-goal from the 8-yard line. But the Falcons came up empty when Latrobe's Alec Hoopes blocked a field-goal attempt.
Connellsville had another drive stall in Latrobe territory after a botched snap in the second quarter before Latrobe tied it when Vasinko scampered in on a 1-yard run. The Falcons had a chance to take the lead just before halftime, but Hoopes blocked another field-goal attempt.
“Give Latrobe credit, but we found a way to lose,” Connellsville coach Dave McDonald said.
Connellsville had another opportunity go by the wayside in the third when quarterback Jade Maher tried to score from the 1-yard line, but he fumbled in the end zone for a touchback.
Latrobe took the lead midway through the fourth when Carns, who had 23 carries for 118 yards, scored on a 15-yard run. Connellsville tied it when McCrae bolted down the left sideline for a 24-yard score, but that set the stage for Latrobe's winning drive.
After a timeout, Latrobe faced third-and-16 from the 19-yard line. Instead of setting up for a field-goal attempt, the Wildcats went for the win and were rewarded when Vasinko caught the ball in the left flat and raced in for the score.
“This is a life lesson,” McDonald said. “This is why when you go to work, you put in an honest day's work or when you have a test, you study hard. When you don't take advantage of an opportunity on the field, in the classroom or at work, it hurts.”
Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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.
- Duquesne University football player died by suicide
- Steelers not limiting themselves in free agency
- Rossi: Pirates must pay for Mr. Right
- Arrogant media elites mock Middle America
- National Weather Service predicts up to 7 inches of snow before Sunday night
- Pittsburgh police searching for man who shot juvenile in Allentown
- Burnett’s farewell tour wishlist has just 1 item: Pirates World Series
- Winnik impresses Penguins in first workout
- Under Rutherford, it’s been a sizeable shakeup for Penguins
- Police investigating shooting at Strip District club
- Coyotes proliferate despite year-round hunting