TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Kiski Area clinches playoff berth

Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Kiski Area tight end Shane Kuhn pulls in a one-handed catch as Latrobe defensive back Alec Hoopes closes in during their Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, contest at Memorial Stadium in Latrobe.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Brian Hunger
Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, 11:06 p.m.
 

With its playoff hopes on the line, Kiski Area coach Dave Heavner told his team it needed to show up.

It took a while, but his Cavaliers (4-5, 4-4) responded in a big way, producing a 41-14 blowout en route to earning a berth in the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs for the first time since 2006.

While Heavner was pleased with the overall effort, it was junior Patrick Turner who stole the show, scoring four touchdowns, rushing for 100 yards and throwing for 33 yards out of the Wildcat formation.

“He's a player,” Heavner said. “We give him a lot of responsibility. He did it tonight on offense, defense and special teams. Whatever we ask of him he does and does it in a big way.”

Turner's backfield mate, freshman Lincoln Clayton, got Kiski going early by breaking away for a 42-yard scoring run. After a blocked punt, Turner responded with his first touchdown from a yard out.

“Those are two selfless kids,” Heavner said. “Lincoln (Clayton) got a little banged up early, and Patrick came in and filled the role well. This group sticks together.”

Kiski Area, which received solid contributions from a number of underclassmen, scored again right before the half on a 13-yard run by freshman quarterback Chad Kuhn.

“I don't know for sure,” Heavner said, “but there aren't many teams in Quad A starting a freshman running back and a freshman quarterback. They have a lot of talent, and that's why they're in there. They are playing at a high level and will only get better.”

Kiski Area built a 27-0 lead early in the third quarter on Turner's second touchdown — a 60-yard fumble return, which blew the game open. He followed it up minutes later with a 49-yard scoring run.

Latrobe (2-7, 1-7) had trouble moving the ball much of the night with the exception of two Robert Vasinko touchdown receptions from quarterback Logan Carns (49, 59 yards). Kiski held the Wildcats to just 38 first half yards and forced punts on 6 of Latrobe's first 9 possessions — the other three were forced turnovers.

“We just didn't execute,” Latrobe coach Ray Reitz said. “We just have to learn to compete. Kiski wanted it more tonight. You have to learn how to play hard, and until that happens … we just didn't get a real good effort tonight. It's on me.”

Much of Kiski's early success was due to field position resulting from special teams plays. The Cavaliers blocked two first-half punts, both of which resulted in quick scoring strikes.

“It was a huge part of the game,” Heavner said. “We saw some things on film and ran some new blocking schemes. It worked well tonight.”

Kiski will play an undetermined opponent next week in the first round of the playoffs. For Heavner, the matchup isn't important.

“I'm very proud of this team,” he said. “The last 20-some years haven't been very good to Kiski Area football. I give the credit to the seniors. They bought into a new coach and new systems and never complained. Whoever we get next week we get. This group will be ready to play and continue to get better.”

Brian Hunger is a freelance writer.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers LB Timmons has grown into leadership role on defense
  2. Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
  3. Steelers notebook: Backup QB Gradkowski remains out with shoulder issue
  4. Rising East Liberty out of reach for Pittsburgh’s poor
  5. Juvenile shot in North Versailles neighborhood
  6. Leschak Automotive advances to second round in DNL playoffs
  7. Pirates third baseman Ramirez’s last ride is about winning a ring
  8. Traffic detour lifted
  9. Crane topples over into Perry North demolition site; no one injured
  10. Former Cal U football player cleared of assault charges sues university, police, prosecutor
  11. House Benghazi panel says State Department to hand over documents Tuesday