Kiski Area clinches playoff berth
TribLIVE Sports Videos
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.
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.
- Bell’s last-second TD lifts Steelers over Chargers
- Rossi: Just wait until Ben comes back
- Eagle Scout candidate completes replacement of Versailles park’s retaining wall
- East Allegheny gives judge candidate’s seat on school board to her husband
- Steelers defense displays resiliency in victory over Chargers
- Steelers notebook: Receiver Bryant inactive for game vs. Chargers
- Penguins’ Morehouse says city has amenities needed for world-class hockey events
- Pitt running out of options to slow down Georgia Tech offense
- Westmoreland County Common Pleas candidates differ on judicial retirement age
- Ellwood City Area School District avoids strike set for Tuesday
- Pa. Supreme Court ‘disturbed by content’ of emails attributed to justice