Share This Page

Gorman: First playoff victory makes Yough the talk

| Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, 10:03 p.m.

For Yough, this is the season when everything changed, on a wing and a prayer. When one healed, the other was answered.

Then, the Cougars celebrated their first playoff victory in school history.

It started in the opener when a shoulder injury sidelined senior quarterback Tyler Donahue, who kept the season alive with a Hail Mary in a Week 8 win.

Yough pulled the biggest upset of the WPIAL playoffs as the No. 14 seed beat previously undefeated Kittanning, 57-42, in a Class AA first-round game.

“I'm not going to lie: It's pretty special,” said Yough coach Mark Crovak, whose Cougars play Beaver Falls Friday at Canon-McMillan. “What makes it real special is the people who have been involved in that program back from the '70s have called and sent letters of congratulations. When you make people happy, it's fantastic.”

Crovak became Yough's third coach in as many seasons in 2011 and went 0-9, 2-7 and 4-5. This season, Yough's seniors vowed not only to make the playoffs but to get a postseason win.

But after Interstate losses to Jeannette, Washington, Mt. Pleasant and Valley, Yough needed to win its final three games to qualify. They treated every game like it was a playoff.

The Cougars were tied with Greensburg Central Catholic late in the fourth quarter when their fortune finally changed.

First, Yough safety Eric Borkovich intercepted a pass in the final minute. Then, with 5.7 seconds left, Donahue heaved a pass that sailed over four defenders and a Yough receiver and into the grasp of Jordan Bryan for a 38-31 victory.

“It was like no feeling I'd ever had before,” Donahue said, “knowing that it was a playoff spot probably sealed like that.”

It became official with a 45-13 victory over Southmoreland in Week 9.

“The weight of the world was off our shoulders,” Crovak said. “They realized they could play.”

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Donahue, a four-year starter, had a monster game against Kittanning: He passed for 247 yards and two touchdowns, ran for 137 yards and two scores and had an 80-yard kick return.

Crovak could see the confidence in the Cougars' eyes at halftime against Kittanning, believing they were the superior team.

“It was a great feeling, to go from where we were to there,” Crovak said. “It was very gratifying.”

And for at least one night, it made Yough the talk of the WPIAL playoffs.

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.