ShareThis Page
Football

Penn-Trafford rallies to down North Allegheny, advance in Class AAAA playoffs

Paul Schofield
| Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, 11:18 p.m.
REMATCH
Timmy Vecchio's touchdown grab against North Allegheny's Clay Byerly on Nov. 7 helped to set the Warriors up for a semifinals game Friday night against Pittsburgh Central Catholic at Norwin. Last year, the Vikings knocked the Warriors out of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
REMATCH Timmy Vecchio's touchdown grab against North Allegheny's Clay Byerly on Nov. 7 helped to set the Warriors up for a semifinals game Friday night against Pittsburgh Central Catholic at Norwin. Last year, the Vikings knocked the Warriors out of the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Penn-Trafford's Brett Lafoon runs the ball against North Allegheny during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
Penn-Trafford's Brett Lafoon runs the ball against North Allegheny during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
Penn-Trafford's Jonah Lisbon reacts after his team recovers an onside kick against North Allegheny during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
Penn-Trafford's Jonah Lisbon reacts after his team recovers an onside kick against North Allegheny during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
North Allegheny's Ethan Maenza reacts after scoring against Penn-Trafford during the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
North Allegheny's Ethan Maenza reacts after scoring against Penn-Trafford during the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
North Allegheny's James Lamanna makes a catch for a first down against Penn-Trafford during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
North Allegheny's James Lamanna makes a catch for a first down against Penn-Trafford during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
North Allegheny's Clay Byerly breaks up a pass intended for Penn-Trafford's Timmy Vecchio during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
North Allegheny's Clay Byerly breaks up a pass intended for Penn-Trafford's Timmy Vecchio during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
Penn-Trafford'sTimmy Vecchio makes a catch against North Allegheny during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
Penn-Trafford'sTimmy Vecchio makes a catch against North Allegheny during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
Penn-Trafford's Austin Zegarelli scores against North Allegheny's Ijhad Bonner during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
Penn-Trafford's Austin Zegarelli scores against North Allegheny's Ijhad Bonner during their WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel High School.
Penn-Trafford's Joe Peduzzi intercepts a pass to finish off a victory against North Allegheny during a WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel.
Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
Penn-Trafford's Joe Peduzzi intercepts a pass to finish off a victory against North Allegheny during a WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal game Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, at Fox Chapel.

Penn-Trafford found itself in an unfamiliar situation Friday in the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals at Fox Chapel.

The No. 2 Warriors were down 10 points in the fourth quarter and needed a spark, and that's what they got from a lot of different players.

Quarterback Brett Laffoon and receiver Timmy Vecchio provided the first spark by hooking up on a 57-yard touchdown pass.

Anthony Fiasco accounted for the next when he recovered an onsides kick. Laffoon and Austin Zegarelli then hooked up on the winning touchdown with 4:16 left. Joe Peduzzi sealed the victory with two interceptions in the final three minutes.

It added up to a thrilling 35-31 victory against No. 7 North Allegheny (8-3). Penn-Trafford (11-0) advanced to the semifinals for the second consecutive season and will face No. 3 Central Catholic (10-1), the team that knocked it out of the 2013 playoffs.

“This is what we've been working for since Jan. 6: another shot at Central Catholic,” Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane said while huddled around his team after the game. “We made some mistakes, but I liked your resiliency.”

North Allegheny led 10-0 in the second quarter and 31-21 with 11:15 left in the game, but each time Penn-Trafford finished the halves strong.

Penn-Trafford, behind Laffoon touchdown passes of 31 yards to Vecchio and 6 yards to Peduzzi, led 14-10 at halftime.

“It was a phenomenal performance,” Laffoon said. “We fought through some tough times.”

Vecchio called it an amazing game.

North Allegheny used a dominating third quarter to regain the momentum, but Penn-Trafford took over in the fourth.

Laffoon tossed a 57-yard strike to Vecchio with 8:50 left to cut the deficit to 31-28, and after Fiasco recovered the onside kick, Laffoon found Zegarelli for 12 yards in the back of the end zone.

“I don't know how Timmy saw the ball on his touchdown,” Ruane said. “And Brett is a warrior. He's been in this position before, throwing late touchdowns last year to beat Gateway and Penn Hills. We threw more than we're accustomed to. Brett is very poised.”

Vecchio caught nine passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns. He caught a 44-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Laffoon finished by completing 16 of 21 passes for 279 yards.

“When you play North Allegheny, there is going to be a lot of adversity,” Ruane said. “We came up with some bounces, like the onsides kick. Ultimately we had guys make plays.”

North Allegheny's Josh Bergman opened the scoring with an 11-yard touchdown and scored from 6 yards to start the third quarter. Seth Mancuso's 33-yard field goal in the second quarter gave North Allegheny a 10-0 lead.

North Allegheny also got a 55-yard touchdown run on a reverse by Ethan Maenza after the Tigers stopped Penn-Trafford on fourth-and-7. The Tigers opened the fourth quarter with Jeff Clemens tossing a 24-yard touchdown pass to Paul Blendinger to make it 31-21.

“They made a couple real big plays,” North Allegheny coach Art Walker Jr. said. “They made some big time catches, and we had some uncharacteristic drops.

“You have to execute. ... They had more big plays than us.”

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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.

click me