Frazier ekes out 2nd straight 1-point comeback, beats Shenango
Frazier's Caleb Cox made the biggest play of his high school career Friday night.
Then he followed it with another and added a couple more for good measure.
Cox's interception with 1 minute, 43 seconds remaining helped seal Frazier's 14-13 win over Shenango in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals at Chartiers-Houston.
Trailing 13-0 at halftime, defense and special teams helped rally Frazier to its second one-point postseason win in the past eight days.
The Commodores also came back from a 13-point deficit and opened the playoffs with a 33-32 overtime victory over South Side Beaver.
“We've been in this situation before,” Frazier coach Mike Steeber said. “We came up with the plays we needed to make.”
Frazier took its first lead early in the fourth quarter. Then on the strength of four key fourth-quarter punts by Cox, held on for the win.
Cox's first gem came when he grabbed a snap that sailed over his head, eluded the Shenango rush and managed to get off a 24-yard kick that could have been much worse.
After Frazier failed to make a first down on its next possession, Cox booted a 30-yard punt and pinned Shenango at its 14-yard line midway through the final quarter.
After forcing a three-and-out, Frazier started its next possession at the Wildcats 49. The drive quickly imploded, and after another high snap and personal foul penalty, Frazier faced a fourth-and-34 at its 25-yard line
Cox boomed a 48-yard kick to bail out the Commodores.
“I took my time and just let it fly,” Cox said. “I kicked a spiral and had the wind at my back.”
Following Cox's interception, Frazier ran the clock down to 15 seconds, and after calling a timeout, Cox beat Shenango's rush and got off a quick 30-yard kick that was downed with 6 seconds to play at the Wildcats' 18.
“I knew special teams would be critical,” Steeber said. “And our defense really buckled down in the second half.”
The Commodores allowed just 35 yards of total offense over the final two quarters.
“Whatever adjustments they made, we couldn't do much in the second half,” Shenango coach Michael Commesso said.
Frazier got on the scoreboard when Hunter Patterson threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Cox with 2:29 left in the third quarter. Joshua Cox's extra point made it 13-7.
Patterson gave Frazier the lead when he called his own number from 1 yard on the first play of the fourth quarter. Joshua Cox's point-after completed the Commodores' comeback.
Frazier (11-0) will face top-seeded Clairton in the semifinals next Friday at a site to be determined. The Bears defeated Avonworth, 35-14.
Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer.