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Little Prexies take down Scotties

| Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007

The Southmoreland football team's slim chances of qualifying for the WPIAL playoffs was dashed Friday night by Washington running back Shawn Vaughn.

Vaughn, a senior tailback, rushed for 195 yards and four touchdowns, as the Little Prexies kept their small postseason aspirations alive with a 32-22 Interstate Conference victory over the Scotties.

"We didn't tackle well, and he (Vaughn) is good," Southmoreland coach Brian Pritts said. "That's what it came down to."

Vaughn scored on touchdown runs of 5, 50, 41 and 30 yards.

"It wasn't just me," Vaughn said after his dynamic effort. "I had my team in front of me. I was in the zone a little bit, and it feels amazing."

Despite Vaughn's heroic effort, it was Southmoreland that controlled the play in the first half.

The Scotties opened the scoring with an 11-play drive that was capped by a 12-yard touchdown run by Erik Frund. Frund rushed for a team-high 105 yards on 26 carries. Southmoreland led, 7-0, at the end of one quarter.

In the second, Washington (5-3, 4-3) got a big break, as Tommy Kelly intercepted an Aaron Stasko pass deep in Washington territory. The turnover led to points, as Vaughn finished off a quick, 5-play drive with a five-yard scoring run to help tie the game.

However, Southmoreland (3-5, 3-4) came back with a tremendous drive that lasted 15 plays and nearly chewed up eight minutes off the clock in the second quarter. Stasko made amends for the interception by bulling in from a yard out to give Southmoreland the lead. Stasko rushed for 84 yards on 17 carries, and he scored two touchdowns. He also competed six passes, all to Jeremy Mains for 73 yards.

Washington sliced the lead to 14-13 when Vaughn raced around the left side and scampered 50 yards untouched for a score before the half.

In the third quarter, the Little Prexies continued to lean on Vaughn, and he continued to come through. On Washington's first possession of the third quarter, Vaughn busted up the middle for a 41-yard touchdown run that gave the Little Prexies their first lead at 19-14. Then on their next possession, Washington went back to Vaughn and he raced in for a 30-yard score, giving the visitors a 25-14 advantage.

"They did in the second half what we did in the first half," Pritts said. "They controlled the ball, and we made a few mistakes. I think both teams played physical and both teams attacked, but they came out on top."

Southmoreland got back into it in the fourth quarter, when Stasko scored on a 15-yard run. He then completed a two-point pass to Mains to make it 25-22. But Washington's defense stiffened on Southmoreland's next possession, and the Little Prexies salted it away when quarterback Chad Smith plunged in from a yard out in the game's final seconds.

Despite the loss and elimination from playoff contention, Pritts noted the tremendous amount of effort the players put into the season so far.

"I think our program has come a long way, and that is a tribute to these kids," Pritts said. "They have worked hard, and I told them to hold their heads up high."

The Scotties will complete conference play next week when they visit Yough. Washington must win at home against McGuffey next week and get help in order to qualify for the playoffs.

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