Welcome to the PIAA quarterfinals edition of the iPreps LIVE blog, where we will provide commentary, WPIAL football playoff game updates and the running Twitter feed from the #TribHS sports staff on your right.
Clairton’s Lamont Wade runs against Berlin Brothersvalley
PIAA CLASS A
From Kevin Gorman at Elizabeth Forward Stadium:
FINAL: Clairton 52, Berlin Brothersvalley 24
The Bears open the final quarter on a fourth-and-8 at their own 44 — and go for it. Williams completes a pass to Wade for a 16-yard gain. That is followed by a 17-yard run by Dreher, and Clairton has a first-and-10 at the Berlin 22. … The Bears have a first-and-goal from the Berlin 5, but Jackson is dropped for a 6-yard loss. On the next play, Williams dumps a pass to Wade for an 11-yard touchdown, the second consecutive game he has thrown for five touchdowns. Clairton uses a trick play, with Mathews taking a reverse and throwing a two-point pass to Williams for a 44-24 lead with 9:54 remaining. (That’s awfully close to Dave Mackall’s 48-14 prediction in the Trib preview story). … Williams finds Hines in the left corner of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown, the sixth scoring pass for Williams, who is 20 for 31 for 295 yards. Mathews scores two on a run for a 52-24 lead with 5:21 left. … Berlin Brothersvalley is stopped on fourth-and-goal from the 1, and the Bears take over on downs. Braden Fochtman has 32 carries for 241 yards, along with 252 yards in kick returns.
Dreher returns, but Tyreike Hammonds is injured early in the second half. … The Bears recover a Berlin fumble, then score on Williams’ 1-yard keeper for a 36-17 lead at 9:49 of the third. … On a fourth-and-4 at the Berlin 12, Williams rolls right and throws a pass just over the outstretched arms of Raymone Clifford in the end zone. Berlin takes over on downs. … And Braden Fochtman races 89 yards for the touchdown, out-sprinting the Clairton secondary to cut it to 36-24 with 3:52 remaining in the third. Fochtman, a 5-foot-8, 171-pound junior, has incredible speed and has rushed for 187 yards, scoring once by run and another time on a kick return. … Fochtman has 226 yards on kick returns and 191 rushing, so that’s 417 all-purpose yards against the No. 1-ranked defense in the WPIAL.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: Clairton 36, Berlin Brothersvalley 24
Berlin Brothersvalley has a first-and-10 at the Clairton 17, its deepest drive of the game. Williams, by the way, was 6 for 6 for 152 yards and three touchdowns (to three receivers) in the first quarter. … The Mountaineers now have a first-and-goal from the Clairton 5. … On third-and-goal at the 4, the Bears were called for pass interference. On the next play, Bryce Fochtman scores on a 2-yard run to cut it to 22-7 at 8:32 of the second. … Williams scrambles and evades the Berlin rush, then throws a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jjuan Jackson. The Bears add a two-point conversion pass from Williams to Harrison Dreher for a 30-7 lead with 7:30 left in the half. Williams is now 8 for 8 for 179 yards and four TDs, all to different receivers. That gives Clairton the state’s single-season scoring record, at 864 points. And counting. Jeannete set the state mark in 2007, with 860 points. … Berlin responds with a dazzling 85-yard kick return by Braden Fochtman, who made several defenders miss and cut across the field to score and make it 30-14. … Williams completed his first nine passes for 216 yards and four TDs, but the Bears have had back-to-back incomplete passes. Make that four incomplete passes, and Berlin takes over on downs. … Braden Fochtman breaks off a 45-yard run to the Clairton 6. Berlin, trailing, 30-14, is threatening to score again. But Clairton holds, and Berlin settles for a 20-yard field goal by Carter Raupach to cut it to 30-17 with 9.9 seconds left in the half. … An entertaining end to the half, as Clairton throws a hook-and-sugar pass and the Bears continue to lateral the ball and zigzag around the field, going backwards 29 yards until Hines was tackled at the Berlin 7. On a sour note, Dreher was injured on the play and was on the field for several minutes after the horn. He is being helped off the field by two coaches.
HALFTIME: Clairton 30, Berlin Brothersvalley 17.
Berlin Brothersvalley won the coin toss, but, surprisingly, deferred until the second half. Clairton took that as a sign that an onsides kick was on the way, and had 10 players up. The kickoff went to Jamie Hines, who returned it to the Berlin 42. Three plays later, Ryan Williams threw a 45-yard scoring pass to Lamont Wade. Noah Hamlin ran for a two-point conversion and Clairton leads, 8-0, at 10:56 of the first quarter. … Clairton scores on its second possession, as Williams finds Aaron Mathews on a 15-yard touchdown pass. Wade scores the two-point conversion, and the Bears lead, 16-0, at 7:43 of the first. After two series, Williams is 3 of 3 for 85 yards and two touchdowns. … The Bears are now 10 points shy of Jeannette’s state single-season scoring record of 860 points in 2007. … Berlin Brothersvalley hasn’t been able to get its offense going, but the Mountaineers just pinned Clairton at its own 1-yard line with a coffin-corner kick. And the Bears cap an eight-play, 99-yard scoring drive with a 46-yard pass from Williams to Hines. But Jjuan Jackson was stopped on a two-point attempt and the Bears lead, 22-0. They are now four points shy of tying the state record. … Braden Fochtman returns the ensuing kickoff to the Clairton 28. He was stopped by Williams, the kicker.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: Clairton 22, Berlin Brothersvalley 0.
PIAA CLASS AAA
Central Valley vs. Conneaut
From Chris Harlan at North Allegheny’s Newman Stadium
FINAL: Central Valley 52, Conneaut 23
At the half, Whitehead has 205 yards on seven first-half carries after his 63-yard TD catch (a short toss) changed to a run. … CV’s Kurt Reinstadtler catches a 22-yard TD from Chris Callaghan and it’s mercy rule time. CV leads, 52-14, with 9:15 in the third. … A Central Valley punt snap goes through the end zone and it’s 52-16 with 2:44 left in the third. …
END OF THIRD QUARTER: Central Valley 52, Conneaut 23
Conneaut QB Hunter Merritt hurting after a roughing-the-passer penalty against Central Valley. It came on fourth-and-4 incomplete pass. … After a late hit put Merritt on the sideline with an injury, backup Connor Mattera added a 14-yard touchdown run to pull within a touchdown of Central Valley, 21-14, with 9:33 left in the second quarter. … CV’s Preston Johnson catches a 29-yard TD catch from Johnny George to lead 28-14 with 7:41 left until halftime. … Whitehead scores a third touchdown with a 41-yard touchdown run. CV leads 35-14. … Whitehead adds a 60-yard touchdown run on the first play of a possession for a 42-14 lead with 2:14 left in the half. … CV’s Brendan Jugan kicks a 34-yard field goal to make it 45-14 with 1:05 remaining. Conneaut hasn’t been the same team since Merritt was hurt.
HALFTIME: Central Valley 45, Conneaut 14
Central Valley moved 65 yards in seven plays, ending with a 17-yard touchdown run by Jordan Whitehead to lead 7-0 with 8:15 left in the first quarter. Whitehead touched the ball on five of seven plays. … Conneaut responds with a four-play, 69-yard touchdown drive. Hunter Merritt ran 28 yards for the touchdown to force a 7-7 tie with 7:03 left in the first quarter. … Central Valley reclaims the lead, 14-7, with a 35-yard touchdown run on a reverse by Kurt Reinstadtler with 5:55 in the first quarter. … A second touchdown by Whitehead and Central Valley leads 21-7. Whitehead caught a short pass and carried it 63 yards with 1:33 left in the first.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: Central Valley 21, Conneaut 7.
PIAA CLASS AA
South Fayette vs. Karns City
From George Guido at Clarion Memorial Stadium
FINAL: South Fayette 42, Karns City 15.
Brumbaugh enters the fourth quarter with 199 yards passing, needing 105 to become the state’s all-time leading passer. Problem is, South Fayette has the comfort of a 34-point lead and doesn’t need to throw the ball. … Karns City’s Ethan Conto scores with 22 seconds left, but South Fayette leads 42-15. … The record will have to wait a week: Brumbaugh finishes with 199 yards passing, Hayes with 183 rushing.
Brett Brumbaugh is 7 for 19 for 104 yards, with an interception and no touchdowns at the half. He needed 304 yards to break the state’s career passing record of 10,948 yards, set by Port Allegany’s Matt Bodamer. So, if you’re keeping score at home, Brumbaugh needs to pass for 200 yards in the second half to set a new record.
… Hayes scores again. This time, after a Karns City fumble recovered by Logan Sharp, he goes in from 1 yard and SF leads 29-0 with 11:16 left in third quarter. … Brumbaugh tosses a 6-yard TD pass to Sharp to make it 36-0 and evoke the mercy rule. … Karns City answers on Collin Dunmyre’s 53-yard TD run, plus a two-point conversion. KC trails SF, 36-8. … Brumbaugh has 181 yards before starting this drive, but Hayes is stealing the show tonight, scoring for a fourth time. He goes 18 yards for a score and SF leads 42-8 with 39 seconds left in the third.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: South Fayette 42, Karns City 8
Dan Trimbur kicks a 25-yard field goal to give the Lions a 90 lead with 5:54 left in the half. … Hunter Hayes scores from 9 yards and South Fayette leads Karns City, 16-0, with 1:47 left in the first half. Hayes cracked the 100-yard mark on that play, on only 15 carries. He has scored two TDs. … After forcing a fourth punt of the first half, South Fayette’s Nick Ponikvar returns the punt 77 yards for a score to give the Lions a 22-0 lead with :03 left in the first half. …
HALFTIME: South Fayette 22, Karns City 0.
Brett Brumbaugh, who needed 304 yards to become the state’s all-time leading passer, has thrown for 50 yards and the Lions are on the scoreboard first.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: South Fayette 6, Karns City 0.