A memorable football season at South Allegheny in which the Gladiators qualified for the WPIAL playoffs for the first time in 26 years has come to a close.
The clock struck midnight for South Allegheny (7-3) Friday against No. 4 seed Jeannette (9-1) as the Jayhawks prevailed, 40-7, at Norwin in a first-round contest.
South Allegheny led, 6-0, in the first quarter via a 60-yard run by Brandon Murn.
Jeannette took a 12-7 halftime lead after Chiron Alexander scored on a 13-yard run and Seth Miller scored on a 1-yard plunge.
The Jayhawks broke the game open with touchdowns in each of the final two quarters.
Murn had a game-high 122 yards rushing, and Jordan Edmunds led Jeannette with 113 yards on the ground.
The Little Prexies (10-0) exploded for 27 third-quarter points to rout the Indians (6-4) at Washington & Jefferson College. Shai McKenzie scored six touchdowns and rushed for 260 yards. McKenzie scored of runs of 41, 56, 14 and 28 yards in the third quarter alone. No. 3 seed Washington amassed 443 yards offense and held Shady Side Academy to 191 yards. Washington also forced two turnovers. McKenzie boosted his WPIAL-leading rushing total to 2,162 yards.
The No. 6 seed Rebels (9-1) bounced back from a 7-0 deficit by scoring 21 unanswered points in the second quarter against the Centurions (6-4) at Chartiers Valley. Nick Sywyj and Tom Rizza led Seton-LaSalle with 122 and 120 yards rushing, respectively. The Rebels intercepted three passes, including a 29-yard return for a touchdown by Scott Orndoff early in the second quarter. Seton-LaSalle finished with 257 yards on the ground.
No. 9 seed Mount Pleasant (8-2) topped No. 8 Burrell (8-2), the co-champions of the Allegheny Conference, in a contest played at Valley. Mount Pleasant featured a pair of 100-yard running backs. Tyler Mellors finished with 185 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Teammate Taylor Allison added 108 yards and three touchdowns. Cole Bush of Burrell was held to 84 yards on 23 carries. He entered the contest with the second highest yardage total in the WPIAL, averaging 190 yards per game and 8.3 yards per carry.
No. 2 South Fayette (10-0) was scored upon for the first time in five games, but the host Lions won in easy fashion against the Bulldogs (4-6). South Fayette's Brett Brumbaugh, who entered the game averaging 267 yards passing per game, threw for 115 yards. Teammate Grant Fetchet stepped up with three rushing touchdowns. The Lions defense caused three Freedom turnovers. This included a 68-yard touchdown return of a fumble recovery by Zach Walker.
No. 10 seed Beaver Falls rallied from a 14-0 third-quarter deficit to win against No. 7 Freeport at Highlands. Damian Rawl rushed for 221 yards and two touchdowns. Beaver Falls (8-2) had a huge edge total offense, 445 yards to 186. Rob Bell of Beaver Falls also rushed for 158 yards on 15 carries. Quarterback Dan Stratton scored twice for the Tigers. Brendan Lynch led Freeport (7-3) with 178 yards rushing and two touchdowns.