WPIAL Class AAA Roundup: West Mifflin stuns Mars

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A prolific running attack led the way as West Mifflin claimed a 28-13 victory in the WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinals against Mars at Fox Chapel.

Junior running back James Wheeler led the No. 7-seeded Titans' ground game with 144 yards on 29 carries and three touchdowns.

"That's been our game plan all along," West Mifflin coach Ray Braszo said. "It's been the strength of our offense all year. Just pounding the ball and using the talented guys that we have on our offensive line.

Wheeler scored on runs of 20, 19, and 3 yards.

"We're that much closer to Heinz Field," Wheeler said. "It feels good to be on the winning side."

Senior quarterback Derrick Fullmore completed 4 of 8 passes for 32 yards. But it was his legs that stifled Mars' defense all game as he scored the sealing 47-yard touchdown with 4:14 left.

Fullmore finished with 108 yards on 13 rushing attempts.

Mars (9-2), the No. 2 seed, was led by junior quarterback Owen Nearhoof, who gained 88 yards through the air on 6-of-13 passing with two touchdowns and an interception.

West Mifflin (10-1) will face No. 3 seed Central Valley in the semifinals next week.

Central Valley 49 Hopewell 21

Robert Foster and JaQuan Pennington each scored three touchdowns, while John George threw for three scores, as the No. 3 seeded Warriors (9-2) earned a third consecutive semifinal berth with a dominating victory against the Vikings (5-6).

Foster scored on a 4-yard run, a 42-yard interception return and a 13-yard pass from George. Pennington scored on a 35-yard run and on passes from George of 6 and 8 yards. George completed 4 of 5 passes for 87 yards and three touchdowns.

"The key to the game was the guys up front," Central Valley coach Mark Lyons said. "We challenged them to rise to the occasion. We told them the game would be won on the line of scrimmage."

Mike Tempalski scored twice for Hopewell, on a 35-yard run and a 6-yard pass from Stefan Mrkonja.

Thomas Jefferson 24 Franklin Regional 21

Joe Carroll threw for three touchdowns and Evan Danscak added a 24-yard field goal, as the top-seeded Jaguars (11-0) advanced to the semifinals for the 14th time in 15 years with a narrow win against the No. 8-seeded Panthers (8-3).

Carroll completed 16 of 29 passes for 396 yards but threw three interceptions. He connected with Dalton Dietrich on scoring passes of 34 and 7 yards, and with Jake Mascaro on an 85-yard pass. Mascaro caught nine passes for 204 yards. Carroll has 37 touchdown passes for the season.

Franklin Regional tailback Dane Brown scored on runs of 8 and 20 yards. The Panthers also scored on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Nico Lodovico to Colin Jonov.



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