Seton-LaSalle storms past Washington, 35-27

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Washington overcame a major injury to its star player in September.

In October, the Little Prexies survived a ruling by the WPIAL that would have kept them out of the playoffs.

But they just didn't have enough left to fight through six turnovers and some November rain.

Seton-LaSalle 35, Washington 27

Seton-LaSalle takes on Washington in Friday night football action. (Video by Andrew Rush; 11/1/13)

Quarterback Tyler Perone and the Seton-LaSalle passing attack rained on the Washington secondary Friday and its defense forced a flurry of mistakes, propelling the Rebels to a 35-27 road win in a WPIAL Class AA first-round playoff game.

Seton-LaSalle (8-2) advanced to the quarterfinals to take on No. 2 seed and Century Conference rival South Fayette. South Fayette defeated Seton-LaSalle, 45-3, Sept. 27.

"Well, what did the American colonists do to the big boys? They better watch out, because if they take us lightly it's going to be a game," Perone said.

Perone and his athletic group of receivers gave the Washington defense more than it could handle. Perone finished 19 of 34 for 354 yards and four touchdowns.

"Our passing game is going to carry us if we want to do anything in this tournament," coach Greg Perry said.

The passing game carried Seton-LaSalle for a pivotal stretch in the third quarter. Washington took its only lead of the game when quarterback Jonathan Spina scored on a 1-yard keeper on the opening possession of the second half to put the Little Prexies in front, 14-13.

The Rebels responded by scoring two touchdowns in a span of about four minutes. On the ensuing drive, Perone connected with Danzel McKinley-Lewis for a 38-yard touchdown. Washington fumbled on its next drive, giving Seton-LaSalle the ball at the Washington 35. Perone dumped off a pass to Malik White for 14 yards on fourth-and-7, and three plays later Rick Mellick found the end zone on a 1-yard run to make it 27-14.

Seton-LaSalle seemingly had the game in hand when Perone found McKinley-Lewis again for a 59-yard touchdown to make it 35-14 in the closing seconds of the third, but Washington didn't give up.

Spina scored on a 2-yard run with 7:31 left in the game to make it 35-21. Then after a Seton-LaSalle punt, Washington made it 35-27 -- the extra point was blocked -- on a Malik Wells 1-yard run with 4:01 left. Washington got the ball back with 1:14 remaining and drove to its 47, but Spina threw his fourth interception.

Seton-LaSalle also recovered two fumbles. Chad Murphy had two of the interceptions.

Washington finished a whirlwind season at 7-3. In the third game, the Little Prexies lost star halfback Shai McKenzie to a season-ending knee injury. Less than two weeks ago the WPIAL ruled they would have to forfeit five wins for the use of an ineligible player who is in his fifth year of high school, but the PIAA overturned that ruling.

"This team, I'm so proud of them," coach Mike Bosnic said. "They had a lot go against them this season. To be down in this game and fight until the end, it shows a lot about what kind of kids these are."

Seton-LaSalle struck first when Perone split three defenders with a pass Mellick hauled in for a 42-yard touchdown with 4:33 left in the first. Washington capitalized on a Perone interception to tie the score on Wells' 9-yard run. Perone put the Rebels on top again when he found Tom Rizza for a 15-yard score.

"We're really starting to come together as a team," Perone said. "It's taken us a little while to find that chemistry, but we're coming along."

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