The most prolific passing attack in City League football was kept mostly in check Friday as Somerset shutdown University Prep in the first half and held on for a 28-20 win in a PIAA regional semifinal.
Somerset raced to a 22-0 halftime lead, but the Wildcats stormed back in the second half behind three touchdown passes from Ronald Brown. They had the ball three times in the second half trailing by one score but the drives ended on turnovers.
"For the first time this season we faced constant pressure," University Prep coach Lou Berry said. "It took us awhile to get adjusted to the pressure they were getting without blitzing. We never lost belief, we never gave up and we fought until the end. We certainly thought we would pull it out at the end."
Playing at Cupples Stadium on the South Side, things quickly went south for the Wildcats (9-1). Somerset (10-1) took the opening drive and marched 52 yards on six runs to take a 7-0 lead it would never relinquish. University Prep had its best chance of the first half when it recovered a muffed punt at Somerset's 14 but then Brown was picked off by Logan Eller, who returned it 52 yards to set up a Tanner Stull 12-yard touchdown pass to Zachary Baker.
At the end of the first University Prep had a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown nullified on an inadvertent whistle. The Wildcats also had two possible touchdowns negated by holding.
"This is a problem we run into when we go to the state playoffs," Berry said. "The penalties were lopsided but our kids kept their cool."
The game was a rematch of a PIAA regional semifinal from last season, won by University Prep. It was the first playoff win for Somerset since 1989.
Brown finished with 326 passing yards on 23 of 39 passing but the Wildcats could never get a rushing game going, finishing with minus-45 yards.
• Chestnut Ridge 55, Westinghouse 20
The Bulldogs played at Chestnut Ridge in a PIAA Class AAA District 5-8 semifinal. Chestnut Ridge (8-3) won, 55-20, against Westinghouse (1-9).