Jordan Whitehead scored three touchdowns to lead Central Valley to a 35-21 win against Mars in a WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinal Friday night at Ambridge High School.
Whitehead caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from John George in the second quarter, then scored twice in the third quarter on a 94-yard kickoff return, and a 74-yard run. Whitehead accumulated 100 yards on 10 rushing attempts.
Central Valley (10-1), the No. 3 seed, also scored on a 2-yard run by Preston Johnson in the first quarter and a 73-yard interception return by George in the fourth quarter.
Travis Ganter, Jason Lozzi, and Josh Schultheis scored touchdowns for Mars. Ganter caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Owen Nearhoof, who completed 9 of 25 passes for 134 yards.
Central Valley will face Thomas Jefferson next week in the semifinals.
• Thomas Jefferson 23, Highlands 14
Chase Winovich rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries to lead the unbeaten and No. 2-seeded Jaguars (11-0) to a narrow quarterfinal victory against the No. 7-seeded Golden Rams (7-4) at Chartiers Valley.
Highlands opened the scoring early in the first quarter with a 14-yard touchdown run by quarterback Blake Leri.
Thomas Jefferson responded with touchdown runs of 73 and 2 yards by Winovich in the second quarter.
Highlands tied the score at 14-14 in the third quarter on a 25-yard pass from Leri to Jeremy Jackson. Leri completed 6 of 22 passes for 73 yards and was intercepted three times.
Winovich scored the deciding touchdown on a 6-yard run in the fourth quarter. Derek Rothey added a field goal for the Jaguars.
• West Allegheny 38, Indiana 7
The top-seeded and unbeaten Indians (11-0) earned a return trip to the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals with a convincing victory against Indiana (5-6) in a quarterfinal played at North Hills' Martorelli Stadium.
West Allegheny was led by Andrew Koester, who completed 8 of 13 passes for 111 yards and three touchdowns. He connected with Jed Buck on scoring passes of 36 and 11 yards, and with J.T. Bayly on a 9-yard scoring strike.
Chayse Dillon led West Allegheny on the ground with 142 yards and a 12-yard touchdown on 18 rushing attempts.
West Allegheny will face No. 4 seed Franklin Regional (10-1) next week in the semifinals. The Panthers earned their second semifinal berth in three years with a 14-12 victory against West Mifflin.