University Prep falls in PIAA Class AAA football playoffs
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ALTOONA, Pa. -- University Prep was flying high, riding a red-hot passing attack that had led to PIAA playoff victories against Somerset and Clearfield.
Then, it snowed on the Panthers' parade.
Playing much of the game in wind-driven snow showers, University Prep (7-4) of the City League saw its postseason run come to a halt in a 41-14 loss against District 4 champion Selinsgrove (10-3) in a PIAA Class AAA game at Mansion Park Stadium.
Selinsgrove advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals against Allentown Central Catholic while University Prep's season ended in Altoona for the second consecutive year. In 2011, the Panthers fell to State College, 33-32, in a PIAA Class AAAA playoff game.
The Seals used a power running attack the bulk of the game, rushing for 325 yards on 65 carries and attempting only five passes, completing one.
"Their strength was our weakness," University Prep coach Lou Berry said. "We were more of a finesse team this year."
There was a method to the madness of the Seals' offensive philosophy.
"We knew we had to keep the ball out of their quarterback's hands," Selinsgrove coach Dave Hess said.
"They have a great quarterback [Akil Young] and receiver, and we had to limit their number of snaps."
Entering the game, Young had passed for 813 yards and 11 touchdowns in his previous two playoff games, while completing 54 of 84 passing attempts, serving as the beat to University Prep's drum.
But Saturday, the Panthers senior quarterback never quite found a rhythm.
Young threw for 192 yards and a 28-yard touchdown to junior Clay Moorefield in the fourth quarter to slice the Panthers' deficit to 35-14, but he also threw seven interceptions and completed 19 of 45 passes.
"It's unfortunate his [Young's] career had to end on a note like [Saturday]," Berry said.
"Akil Young has absolutely been an amazing talent for this team this year.
"He will be difficult to replace."
The Panthers finished with 240 yards of offense and 14 first downs to Selinsgrove's 326 yards and 18 first downs.
Abner Roberts led University Prep with 42 yards rushing on seven carries as the Panthers rushed for only 48 yards.
University Prep has won 18 games in its first two seasons of football, including the 2011 City League championship.
Selinsgrove 41, University Prep 14
University Prep - 0 - 8 - 0 - 6 - -- - 14
Selinsgrove - 14 - 7 - 7 - 13 - -- - 41
S -- Mike Walter 15 run (Kaelen Sullivan kick)
S -- Connor Leisenfeld 2 run (Sullivan kick)
UP -- Marcus Johnson 61 punt return (Michael Wright pass from Daniels)
S -- Walter 4 run (Sullivan kick)
S -- Walter 1 run (Sullivan kick)
S -- Walter 29 run (Sullivan kick)
UP -- Clay Moorefield 28 pass from Akil Young (pass failed)
S -- Leisenfeld 1 run (kick failed)
University Prep - - Selinsgrove
14 - First Downs - 18
48 - Rushing-Yards - 325
192 - Passing Yards - 1
240 - Total Yards - 326
19-45-7 - Comp-Att-Int - 1-5-0
3-1 - Fumbles-Lost - 2-1
12-90 - Penalties-Yards - 7-45
RUSHING--Selinsgrove: Mike Walter 21-151.
PASSING--University Prep: Akil Young 19-45-7--192.
RECEIVING--University Prep: Marcus Johnson 6-62; Clay Moorefield 5-41.
First Published November 25, 2012 12:00 am