By Chris Rossetti, www.d9sports.com
Special to MaxPreps.com
ERIE – The Brian Baldridge show continued Friday night.
The Thomas Jefferson running back, who had already run for nearly 1,000 yards in four WPIAL playoff games, ran for 197 more and five touchdowns helping the defending state champion Jaguars to a 35-21 win over previously unbeaten Erie Strong Vincent at Erie’s Veteran’s Stadium in the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals.
“We’re a physical team,” Baldirdge told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We can out-physical any team we come across. The line executed their blocks, and all I had to do was find a hole.”
TJ seemed in complete control of the game following Baldridge’s fourth touchdown of the contest, a 1-yard run, in the third quarter that gave the Jaguars a 28-7 lead.
But Darrell Brooks, who ran for 79 yards and two touchdowns, scored on runs of 12 and 25 yards to get SV back within a touchdown, 28-21, nine seconds into the fourth quarter.
Baldridge, however, put the game away with a 2-yard run later in the quarter. That capped a 57-yard drive that saw Baldridge actually run for 62 yards on the drive.
“I told the line that this is our game,” Thomas Jefferson coach Bill Cherpak told the Tribune-Review. “We control our own destiny if we go out and score. Our line and Brian played well.”
Deonte Flemings also had a big game for Erie Strong Vincent running for 103 yards including a 40-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
PIAA Class AAAA: Bethel Park holds off State College
Patrick Lyndon has hit some big field goals this year for WPIAL Class AAAA champion Bethel Park, and he hit another one Friday night connecting on a 25 yarder in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference in a 17-14 Black Hawk win over State College in the PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinals.
Lyndon’s field goal actually gave Bethel Park (14-0) a 17-7 lead with just over two-and-half minutes to play, and it proved to be big when James Avedersian threw a 12-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds left. It was Avedesian’s second scoring toss of the game, and he finished the game 18 of 33 for 189 yards.
Lyle Marsh ran for 126 yards and a touchdown for Bethel, while Erik Olson threw for 150 and a score. Ninety-seven of Olson’s yards and the touchdown went to John Schademan.
PIAA Class AA: Wilmington ekes out win, Aliquippa rolls
In the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals Friday night, District 10 champion Wilmington eked out a 21-19 win over District 6 champion Central-Martinsburg, while WPIAL titlist Aliquippa rolled past District 9 champion Karns City, 42-14.
Wilmington survived three lost fumbles, a two-point conversion attempt by Central-Martinsburg in the final 35 seconds and an onside kick recovery by the Scarlet Dragons in the final 30 seconds to secure the victory.
The Greyhounds led 21-7 in the third quarter but watched Central-Martinsburg storm back to get within two points on a 2-yard pass from Derek Forshey to Shane Cafferty with 32.4 seconds left. But Chad Palladino broke up the two-point conversion pass securing the lead for Wilmington.
Central-Martinsburg wasn’t done, as the Scarlet Dragons recovered the onside kick and marched to the Wilmington 25-yard with just under 12 seconds to play. But two incomplete passes by Forshey ended the last-gasp drive.
Suton Whiting ran for 76 yards and a touchdown to lead Wilmington but also lost two crucial fumbles in the second half.
Forshey was 18 of 42 passing for 148 yards and two scores for Central-Martinsburg while also rushing for 11 yards and a touchdown.
Aliquippa’s win over Karns City had exactly the opposite amount of drama.
The Quips scored on their first five drives of the game, including 28 first-quarter points, and led 42-7 at halftime thanks in part to three first-half turnovers by Karns City.
Rasheem Jones threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third touchdown to lead the Quips (12-2), while Maurice Carter added 132 yards rushing and a touchdown and Rashard Kenney had two catches for 121 yards and two scores.
Anthony Stimac threw a pair of touchdowns for Karns City.
PIAA Class A: Farrell, Clairton record shutouts
In the PIAA Class A quarterfinals both District 10 champion Farrell and WPIAL winner Clairton recorded shutouts.
Farrell blanked District 9 champion Cameron County 31-0, while Clairton shutdown District 5 winner Windber 26-0.
Farrell limited Cameron County to two yards of offense and one first down – via a penalty – until the final minute of the game while getting three touchdown passes and a touchdown run from Danny Odem. Odem was 9 of 16 passing for 154 yards. Norman Blue caught three passes for 45 yards and two scores including an acrobatic catch on a ball thrown up for grabs in the third quarter.
Cameron County finished with 48 yards of total offense.
Clairton, meanwhile got two more touchdowns runs from backup quarterback Troy Webb, who carried the ball 12 times for 142 yards, in the win over Windber.
Deontae Howard added 135 yards rushing and a touchdown, and Webb went 4 of 9 passing for 72 yards. It is the eighth shutout of the season for the Clairton defense, which has allowed 36 points all season.
Webb played because starting quarterback Andrew Currington missed the game with an injury he suffered early in the WPIAL title game-win over Monaca last week.