Gateway Avoids Another Playoff Upset With Late Touchdown

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For the second season in a row, the Gateway Gators entered the playoffs as a heavy favorite to win the Class 5A WPIAL football championship.

After getting upset in the semifinals a year ago, the No. 2 Gators (10-2) avoided that same fate with a last minute touchdown to propel them to a 17-13 win against No. 7 Bethel Park (7-4) in the quarterfinals at Norwin on Friday.

Sophomore Patrick Body caught the game-winning catch from senior Bryson Venanzio for the 28 yard score in the final minute of the game.

Both teams relied on their stout defenses throughout the game, and entered the half with the same score that they started the game with.

The Black Hawks cracked the score board first in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by senior quarterback, Anthony Chiccitt.

Gateway quickly responded with a 69-yard catch by junior Chamor Price from Venanzio for the score. Jayson Jenkins put the extra point through to tie the game.

Jenkins and John Gummo exchanged field goals to enter the fourth quarter tied 10-10.

Gummo connected on his second field goal of the game to give Bethel Park a 13-10 lead, setting up the game-winning score for Gateway.

Venanzio finished the game 16 of 28 for 206 yards for the Gators. Price was his favorite target, catching six catches for 114 yards.

Gateway will face Big East Conference rival, No. 6 McKeesport (9-3) in the Class 5A semifinals on Friday at a site to be determined.