Opportunistic Defense Leads Peters Twp. To First WPIAL Title Game
The game trend between last year’s playoff matchup and this year’s was polar opposites, but the result remained the same.
The No. 5 Peters Township Indians (12-1) knocked off top-seed Penn-Trafford (11-2), 28-10, in the Class 5A WPIAL semifinals on Friday Night at West Mifflin to advance to the program’s first championship game.
After virtually no defense being played in the matchup a year ago, it was that side of the ball that was a difference maker.
The Indians returned two turnovers for a touchdown and stopped the Warriors on fourth down deep in their own territory twice in the first half and rode that momentum.
After a combined 56 points in the first half last year, the two teams mustered a combined three on Friday Night. Sophomore Nathan Schlessinger connected on a 32-yard field goal to give Penn-Trafford a 3-0 halftime lead.
The Indians’ offense found a rhythm to start the second half, taking the opening possession in for a touchdown, capped off by a Ryan Magiske 3-yard run.
Magiske scored the first of two defensive touchdowns for the Indians, returning a fumble 43 yards for the score. Andrew Massucci, who converted on all four of his extra points, made it 14-3.
Peters Township continued to roll, scoring two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Logan Pfeuffer connected with Aidan McCall for 29 yards to give Peters Township a 21-3 lead.
Penn-Trafford had a quick response on a 13-yard pass from Gabe Dunlap to Ethan Carr to cut the deficit to 11. The Warriors were able to get another stop, but a 31-yard pick-6 by McCall sealed the game for the Indians.