Opportunistic Defense Leads Peters Twp. To First WPIAL Title Game

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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.