Penn-Trafford Picks Up Statement Win Over Rival Gateway
It turned out to be a “painful” victory for Penn-Trafford coach John Ruane.
During Cole Defillippo’s 31-yard interception return to seal a 28-7 victory against No. 1 Gateway, Ruane believes he ruptured the Achilles tendon in his right leg.
The Warriors held one of the top offenses in the WPIAL to a single touchdown in the “Battle for the Bell” at Warrior Stadium.
The classic WPIAL Class 5A Foothills Conference battle was a hard-hitting defensive effort by both teams with the No. 3-ranked Warriors sending a message.
The star of the night was Penn-Trafford senior safety Caleb Lisbon, who picked off three passes and scored a touchdown on a 12-yard run to extend the lead to 21-7. Defillippo’s 31-yard return iced the game moments later.
Gateway took a 7-0 lead when star running back Derrick Davis, who left the game with cramps in the fourth quarter, raced 66 yards on Gateway’s first offensive play.
After that run, the Penn-Trafford defense clamped down. They picked off Gateway quarterback Bryson Venanzio five times and recovered a fumble on the first play of the second half.
After Gateway scored, Penn-Trafford responded as quarterback Gabe Dunlap ran the ball six times in a nine-play drive and scored the tying touchdown on a 1-yard run.
Dunlap rushed for 119 yards on 19 carries. He also fumbled at the Gateway 1 in the second quarter.
Dunlap used his elusiveness to give Penn-Trafford a 14-7 lead in the third quarter when he scrambled to his right and tossed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Carr.
That score came after Lisbon’s second interception stopped a Gateway drive at the Penn-Trafford 5.
His third interception of the game midway through the final quarter set up his clinching 12-yard touchdown run.
Davis finished with 100 yards rushing for the Gators.
Gateway was turned away later in the first quarter when wide receiver Jayden Hurt, on a trick play, was intercepted by Lisbon at the Penn-Trafford 5.
Penn-Trafford looked like it was going to take the lead following a 44-yard run by Sam Fanelli on a fake punt in the second quarter.
But on fourth-and-goal from the 1, Dunlap fumbled and Jaquan Thomas recovered at the Gateway 4.
Penn-Trafford (2-0, 1-0) will go on the road for the first time this season when they travel to Connellsville (1-1, 0-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday.