Rams Rally To Beat Wilson, Advances To PIAA Championship

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The Pine-Richland Rams rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit for a 28-17 victory over West Lawn Wilson in the PIAA semifinals on Saturday afternoon at Mansion Park in Altoona. Trailing 17-7 with 2:32 left in the third quarter, quarterback Ben DiNucci led the Rams back with three touchdown passes in the final stanza.

DiNucci’s touchdown toss to D’Ondre Gastion with 9:38 remaining trimmed the deficit to 17-14.  The senior signal caller hit Anthony Battaglia with 2:24 to play for the go-ahead score. Pine-Richland’s Zach LeMirande ended the Bulldogs ensuing drive with an interception with 1:53 remaining, and then DiNucci put the game away with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Mike Merhaut with 53 seconds on the clock.

DiNucci finished with four touchdowns and 173 yards passing, 66 yards shy of breaking the state single-season passing record, but he’ll have a chance to surpass the mark next week in the PIAA title game when the Rams face the defending champs, St. Joseph’s Prep.  Kickoff is set for 6:00 pm at Hershey Park Stadium on Saturday evening for the PIAA Class AAAA championship.