Aliquippa stuns Beaver on final drive
In a game dictated by defense, it only took No. 1 Aliquippa four plays with less than three minutes left to drive 91 yards for the winning score Friday and beat No. 2 Beaver, 12-7, at packed Gypsy Glen Stadium.
The Quips final drive started at their own 3-yard line and faced a third-and-16 from the 9 after a penalty. Receiver Darrelle Revis was placed under center and completed a 41-yard pass to a diving Michael Washington at the 50. The very next play, Revis threw the same deep route and again Washington sprawled and made a diving catch at the Beaver 3 — covering 88 yards in two plays.
D’von Jeter finished the 97-yard drive two plays later with a 3-yard touchdown for the win.
“I put Revis in (at quarterback) because we needed a spark,” Aliquippa coach Mike Zmijanac said. “I wanted to use him earlier, but we didn’t have any rhythm. It seemed like a good idea at the end.”
Aliquippa’s first touchdown came at 9:15 in the fourth quarter after a 12-play, 49-yard drive that was capped off by Jeter’s 5-yard reception from quarterback Sjavante Gilliam. The 2-point conversion failed, and the Quips trailed 7-6.
“I was impressed with my team’s desire to keep playing,” Zmijanac said. “I’m proud of the team and the fans.”
Beaver’s Pat McDanel finished with 62 yards on 20 carries and scored Beaver’s lone touchdown. He also caught one of three Beaver interceptions of Gilliam.
Last year’s showdown featured over 700 yards of offense by both teams in a 40-29 Aliquippa win.
“It’s a different year, different teams,” Zmijanac said.
The first half finished scoreless after the Beaver defense made big plays to stop Aliquippa’s offense.
Aliquippa moved the ball 30 yards on the opening drive to the Beaver 40-yard line but was forced to punt. The Beaver defense came up huge again in the first quarter after Aliquippa running back James Moon was stopped on a fourth-and-1 from the Beaver 30-yard line.
Before the last drive, the Bobcats’ secondary held the Quips and Gilliam to 94 yards through the air. Cornerback John Kearney intercepted a Gilliam pass in the end zone on a 41-yard touchdown attempt to Revis in the second quarter.
Beaver’s only threatening first-half drive was halted after the Quips’ Michael Washington picked a Beaver pass after it bounced off Kearney’s hands inside the Quips’ 20-yard line.