Deion Robinson rushed for 160 yards on 21 carries and scored four touchdowns to lead No. 2 Blairsville to a 35-14 victory over No. 7 Moshannon Valley on Friday in a District 6 Class A quarterfinal playoff game at Blairsville’s Memorial Stadium.
The Bobcats advanced to the District 6 semifinals next week against the winner of Saturday’s game between Homer-Center and Portage.
Robinson’s rushing touchdowns of 9, 40, 5 and 28 yards increased his season total to 27. His 160 yards on the ground raised his season output to 1,526.
Blairsville’s school-record 11th win was keyed by Cameron Livingston’s 56-yard punt return for a touchdown at 6:12 of the opening period. After the teams traded first-possession punts, Livingston’s touchdown paved the way for four consecutive first-half Bobcats scores and a 28-0 halftime lead.
“We’ve scored first in each of our games this season,” Blairsville coach Rick Artley noted. “It was important for us to get on the board first, and our special-teams play did the job. We made some good blocks to spring Cam, and once we set up a wall. Cam did the rest on his own.”
Robinson’s first touchdown gave Blairsville (11-0) a 14-0 lead after one quarter. After a Livingston interception, Robinson capped a six-play Blairsville drive with his second touchdown at 4:05 of the second quarter, and added a third with 56 seconds remaining before halftime with his 5-yard score.
Moshannon Valley coach Michael Keith said Livingston’s punt return was the play of the night.
“That gave Blairsville momentum, and momentum is so important in a game such as this. … We were able to move the ball in the first half, but turnovers and mistakes prevented us from capitalizing on our drives,” he said.
The Black Knights (7-4) scored at 10:57 of the fourth quarter when quarterback Eric Sherkel scored on a 10-yard run. Sherkel finished the scoring with an 8-yard run with 3:48 remaining.
Sherkel had 97 yards on 24 carries, and he finished the season with 1,083 yards. He completed 11 of 23 passes for 92 yards and two interceptions.
Les Harvath is a freelance writer.