Central Valley knocks out Knoch
No. 14 seed Central Valley shut down sixth-seeded Knoch’s high-powered offense and rolled to a 16-0 win Friday night in a WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinal game at New Castle’s Taggart Stadium.
Central Valley, a first-year team resulting from the merger of Class AA Center and Class A Monaca, rode a strong defensive effort and potent rushing attack to the victory.
Central Valley (8-3) advances to play second-seeded Thomas Jefferson (10-1) in next Friday’s semifinals at a site and time to be determined.
“We don’t mind being the underdogs,” Central Valley coach Mark Lyons said. “We wouldn’t mind being the No. 16 seed. We were battle-tested coming out of the Parkway Conference.”
Knoch (9-2), which entered the contest averaging 37.1 points per game, missed on a few scoring opportunities, including a 22-yard field-goal attempt early in the third quarter that would have cut the deficit to 9-3.
“I think our defense did everything we needed to do to win,” Knoch coach Mike King said. “(On offense), we had a couple of penalties that were drive killers and things like that. And that’s a very good football team we played.”
Central Valley was led by 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior fullback Lukas Turley, who rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Turley’s 69-yard touchdown run with 2:03 to play basically wrapped up the win.
Also for Central Valley, Aaron Law picked up 71 rushing yards on 15 attempts, and Robert Foster collected 66 yards — including a 61-yard touchdown on his team’s third play from scrimmage — on only three carries. Greg Nicastro booted a 24-yard field goal.
Knoch was led by junior quarterback Kyler Kenyon, who completed 8 of 20 passes for 100 yards and rushed for 31 yards on 11 carries.
Junior tailback Andrew Rumburg-Goodlin rushed for a team-leading 59 yards on 12 carries, and senior fullback Adam Tuzikow added 47 yards on seven rushes.
Sophomore wide receiver Dakota Bruggeman had three catches for 45 yards for Knoch.
Leading, 9-0, Central Valley fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half, giving Knoch the ball on the Warriors’ 36-yard line.
Facing a fourth-and-goal, Knoch elected to try a 22-yard field-goal attempt, but junior Kory Wood missed just left. The Knights never seriously threatened to score again.
“It was tough for us to run the ball,” King said. “We had a little spark in the third quarter. Then, we felt we had to go to the two-minute offense later. We couldn’t seem to put together 4- and 5-yard (rushing) gains.”