Washington’s big-play offense ends Apollo-Ridge’s season with 58-30 win
Apollo-Ridge got out-Apollo-Ridged.
Instead of making the big plays, the Vikings watched Washington pile them on Friday night and saw their season come to a close in a 58-30 loss in the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals at Latrobe’s Rossi Field.
This was a shootout the action-packed Vikings couldn’t win.
No. 6 seed Apollo-Ridge (9-2), which came in averaging 47 points and more than 450 yards, was outgained 538-332 and had only 14 first-half points.
No. 3 Washington (11-0), which advanced to play No. 2 Aliquippa (11-0), used a big line to contain the Vikings’ normally potent running game and wear down the defense.
“Washington is very good. They have a ton of talent,” Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba said. “The Wells kid is a heck of a back, and the quarterback runs the show very well.
“We’re not a team that’s built to stop you.”
Instead, the Vikings have been a team built to outscore opponents, and out-run them.
But opportunities slipped away in the first half, and Washington turned up the heat quickly with three touchdowns in a 3:08 span from late in the first half to early in the second.
The first varsity football game on the sleek, new field was no defensive gem. But the Vikings saw the script flipped on themselves.
“We did a great job establishing ourselves,” Washington coach Mike Bosnic said. “Our guys blocked well, and we tackled well. I thought we hit tonight, too. We played physical and got to the ball.”
Malik Wells ran for 197 yards and three touchdowns, and quarterback Jonathan Spina passed for 112 yards and two scores on five completions for the Prexies, who also got 127 yards and two touchdowns from Kurt Adkins, including a 55-yard burst.
Wells scored on runs of 21, 56 and 32 yards.
DeQuay Isbell caught a 39-yard touchdown, and Nate Swart had a 38-yard grab on the last play of the first half that made it 30-14 at halftime.
Pitt recruit Tre Tipton caught six passes for 133 yards and a late 69-yard touchdown. Apollo-Ridge was intercepted three times.
Vikings 1,000-yard back Duane Brown was held to 50 yards on 10 carries. Jonah Casella ran for a team-high 68 yards and two scores for the Vikings, who never have reached the WPIAL semifinals.
Brown threw for 170 yards and ran for a score. Tipton ran for 44 yards but threw two interceptions.
Alex Smith was held without a catch.
“Our kids kept battling, and I am proud of them for that,” Skiba said. “We had one of those bad nights. We had to score points when we had the chances.”
Washington scored twice in the final 54 seconds of the first half to take a 30-14 lead into halftime.
After Apollo-Ridge tied it 14-14 on a 1-yard score by Casella, Spina calmly threw a soft spiral over the head of a leaping Tipton and into the arms of Isbell for a 39-yard score. Spina pitched to Wells, who threw back to Spina for the two-point conversion and a 22-14 lead.
After a Wells interception, the Prexies scored again.
Swart got behind Alex Smith, who tipped a fourth-down pass, and caught the ball for a 38-yard touchdown with no time left in the second quarter.
Wells dashed 32 yards for his third score of the game early in the second half to push the lead to 38-14.
Forced to throw in the second half, Tipton tried a deep ball but was intercepted by Spina.
Isbell found the end zone again when he took a reverse and ran in from 29 yards to make it 45-14 with 7:30 left in the third.
Adkins scored on a 55-yard burst 10 seconds into the fourth for the Prexies.
The Vikings answered when Brown found Tipton for a 69-yard scoring pass. Smith delivered a downfield block to spring him.
Apollo-Ridge had excellent field position in the first half, controlling the ball for 9:41 in the first quarter, but was turned away on downs on back-to-back drives — the second after Brown recovered a Washington fumble.