EYE OF THE TIGER: Beaver Falls holds off Jeannette 35-28
Written by: Billy Splain on Saturday, November 15th, 2008
GIBSONIA, Pa- There were only three words that needed to be said to get fans to show up to last nights WPIAL Class AA, Semi-Final. Beaver Falls-Jeannette. Which is up from last year, being that only two words needed to be said for the game between the Tigers and the Jayhawks a season ago, as in Terrelle Pryor.
The Rematch of last year’s WPIAL Championship, in not only football but basketball took place on Friday night under the lights at Pine-Richland High School.
With a crowd over 4,200, any passer-by of Pine-Richland’s quad-A Stadium last night could have thought that maybe the AAAA semi-final between Bethel Park and McKeesport was taking place there, after all, they all sport the same colors. However it was the Beaver Falls Tigers (12-0) and the Jeannette Jayhawks (10-2) that had the Gibsonia spotlight.
Everyone expected an offensive showdown, with Beaver Falls averaging 41.2 points per game, and Jeannette with 42.3 coming into the contest, and that’s exactly what everyone got.
Under 20 seconds had ticked-off the first quarter, when Beaver Falls running back Cody Cook burnt the defense on runs of 49 and 39 on two plays the second run going for the score. Cook had 109 yards rushing at the 5 min mark of the first quarter.
Jeannette would answer with quarterback Cameron Baradziej scampering in from 12 yards out that wrapped up a 9 play drive totaling 77 yards, leaving the score dead-locked at the end of the first.
The track meet would continue in the second, with Beaver Falls driving down the field in 10 plays, and capped it off when Cody Cook came back for seconds on a 14 yard run.
Back came the Jayhawks, as Cameron Baradziej dropped back to pass and found Toddy Harris for a 53 yard touchdown strike and made it even once again, at 14 all.
One minute is not a lot of time, but don’t tell that to Beaver Falls. Unlike the team that would be okay with going into the half tied vs. the team who has gone to the State Championship the last two seasons, Beaver Falls wasn’t okay with that and they took the ball down the field quick. How quick you ask? How about one play quick, as it was a very hungry Cody Cook returning to the end zone for his 3rd time of the first half on a 73 yard run. Cook had 295 yards in the game.
Jeannette would come up short at the half’s end, down 21-14. However the team with the longest WPIAL playoff streak with 15 straight appearances, was not about to give up.
Moving ahead to the fourth…while the Tigers eying the WPIAL Championship up 28-14 may have blinked, and when you blink against Jeanette the defending 2 time WPIAL Champs, you will regret it, and Beaver Falls did just that.
The Jayhawks would cut the lead to 7, and then Baradziej found Ohio State bound Jordan hall on a 88 yard touchdown pass that made it dead-locked once again at 28-28.
The game would come down to Beaver Falls only pass that did not hit the turf of Pine-Richland’s Stadium. On a fourth down and 9, Tony Omgogrosso would find Cody Cook on a 12-yard screen pass that would set up Todd Thomas running in the winning score a few plays later.
Beaver Falls will make it’s second straight trip to the Heinz Field and the WPIAL Championships. They will meet Aliquippa, who they beat earlier in the season on an FSN Thursday night game…yet again the game will air on FSN.
So the bus has one more stop to make on the Highway to Heinz, and that is to the North Shore and the house that construction workers built….Heinz Field.
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