By Mike Longo Jr.
The Bishop Canevin Crusaders are headed to Acrisure Stadium for the WPIAL Class A Championship game for the second straight year. Unfortunately for Sto-Rox, the Vikings’ season came to a crashing end as their title dreams for a championship in Class 2A were shattered.
Class 2A Semifinals
It was a game that was billed as one for the ages, a contest you didn't want to miss as two high powered offenses were set to do battle in the WPIAL Semifinals. The winner of the Sto-Rox versus Beaver Falls game was guaranteed a trip to Acrisure Stadium and the WPIAL Class 2A title.
However, it wasn't much of a battle at all as the Tigers simply manhandled Sto-Rox pretty much from start to finish in their 54-16 victory over the Vikings.
After the first quarter, all indications pointed to the contest living up to its pregame billing as Sto-Rox held a slim 8-6 advantage in a game with bone-crushing hits. The second stanza saw the game start to get away from the Vikings as they committed six first-half turnovers and found themselves trailing 26-16 at intermission.
Beaver Falls took control in the second half shutting out the Vikings while the Tigers posted 20 more points on the scoreboard padding the lead at the end of three quarters to 46-16.
In the final stanza, the Vikings were held scoreless again as they allowed the Tigers to post on final score at the game’s end while netting zero second-half points as they were routed by a final score of 54-16.
For the Vikings, Isiah Davis opened the scoring for Sto-Rox on a 39-yard touchdown pass for Quarterback Josh Jenkins. Diego Ellis grabbed a pass completing the two-point conversion.
The only other bright spot for the Vikings was a single-yard quarterback run for Jenkins followed by a Drevon Miller-Ross reception on a two-point conversion from Jenkins.
On the evening, Jenkins was 8 of 20 in the passing department good for 126 yards along with one touchdown and two interceptions as his high school career is over along with the Vikings season and championship dreams.
Other stats for the Vikes:
Jenkins completed 10 of 22 passes for 159 yards
Jaymont Green Miller caught four passes for 71 yards, Zay Davis rushed a team high 45 yards on three carries as well as caught three passes for 67 yards.
Defensively Amarre Hibbler had a team high with 11 tackles, Kquartazz Kirksey had 10 tackles and Amare Harper added eight tackles.
The Vikings finish their season 9-3 with a conference win and reached the WPIAL semifinals for the second straight year.
Class A Semifinals
When you are the reigning WPIAL Class A champions, you wear a bullseye on your back as every opponent is gunning for you week in and week out. Don't tell that to the Bishop Canevin Crusaders as they are headed to the title game for the second straight year after their semifinal win over South Side Area 49-21 and a 12-1 record to date.
In the event you thought the championship team from a year ago was strong, this year’s edition is every bit as good steamrolling the opposition as they ran up the score every week.
The semifinal game was no exception as the offense was its usual dominant self while the defense punished opposing runningbacks and receivers with jaw-rattling hits play after play.
Bishop Canevin held a 21-7 lead after the first quarter and continued its dominance in the second stanza racking up 28 more points and a commanding 49-14 lead at the break.
Seemingly just going through the motions, if you will, in the second half, the team’s high-powered offense was held scoreless as they surrendered one final score to the Rams.
The scoring frenzy for the Crusaders started with a 55-yard pass to Lasae Lacks from all-world Quarterback Jason Cross, as Cross followed that up with a 52-yard strike to Xavier Nelson. Lasae Lacks snagged a 20-yard pass from Cross followed by a 53-yard bust downfield and another touchdown by Runningback Marquis Carter.
Cross then used his legs as he took flight and bolted off to a 74-yard touchdown run. The final nail in the South Side coffin was an 80-yard touchdown interception and run by Nelson.
On the evening, Cross was a perfect 9 of 9 in the passing department good for 258 yards and four touchdowns. Carter had four rushes for 82 yards an average of 25.5 yards a carry and one touchdown. Nelson had three receptions for 144 yards, an average of 48 yards per catch as he scored two touchdowns.
As Bishop Canevin earned a second straight trip to the Championship game, the only thing standing in the way is tenth-seeded Union, the surprise of Class A.