PITTSBURGH — St. Marys saw its impressive turnaround season come to a screaching halt Friday night as City League champion Westinghouse notched a lopsided 50-6 victory against the Flying Dutchmen in a District 5-8-9 Class 3A semifinal game at Cupples Stadium.
St. Marys (6-5), coming off the high of a 62-28 rout of Franklin in its regular-season finale, never could get going against a stout Westinghouse defense led by Pitt recruit Dayon Hayes and others.
Westinghouse picked off St. Marys quarterback Christian Coudriet on the second play of the game to give the Bulldogs a short field at the St. Marys 29. The interception was one of four on the night by the Bulldogs and one five Dutchmen turnovers.
Troy Lanier hit Timothy Jones for a 12-yard touchdown pass two plays later, then scored on a 43-yard run of his own after a St. Marys put to give Westinghouse a 13-0 lead just 4:12 into the game.
It was all Westinghouse from there as the Bulldogs built a 38-6 halftime lead before adding two more scores in the third quarter to put the PIAA Mercy Rule into effect over the final 12:49 of the game.
St. Marys’ lone score came on a 7-yard TD catch by Terry Williams late in the first quarter, a score that made it 19-6 at the time.
Westinghouse, which touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams, finished with a 315-130 advantage in total yards, including holding the Dutchmen to minus-25 yard rushing on 17 carries.
The loss was a tough way to end what became one of the best storylines in District 9 this season. The Dutchmen, who endured through winless season in 2017 (0-9) and 2018 (0-10), ended a 22-game losing streak in Week 1 before putting together a 6-4 regular season.
“My dad said when I was younger, ‘Speed kills and that goes on the football field too,” said St. Marys coach Chris Dworek. “It’s just one of those things where if we play 100 times, it would probably be the same thing until our kids get faster. Our players are as tough as anybody but we just couldn’t stop some of their big plays, their home run plays.
“The start definitely didn’t help. Youhave things planned out and they don’t go (that way) right away and you get punched in the mouth right off the bat and kind of stagger. That’s what happened. We were staggering instead of coming out with some confidence.
“Our kids didn’t give up though, and the one thing I’m proud of is heir heart and attitude. Those are things you can control. Def proud of them and love every single one of them.”
Dworek also spoke of the importance of the game and overall experience it provided for both the seniors and underclassmen.
“The young guys are already talking about that (experience value) for next year,” added Dworek. “We’ll talk about this a lot, because I don’t want them to forget this feeling, the young guys, and it’s going to be motivation for a long time.
“I told the seniors thanks for their leadership, thanks for buying in. They are a part of a new beginning (for program), and I hope they realize what that means because we’re gong to keep our foot on the gas and try to keep things going in the right direction. Those seniors were a big part of that.”
Westinghouse’s quick start proved to be all the Bulldogs needed as their defense got the interception on by Cameron Jones on the second play of the game before forcing St. Marys to punt on its next possessions en route to the 19-0 lead with 3:29 left in the first quarter.
Down 19 points, St. Marys put together its best drive of the game late in the first.
Catches of 13 and 16 yards by Logan Mosier and Michael Fitzgerald, respectively, coupled with a pair of 15-yard penalties on Westinghouse quickly put St. Marys in the red zone at the Bulldog 7.
Coudriet then found Mosier on a 7-yard TD pass but an illegal procedure penalty on the Dutch negated the score. After an incompletion, St. marys ot the penalty yardage back on a 5-yard catch by Jacob Kline, who returned to action after not playing a week ago.
Williams then hauled in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Coudriet in the front of the end zone on third down with 1:31 left in the first-quarter clock. Cain Pfoutz then booted the extra point, which was waved off because of a penalty. Westinghouse then blocked Pfoutz’s second attempt from five yards further back.
St. Marys’ defense then appeared to come up with a huge play, forcing a fumble on Westinghouse’s next offense play that was recovered by Connor Bullers. However, a 5-yard facemask penalty on the play negated what could have been a game-changing turnover for the Dutchmen.
Instead of St. Marys getting the ball at their own 45 down 13 points, Westinghouse got it back with a first-and-10 at St. Marys’ 40. Lanier hit a wide open Malik Harris on a wheel route out of the back field for a a 26-yard touchdown six plays later to make it 25-6 just 15 seconds into the second quarter.
Bulldog Khalil Jeter picked off a Coudriet pass on the ensuing drive and returned it 54 yards for a score to put Westinghouse up 31-6 and the Dutch stuffed the Bulldogs’ 2-point try.
The teams then traded punts, as the St. Marys defense finally got a stop. Disaster struck on the Bulldogs’ punt though, as it was muffed by Mosier and recovered by Westinghouse at midfield.
The Bulldogs took advantage, driving 50 yards on 11 plays, getting a 4-yard TD run from Jones to push their lead to 38-6 with 1:50 left in the half. Westinghouse took that advantage into the break.
St. Marys’ defense forced a punt to start the second half but then had to kick it right back to the Bulldogs. Darius Bruce fielded that punt on the run at his own 34 and returned it 66 yard to paydirt.
Bruce came up with Westinghouse’s third interception of Coudriet on St. Marys’ next possession, setting up the Bulldogs final score of the game in the final minute of the third quarter to set the final at 50-6.
Neither team scored in the fourth quarter with the clock running as they traded turnovers. Westinghouse’s defense came up with its fourth interception of the night in the final quarter, while St. Marys recovered a pair of Bulldog fumbles.
Second-seeded Westinghouse (8-3) will now play top-seeded Bedford for the District 5-8-9 title this weekend. The Bisons (9-2) beat Somerset, 48-14, Friday night.