Casella leads Hurricanes past Bristol and into state quarterfinals
Written by: Kenny Rossi on Saturday, November 23rd, 2013.
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On a rainy November night at Blue Mountain’s Eagles’ Nest, the Bristol Warriors came in to town to face a red-hot Schuylkill Haven squad.
The Warriors had no answer for Haven’s beast of a backfield as Will Casella stole the show with 334 yards on 42 carries, and oh did I mention, six rushing touchdowns as the Hurricanes blew past the Warriors 56-27 in the first round of the PIAA Class A state playoffs.
The hog mollies up front opened gaping holes for Casella, and quarterback Ryan Fink didn’t have a bad day himself as he rushed the ball 18 times for 222 yards and two scores. Schuylkill Haven rushed the ball 69 times for 604 yards and eight scores in the rout.
Bristol running back Donte Simmons was the Warriors’ main source of offense. He carried the ball 16 times for 114 yards and two scores, while Trevor Leone led the Warriors in passing, completing 6-of-17 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown.
On the first offensive play of the game, the ‘Canes coughed the ball up, giving Bristol (9-2) good field position for their first possession. The Warriors failed to capitalize as they went three-and-out.
On Haven’s ensuing possession, the combination of Fink and Casella led the Hurricanes (10-3) into the end zone as Casella tallied his first of six scores on the night – this time from 2 yards out.
The ensuing Hurricanes kickoff was returned inside their own 10-yard line, setting up the Warriors with prime scoring position. Donte Simmons 6-yard run tied the
score, but Casella added another touchdown run before the quarter was over for a 14-7 Haven lead.
Midway through the second quarter, you guessed it, a Will Casella 5-yard run gave the Hurricanes more breathing room. The next Bristol drive was capped off by an impressive 70-yard Donte Simmons touchdown run.
The next Haven offensive possession Will Casella added another 3-yard score, and after a Bristol punt, Ryan Fink added a 6-yard score to strengthen the Hurricane
Late in the second quarter the Warriors added a 35-yard Leone touchdown pass to Kyle Sivka-Franlin, making the score 35-21 in favor of Haven at intermission.
Casella added another Haven score midway through the third. That was the only scoring in the third quarter as the Hurricanes surged ahead 42-21.
Bristol added a score in the fourth, but it was not enough as the junior backfield of Fink and Casella added two more scores in the fourth to put Haven ahead 56-27.
This junior tandem combined for 556 yards and eight scores on 60 carries.
Schuylkill Haven will look to use these two as they continue their state run. Schuylkill Haven is now on a six-game win streak and is one of the state’s hottest teams. The Old Forge Blue Devils (12-1) will battle the ‘Canes next Friday after they shocked Southern Columbia 19-14 this week. Kickoff for the state quarterfinal is set for 7 p.m. back at Blue Mountain’s Eagles’ Nest.
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