Southern Columbia pulls away in the second half
NAZARETH – After a close first half, Southern Columbia’s (13-1) defense forced three turnovers and pulled away in the second half in a 55-25 win over Pius X (12-2) Friday night at Andrew S. Leh Stadium in a PIAA Class A quarterfinal game.
With the win Southern Columbia awaits the winner of today’s game between Columbia and Penn’s Manor.
Pius X scored on their opening possession, driving right down the field as sophomore quarterback AJ Long picked apart the Southern Columbia defense. Long found Drake Freeman for a 35-yard score. Matt Camilletti’s kick put Pius X up 7-0 with 10:18 left in the quarter.
On Southern Columbia’s second drive they took it to the Royal 14. Quarterback Brad Fegley hit Keith Day on a 14-yard slant pass for the score.
With 1:12 remaining in the first quarter the Royals regained the lead. Nick DeRea scored from one-yard out.
Pius X added to their lead early in the second quarter and it took one play to do so. Long hit Boise Ross who raced down the sideline for an 84-yard score with 10:52 left in the first half.
Pius X led 19-7.
After a slow start, Southern Columbia’s offense they got their running game going. Fegley’s big run for 48 yards setup his two-yard score.
Southern’s defense started to settle in and the offensive line started to pave the way for the running backs. The Tigers’ offensive line took over and Fegley capped off the drive with a one-yard run to give Southern Columbia their first lead of the night. 22-19.
“Fegley is a leader”, said Coach Roth. “He was a tremendous leader by example tonight on both sides of the ball.”
The Tigers’ defense came up with a DeRea fumble. The Tigers capitalized on the turnover, Levan scored from two-yards out with 2:41 remaining in the first half.
The Royals cut into the lead before halftime. Long found Camilletti for an eight-yard score with 14 seconds left in the first half.
Pius X trailed 29-25 at halftime.
Southern Columbia took over in the second half. “In the first half we were a little nervous and we came out strong in the second half”, said quarterback Brad Fegley.
The Tigers offensive line started to wear down Pius X and scored four times in the half. Fegley’s 17-yard run in the third quarter put the Tigers up 35-25.
In the fourth quarter Matt Moore took over scoring on a 31-yard run with 10:42 left in the game.
The Tigers got the ball right back when Keith Day intercepted an AJ Long pass. The Tigers needed seven plays for Moore to go in for the seven-yard score.
Pius X appeared to be knocking on the door at the Tigers three yard line. But a DeRea fumble on first-and-goal killed the drive.
“We had the two big stops”, said Fegley. “They were getting momentum there and we stopped them.”
Head Coach Jim Roth said, “I thought our secondary stepped up in the second half and made plays.”
Three plays later Levan finished off the night when he swept right and went 77-yards for the score.
The Southern Columbia Tigers move on with an impressive 55-25 win.
“This is the biggest win we had since 2006”, said Roth. “Since winning our last state title.”
Quarterback Brad Fegley finished the game passing with124 yards and one score. “Fegley stepped up and he hasn’t run the ball much for us all year”, said Roth. “I don’t know how fast he is but tonight he seemed to run faster than I have ever seen him run.” He finished the night rushing for 109 yards and three touchdowns.
Matt Moore had 133 yards rushing and Tyler Levan added 172 yards on 19 carries.
Pius X’s, sensational, sophomore quarterback finished the night throwing for 327 yards on 19 of 37 passes and three touchdowns.
|P – Drake Freeman 35-yard pass from AJ Long 10:18|
|SC – Keith Day 14-yard pass from Brad Fegley 3:35|
|P – Nick DeRea 1-yard run 1:12|
|P – Boise Ross 84-yard pass from AJ Long 10:52|
|SC – Brad Fegley 2-yard run 8:56|
|SC – Brad Fegley 1-yard run 5:22|
|SC – Tyler Levan 2-yard run 2:41|
|P – Matt Camilletti 8-yard pass from AJ Long :14|
|SC – Brad Fegley 17-yard run 6:14|
|SC – Matt Moore 31-yard run 10:42|
|SC – Matt Moore 7-yard run 6:53|
|SC – Tyler Levan 77-yard run 3:43|
Stats provided by Dean Beers
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