Haslett's Roll Of The Dice Takes City Title To Squirrel Hill
By: Alex Fydryszewski
In a result that most media considered a shocking one, Allderdice defeated Westinghouse 14-0 to claim the City League title.
The victory prevented Westinghouse from making it three in a row and was coach Jerry Haslett’s third title in the last five years, and he brought it home by throwing out an offense that he had run in practice but not in a game situation.
The game itself was a cagey battle early on. Both teams were apprehensive to make that “early mistake” that cost points. After trading a series of drives that went nowhere, Allderdice had the first threatening drive of the game, getting down to the 8 yard line before stalling out. Rather than send Molly Virtue out for what could have been a makeable FG, ‘Dice came up just short on fourth and a yard.
On the next play, ‘House QB Keyshawn Morsillo was flushed out of the pocket and sacked, fumbling in the process. Senior DeAndre Wells(6’0” 282) dove on the loose ball to give the Squirrel Hill side the lead. Wells would tell the media pool after the contest that it was his first TD since midget football. One drive later, ‘Dice stalled Westinghouse out and grabbed a safety off of a bad snap to make it 8-0 at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter saw more of the see-saw slugfest that anyone in the know, knew the final would be. Teams traded punts and field position throughout the quarter and late in the second, ‘Dice struck again. This time it was Jaerone Parker, a 5’10” 175lb junior who has run the offense out of a wildcat formation the last two weeks, hit Noah Johnston on a short pass—Johnston evaded half a dozen ‘House defenders and forced his way across the goal line on a full extension dive for a 25yd TD to make it 14-0. Molly Virtue’s PAT was blocked, as her first one was.
In the third, Westinghouse came out with more life—The offense was humming and Morsillo moved the sticks three times, but it was short lived. After taking two penalties, including a taunting penalty after a big gain, Morsillo took a knock and had to exit the game on a crucial 4th down. ‘Dice held serve and forced a turnover. Teams traded possessions back and forth and late in the third, ‘Dice forced a punt and implemented “clock management” the rest of the way. Patient to the line, working the playclock and running between the tackles.
‘House threatened one last time in the fourth quarter after an interception, but gave it right back to ‘Dice, who killed off the last three minutes with running plays to claim their third title in the last five years.
After the contest, the media pool gathered with Coach Haslett and when asked about the turnaround from the regular season loss to the final victory, he laughed and responded, “You tell me.” Deep inside, however, perhaps Haslett knew that he had an ace up his sleeve.
After the semifinal win, when approached for comment, he told our team at Pennsylvania Football News and Three Rivers Broadcasting that the wildcat formation with Parker under center was an offensive set they worked on all season in practice and were simply waiting for the right time to, well, roll the dice. The playoff was that time and neither Brashear nor Westinghouse had an answer for it.
Parker carried 22 times for 71 yards and was 9-12 passing for 80 yards and a TD, stepping in for drop-back-passer Azerick Jetter in the new formation.
Our MVP on the day was 6’2” 175lb senior WR\DB Noah Johnston. Johnston had a TD catch and two interceptions in the fourth quarter as well as numerous passes broken up throughout the game. The senior was flying around on both sides of the ball and was playing his best football of the season on Saturday afternoon.
Westinghouse(8-1) will host Chestnut Ridge(6-4) on Friday at 7PM in a Subregional Playoff Contest at Cupples Stadium.
The game will have an article featured on PA Football News and air live via Three Rivers Broadcasting, with pre-game set for 6:45PM.
Should Westinghouse win, they will play the winner of Windber-Berlin Brothersvalley on November 12 or 13.
Allderdice(4-5) will host the D-10 champion(McDowell or Butler) on November 19 at Cupples Stadium.
Should 'House win, their next contest, along with the Allderdice game on the 19th, are tentatively scheduled to air on TRB as well, and will have articles featured.