Coming into the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs at 9-1, and holding down the number two seed, many expected that the South Fayette Lions were not going to be knocked out without one heck of an effort from the opposition. Sitting at 4-6 coming into the game, seventh seed Greensburg Salem did not quite have the firepower to give South Fayette that effort. South Fayette got off to a lead early, piled on it, and salted away a 42-6 win, advancing to the 4A semi-finals.
The Lions scored the very first time they touched the football. South Fayette forced a quick three and out and promptly responded with an 84-yard touchdown run by Andrew Franklin to give his team a lead. A hole opened like the red sea, and Franklin was off to the races from there. The game proceeded to get away from Greensburg Salem from there.
After another three and out, the offense put together another scoring drive that ended with a Jamie Diven touchdown pass to give South Fayette a 14-0 lead.
Greensburg Salem settled in a bit from the early punch and put a few first downs together. The defense also forced back to back three and outs. However, as Greensburg Salem started to move into the second quarter with some momentum, South Fayette was quick to take it all away.
The second quarter turned into the Ryan Kokoski show. It started with Kokoski intercepting a deep pass as the safety. He read the route and leaped in front of the receiver to make the play. Kokoski was rewarded on the other end with a touchdown reception over the middle from Diven to extend the lead to 21-0.
A pick and a touchdown on the ensuing drive was not enough for Kokoski, though. He needed the pick and the touchdown on the same play, and he got it just two plays later. Kokoski jumped a crossing route over the short middle. He jumped the route with momentum and caught the pass in stride. He was gone the second he caught it and brought it to the house to take a 28-0 lead.
Kokoski caught another touchdown on a comeback route in the corner of the end zone to take a 35-0 lead into the half. He effectively ended the game.
The third quarter was played with a running clock and saw South Fayette go bland and salt the game away. Still, the offense did come out for one drive to star the half. South Fayette marched right down the field one more time, got up 42-0, and officially called off the dogs. It felt as though the team knew that they were clicking to end the half and wanted to extend it into the second half to extend the momentum into next week. Greensburg Salem responded to close the game out 42-6 by the end.
The dominating performance was impressive but almost expected when seeing a 9-1 No. 2 seed take on a 4-6 No. 7 seed. Still, it showed that South Fayette was dialed in and is on a mission to take out any opponent in its way. We will see if they can parlay that same intensity into a win next week, as they take on a tested Belle Vernon team in the semi-finals.