CHIPPEWA TWP., Pa. — No. 4 Blackhawk defeated No. 5 Greensburg Salem 36-7 in the WPIAL Class 4A Quarterfinals at Blackhawk Stadium Friday night.
The Cougars’ depth at the running back position proved too much as three players scored rushing touchdowns in the win.
Star senior Marques Watson-Trent scored on a 58-yard gallop on the team’s first offensive possession and the Cougars were quickly up 7-0.
Greensburg Salem scored early in the second to even the score at seven, but after that it was all Blackhawk.
Watson-Trent scored his second touchdown of the night to increase the lead to 13-7, a score that was carried into the half.
A seldom-used passing attack led by quarterback Carson Davidson struck in the third quarter when the sophomore found tight end Ryan Heckathorn for a 25-yard score and the Cougars led 21-7.
Touchdown runs by Josh Butcher (seven yards) and Josh Hathaway (two yards) in the fourth quarter sealed the team’s second trip to the WPIAL quarterfinals in as many seasons under coach Zack Hayward.
Watson-Trent paced the offense with 159 yards on 14 carries with Butcher chipped in 82 yards on nine carries and fullback Vince Gratteri ran for 54 yards on seven carries.
Watson-Trent has been dealing with a high ankle sprain and re-aggravated the injury late in the first quarter and gingerly walked off the field with the score 7-0.
He was limited on both sides of the ball for the rest of the game, but was able to make big plays when he was called upon.
But the offensive depth carried the team to a win and another date with Thomas Jefferson in the playoffs.
The win was the third over Greensburg Salem in the playoffs with a 28-6 win in 1991 and a 38-9 win in 2004.
Davidson finished the night 8-11 for 85 yards and the touchdown.
For Greensburg Salem, their option offense found themselves behind the chains for much of the first half and coupled with the deficit on the scoreboard, the passing game was uncomfortably pushed to the front of the offensive game plan.
Quarterback Trent Patrick was just 8-20 for 52 yards.
The Cougars outgained the Golden Lions 382-151 and outrushed Greensburg Salem 297-99.