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MONROEVILLE, Pa. — There was a full moon over Antimarino Stadium on Halloween Eve Friday night as the Gateway Gators hosted Penn Hills in the WPIAL Class-5A quarterfinal.
If there was a haunting impact of the supernatural setting, it was the Penn Hills red zone, as the Indians made three trips inside the Gateway 20, but came away with no points and were shut out, 14-0 by the Gators.
Penn Hills quarterback Jalen Dugger was intercepted by top WPIAL prospect Derrick Davis in the end zone in the first quarter. In the second period, Penn Hills freshman running back Amir Key coughed the ball up inside the Gateway five-yard line. In the third quarter, Dugger was stuffed on a fourth-down attempt from the 2-yard line.
In between, Penn Hills did its best to limit the undefeated Gators. Davis scored on a 3-yard sweep to cap the first drive of the game for Gateway and open the scoring. He contributed a long screen pass and quarterback Carson Engelka hit Patrick Body on a fade route to put Gateway in good field position.
A Penn Hills gaffe handed Gateway its second score. Penn Hills lined up to punt on a 4th and 2 in its own territory. Coach Jon LeDonne called a fake punt, but the snap went over the head of the up-back and Gateway took over at the Penn Hills 2-yard line.
Engelka found senior Jayden Hurt on a post route to make it a two-score game.
There it stood for the remainder, as the Indians took the ball away on a fumbled exchange between Engelka and Davis, only to give it back on Key’s fumble.
In the second half, Penn Hills intercepted Engleka twice, but was unable to come away with points.
The Gators will advance to play Peters Township in the WPIAL semifinals on Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at a site to be determined.