PITTSBURGH — One week after the Allderdice Dragons prevailed over USO 21-20, Dice did it again in the City League Semifinals thanks to an interception by Jaiyson Lewis with 90 seconds to go, part of a dominant defensive performance that held the USO Eagles’ offense scoreless.
Allderdice’s first offensive play was a 48-yard deep ball from quarterback Azerick Jetter to Naeron Smith that put the Dragons at the seven.
The Eagles’ defense held strong, however, holding Allderdice scoreless as a 23-yard kick pushed wide right.
Playing without starting quarterback Max Qureshi for the third consecutive week, the Eagles turned to the ground game to give freshman signal-caller Jaquille McIntosh breathing room.
USO quickly moved downfield but the drive stalled with a pair of dropped passes, ending in a turnover on downs.
An Eagles’ punt pinned Allderdice at the one early in the second quarter. Sophomore defensive back Xair Stevenson gave USO the lead a play later when he jumped on a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, and a 6-0 lead after a failed two-point try.
A long kickoff return, late hit out of bounds and a 30 yard rush by Smith put Dice in the red zone after just one play.
Terrell James cashed in with an 11 yard touchdown as Allderdice took a 7-6 lead.
From there a deluge of flags stifled drives and slowed play to a crawl: A 55 yard Eagles touchdown on 3rd and 19 was wiped away by a penalty, and Eagles’ defensive back Jaden Duckett’s interception off a tipped pass was the lone highlight before the half.
Duckett caught a 38-yard pass to put USO near the red zone in the third quarter, but penalties stalled the drive, culminating in a 3rd-and-57. The Eagles did not convert.
Stevenson snagged another pick at midfield early in the fourth quarter, but more penalties and a 20-yard sack on fourth down killed the momentum.
James doubled the Dragons’ lead to 14-6 with a 35-yard touchdown with just under seven minutes to go.
USO forced a turnover on downs to get the ball back at the Dragons’ 39 with less than two minutes to go.
Lewis called game on the next play with an interception of McIntosh.
Allderdice (4-5) will play the winner of Perry/Westinghouse in the City League Championship next weekend. USO’s (3-5) season will continue in the WPIAL playoffs.