Although it didn’t show on the scoreboard, the Taylor Allderdice Dragons controlled play for much of their 14-6 win over the USO Eagles in the City League Semifinals.
34 combined penalties stifled any offensive rhythm either team could muster.
Dragons DB Jaiyson Lewis said the constant flags added an air of uncertainty to playing.
“A lot of stuff was just going through my head. I’m like ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen next play,’” Lewis said. “Next play though, we’ve gotta keep playing. You can’t have the refs in your head all game. You’ve gotta just play.”
A fourth-quarter touchdown run by running back Terrell James stretched the Dragons’ lead to eight. USO got the ball with under two minutes to go, but Lewis slammed the door shut with an interception.
Lewis, a senior who used to attend Penn Hills, said he had moments like this in mind when he transferred.
“I knew a lot of people here already,” Lewis said. “I already knew it was going to be a big senior season. I worked hard, I prepared…and this is the outcome. Now we’re going to the ‘ship.”
Lewis said that pre-snap adjustments by the Dragons’ coaching staff put him in a position to make the game-sealing play.
“My coach told me to move over to the hash. I listened,” Lewis said. “I read it first, already knew where he was throwing it to, read the play, got the pick.”
Game sealing interception @PAPrepsRivals @PaFootballNews @PGHCityLeague @wpialsportsnews @FydSports @WAMO1073PGH @CoachMWatkins @DiceDragonsFB @DiceSports @GatorsGarfield @Cover3_ATH @PRZPAvic @210ths pic.twitter.com/8445PptnzP
— Joker🃏 (@JaiysonLewis) October 21, 2022
Allderdice moves on to face Westinghouse in the City League Championship for the third consecutive year. While Lewis is a newcomer to the rivalry, he said that a rematch with Westinghouse felt inevitable even before the Bulldogs advanced.
“I’m getting my first real feel of what it’s like on this field [in] my senior season,” Lewis said. “I kinda know who we’ve got [to face].”