WEXFORD Pa. — Central Valley wide receiver/safety Jayvin Thompson’s standout performance led Central Valley to a 19-0 win over Thomas Jefferson (8-4) in the WPIAL Class-4A semifinal on Friday night at Newman Stadium.
Thompson essentially accounted for 12 of the Warriors’ 19 points. He didn’t score on his interception, but he set Central Valley up at the 1-yard line. Central Valley (11-1) will play their Beaver County rivals Aliquippa (11-0) in the WPIAL Class-4A championship at Acrisure Stadium next Friday night. Aliquippa defeated Central Valley, 35-24, in their first meeting on Oct. 28.
Central Valley struck first, as Antwon Johnson found Thompson on a slant for a 12-yard touchdown to put the Warriors up 6-0. The extra point was blocked. A couple of nice runs by star running back Bret FitzSimmons got Central Valley in scoring position.
Thomas Jefferson got into Central Valley territory on the ensuing possession, but the drive came to an halt at the 11-yard line after a failed fourth down conversion. Following a forced three-and-out, Thomas Jefferson quarterback Brody Evans completed a 25-yard pass to Caden Sullivan to set the Jaguars up at Central Valley’s 9-yard line. Thomas Jefferson didn’t get any points out of the promising drive, however, as Andrew Graham’s 27-yard field goal went wide left.
After trading possessions, Thompson picked off an ill-advised pass by Evans and returned it 25 yards to the 1-yard line. Thompson read the pass the whole way from his safety position. On the next play, Johnson plunged into the end zone to enhance the Warriors lead to 12-0 with 1:59 remaining in the first half. Johnson’s pass intended for FitzSimmons fell incomplete on the two-point attempt. Thomas Jefferson was unable to muster anything offensively and went into halftime with a 12-0 deficit.
On Central Valley’s first drive of the second half, Johnson completed a screen pass to Deniro Simpson. who broke three tackles and went the distance for a 40-yard touchdown to put Central Valley up 19-0 with just under six minutes remaining in the third quarter. Prior to Simpson’s touchdown, all five of Johnson’s completions went to Thompson.
With time winding down and trailing by 19, Thomas Jefferson needed a spark, but it was never delivered. Evans completed a screen to Elias Lippincott, but he was stopped just short of the line to gain and Central Valley took over on downs at the Jaguars’ 49-yard line. Central Valley drained the clock and continued to dominate on defense, as the Warriors pitched a shutout.
PHOTO GALLERY BY EDDIE PROVIDENT