The Westinghouse Bulldogs advanced to their first PIAA State Championship game in program history with a 26-7 win over the Steel Valley Ironmen. Westinghouse is the third City League team to play in the championship game.
The Bulldogs’ offense was dead in the water for much of the third quarter, but a late hit out of bounds on quarterback Keyshawn Morsillo lit a fire under the team that prompted two quick scoring drives, and a lead they didn’t relinquish.
Steel Valley and Westinghouse’s opening drives both began with promise before sputtering into turnovers on downs inside the opposing ten.
The Ironmen couldn’t escape the shadow of their own goal line on their second drive. Westinghouse returned the ensuing punt to the Steel Valley 19 before a lost fumble on third down kept them from cashing in.
Westinghouse broke the ice midway through the second quarter on a three yard touchdown run by Morsillo. A missed extra point made it 6-0.
Facing fourth-and-14 from their own 34, Steel Valley attempted a fake punt and failed to convert. Again, the Steel Valley defense prevented a score.
The Bulldogs appeared to muff a rolling punt that bounced into the end zone, which would’ve given Steel Valley points in the waning seconds of the half, but referees ruled the play a touchback.
Westinghouse fumbled the second half kickoff, and Steel Valley went up by one after a six yard rushing touchdown by JeSean Wright.
A Steel Valley punt pinned Westinghouse at their own two. Morsillo was hit out of bounds on the next play, and the Bulldogs eventually scored on a 20 yard tote by running back Khalil Taylor. Morsillo kept it for the two point conversion to take a 14-7 lead late in the third.
A 31 yard carry by Taylor put the Bulldogs back in the red zone early in the fourth. Steel Valley intercepted a batted pass on fourth down, but Westinghouse forced and recovered a fumble on the return to get a fresh set of downs. Morsillo turned the second chance into six with a one yard keeper, going up 20-7 with eight minutes to play.
Steel Valley linebacker Carlos Scott intercepted a pass at midfield to give his offense a chance with five minutes to play.
Westinghouse defensive end Michael Richardson sacked quarterback Cruce Brookins on fourth down to end that threat. Running back Shaun Robinson put the game on ice, scoring a touchdown with under one minute remaining.
Westinghouse (14-0) advances to face Southern Columbia (12-3) at the PIAA Class-2A State Championship at Cumberland Valley High School on Friday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. Steel Valley’s season ends at 12-1.