Farrell Downs Sharpsville 34-7 for District 10-A Title
Written by: William Albright on Saturday, November 28th, 2009
SLIPPERY ROCK — During the regular season matchup between Farrell and Sharpsville, the Steelers emerged with a hard-fought 12-7 win in the mud at the Pines.
Friday afternoon in the District 10-A championship game, the same two teams found themselves in another close, tough, physical game as the two teams were tied at 7-all.
However, just as good as the first 24 minutes were to the Blue Devils, the opening 8-plus minutes of the third period were just as devastating as the Steelers exploded for three quick touchdowns to go on top by 28-7 before adding an insurance score in the fourth quarter to set the final at 34-7.
“You know we played some of our worst ball last week and in the first half today, but we made some changes at halftime and we were able to put it on them,” said Farrell head coach Jarrett Samuels. “They were more physical than we were in the first half and I have to give them credit for that. But again, when it came down to heart and soul, we had to establish the run because we couldn’t pass the ball that well because of the weather. I am very proud of our coaching staff because they came up with a great scheme for today’s game and the kids came out and executed in the second half.”
For Farrell (13-0), the district title was its second in a row.
“To be back-to-back (district) champions is great,” said Samuels. “To win two in a row says a lot about our kids and their heart and desire to win.”
Although disappointed with the loss, Sharpsville (10-3) Coach Paul Piccirilli was happy with the effort he received from his troops.
“We tried to establish our run game, but we just couldn’t get it going,” said Piccirilli. “Marcus Llewellyn went out early and with Matty (Totin) at quarterback, it was awfully tough for us. We just put him in on Wednesday when we learned that Frank (starting quarterback Joseph) couldn’t go and all things considered, he did a great job. We have nothing to be ashamed of.”
As for the future of Sharpsville football, Piccirilli likes what he sees.
“The future is pretty bright for us,” he said. “It is just disheartening for the seniors to see it end this way.”
After a scoreless opening period, the two teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter for the 7-7 tie.
The unbeaten Steelers struck on their first possession of the quarter when on the fourth play of the period, Kevin Brodie ripped off a 52-yard jaunt into the end zone. Jamar Whitman made it 7-0 Farrell with his pat.
Not to be awed by the deficit, the Blue Devils put together a solid drive, moving 59 yards on 11 plays, fullback Marcus Llewellyn bulling into the end zone from 20 yards out. Jonathan Wilson’s PAT tied the game at 7-7.
But then it happened.
On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Lamont Hailstock took a handoff from quarterback Danny Odem and took it 50 yards to “the house”.
When Sharpsville was unable to move the chains on its first possession of the third period, a Blue Devil punt was blocked and recovered on the Sharpsville 23. Two plays later, Odem hooked up with Dion Eilam for a pass to the 2-yard line, and when Eilam fumbled, Preston Jefferson recovered in the end zone for another quick score.
After holding Sharpsville to a three-and-out, the Steelers completed their trifecta when Kevin Brodie tossed a 54-yard scoring pass to Jefferson on a halfback option play. Whitman’s fourth straight PAT made it 28-7 Farrell at the turn for home.
Hailstock completed the scoring for Farrell when he went in from 25 yards out with less than two minutes left to set the final.
“We played them tough the first half, but then we just fell apart,” said Piccirilli. “We gave them a chance to go up by two touchdowns and when that happens against them, you are in trouble.”
With the win, the Steelers advance to the PIAA Class A state quarterfinals. They will return to Slippery Rock’s N. Kerr Thompson Stadium Friday night where they will be matched against the District 9 champion, either Coudersport or Clarion. Kickoff for that contest is set for 7 p.m.
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