Tigers Cook up big win over Aliquippa
Written by: Josh Funk on Friday, September 12th, 2008
ALIQUIPPA, Pa. – Pregame, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Mike White was asked if he thought the upcoming Beaver Falls – Aliquippa game would be a good one.
The 30-year sports-writing veteran simply shrugged. Beaver Falls then went out and shrugged off Aliquippa.
Behind another stellar effort from junior fullback Cody Cook, and with key efforts from Admire Carter and Todd Thomas, Beaver Falls (3-0 overall, 3-0 Midwestern Athletic Conference) totaled 372 rushing yards and pummeled Aliquippa (2-1, 1-1) 27-12 in an FSN Thursday Night Showcase game.
“It wasn’t this, ‘oh, we beat ourselves’ stuff,” Aliquippa head coach Mike Zmijanac said. “They (Beaver Falls) whupped us.”
Aliquippa was walloped to the tune of 372 rushing yards on 38 Tiger rushing attempts, good enough for an average of 9.78 yards per carry.
“I wasn’t aware of that (the game rushing total,” Beaver Falls head coach Ryan Matsook said. “That’s good … but I wish it would have been 400.”
Beaver Falls only attempted four passes the entire game, all in the first half. They didn’t need to air the ball out – not with three capable backs in the backfield.
After a lackluster first quarter, offensively speaking, Cook and company got things rolling in the second quarter.
Positioned at the Quips’ 38 yard line, Beaver Falls needed just six plays to cross the goal line. Highlighted by a 24-yard reception by Kendall Dreher, Thomas (12 rushes, 99 yards, TD) scored on a two-yard run to give BF an early 6-0 lead.
After Aliquippa was forced to punt, Cook gave Beaver Falls a big-time jolt when he took a Tony Omogrosso handoff right up the gut, then cut to the outside for an 86-yard touchdown run with 5:57 left in the first half. After converting the two-point conversion, the Tigers led 14-0.
Cook got one more highlight-reel run in the first half, when he took the Tigers’ next offensive play 45 yards. In just a two-carry stretch, Cook gained 131 yards, a mind-boggling 65.5 yards per carry!
“Cody Cook is a phenomenal junior back,” said Thomas, a Division-1 recruit. “His vision is outstanding.”
But to start the second half, Aliquippa came out firing, embarking on a 12-play, 57-yard march, which was capped by a Terry Parker (14 rushes, 131 yards, TD) one-yard plunge to make it 14-6. This drive was highlighted by a 30-yard pass-and-catch from Rasheem Williams (8-of-20, 92 yards, INT) to Rashad Kenny (4 rec., 66 yards) on a 4th-and-17 play.
But two plays later, Beaver Falls responded, this time with Carter (4 rushes, 88 yards, TD) weaving through the Quips’ defense for a 57-yard scoring run to push the lead to 20-6.
Aliquippa let a golden opportunity slip through its hands on its next possession. After Patrick darted 89 yards to the Tiger seven yard line, Aliquippa turned the ball over on downs at the three, unable to punch the ball across the goal line.
Zmijanac was at a loss for words to describe that sequence of events. “That’s all a matter of coaching and uncoaching,” he said. “That’s an absolute … inexcusable … lack of organization on the coaching staff. The kids weren’t the ones that sent 12 men on the field.”
Cook capped the Beaver Falls scoring with a nine-yard run with just 3:50 left in the game. On the night, Cook carried the ball 19 times for 185 yards and the two touchdowns.
“It was a total team effort tonight,” Matsook said,
Aliquippa capped the scoring when Darius Walker (8 rushes, 52 yards, TD) scored from two yards out to make it 27-12.
Donte Williams added seven rushes for 32 yards for Aliquippa, which ran for 235 yards and racked up 327 yards of offense.
Omogrosso went 2-of-4 passing for 61 yards for Beaver Falls, which rolled up 433 yards of offense on its arch-rival.
“This was a total team effort tonight,” Matsook said. “This was a great Aliquippa team we beat.”
Thomas agreed. “This feels like winning the lottery, it really does,” he said. “But this isn’t our only big game. This is the first of many big games. We just have to keep getting better.”
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