Richland moves onWritten by: WesternPAFootball.net Staff on Saturday, December 1st, 2012
by Mark Schaas of MSASports.net
The District 6 champion Richland Rams continued their unbeaten season with a 38-12 victory over the District 10 champion Hickory Hornets in the PIAA Class AA Quarterfinal round on Saturday at Slippery Rock University’s Mihalik-Thompson Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Rams jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, Richland is now 14-0 and will face WPIAL champion Aliquippa, also 14-0, on Friday night at North Allegheny High School in the semifinals.
Tanner Solarczyk ran for 151 yards on 26 carries, he scored 3 touchdowns, giving him 28 on the year. Solarczyk is just 52 yards away from reaching 2,000 yards for the season. Matt Shaffer threw for 145 yards on 12 of 26 and a score.
Richland scored on the opening drive, going 14 plays and 79 yards. Shaffer scored from a yard out, the Rams recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff as Davon Tindell could not handle the bouncing kick, Nick Rager recovered to set the Rams up at the 6 yard line. Shaffer scored on 4th and goal on a yard run to put Richland up 13-0.
The Rams scored four plays into the second quarter, Solarczyk scored on a 9 yard run, a 2 point conversion made the score 21-0. The teams traded turnovers, Shaffer was intercepted by Dionte Pope, DeShawn Coleman fumbled two plays later, setting up Richland at the 27.
Shaffer connected with Solarczyk on a screen pass for a 15 yard touchdown with 3:49 remaining. Bobby Colvin tacked on a 38 yard field goal to put Richland up 31-0 at the half. The Richland defense held Hickory to just 2 first downs in the opening half.
Hickory scored their first points on the opening drive of the third, Coleman broke a 45 yard run, scoring his 35th touchdown of the season. It looked like Hickory could get back into the game, as Coleman was trying for extra yardage at the Richland 45, he was stripped of the football, Jared Hoover recovered to end any chance of a comeback. The Richland special teams made a big play late in the quarter as Rager and Elijah Metzger combined to block a punt, the Rams had also converted a fake punt earlier in the contest.
Solarczyk scored on a 3 yard td run with 6:47 left in regulation, Chad Voytik hit Anthony Cannone for a 24 yard touchdown to close the scoring.
Richland head coach Brandon Bailey told his team after the game “Why not us”, in reference to meeting the Quips next week. Bailey said no one outside of the team huddle gives Richland a chance, despite both teams winning district crowns and entering the semis undefeated. The Rams posted 346 yards of offense, 171 on the ground and 175 thru the air for as almost balanced attack, adding 18 first downs.
For Hickory, Coleman finished with 10 carries for an even 100 yards, the WVU recruit closed out his high school career with over 41 hundred yards rushing. Voytik was 16 of 32 for 195 yards, the Hornets finished the day with 286 yards of offense.
Richland Rams 13 – 18 – 0 – 7 = 38
Hickory Hornets 0 – 0 – 6 – 6 = 12
R: Matt Shaffer 1 run(Bobby Colvin kick) 6:46
R: Shaffer 1 run(run failed) 4:48
R: Tanner Solarczyk 9 run(Nico Pecora run) 11:15
R: Solarczyk 15 pass from Shaffer(Colvin kick) 3:49
R: Colvin 38 FG :16
H: DeShawn Coleman 45 run(kick failed) 10:35
R: Solarczyk 3 run(Colvin kick) 6:41
H: Anthony Cannone 24 pass from Chad Voytik(pass failed) 3:40
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