Friday, November 10, 2023 | 11:02 PM
Area place can typically make or break a soccer recreation.
Within the WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinal between Mars (10-2) and Central Valley (8-4) at Moe Rubenstein Stadium at Ambridge on Friday evening, discipline place performed a key issue.
Mason Childress used his leg to assist the Fightin’ Planets to a 24-14 win over the Warriors.
Childress punted six occasions on the evening and pinned Central Valley at its 6, 9, 15 and 16-yard line.
“Mason does all of it,” mentioned Mars coach Eric Kasperowicz. “His punting at present was unimaginable.”
“It appeared like we had been preventing discipline place the entire evening,” mentioned Warriors coach Mark Lyons.
Childress opened the scoring on Mars’ first drive by booming a 42-yard discipline objective.
“He made that 42-yard discipline objective, the place if he misses it type of demoralizes a child,” mentioned Kasperowicz. “However he made it and we bought one thing out of it.”
The primary half was low-scoring affair for golf equipment that mixed for 72 factors final week: Mars put up 44 and Central Valley scored 28.
This week, each groups couldn’t discover any rhythm offensively and managed simply 10 first-half factors, all of them belonging to Mars.
The Better Allegheny Convention champion Fightin’ Planets had an opportunity with 1:25 left within the first half, when Aidan Alessio bought free downfield, however Goodworth couldn’t join on the cross.
Overcoming that miscue, Goodworth and the Fightin’ Planets began to dink and dunk their method down the sphere. The ten-play drive was capped off by a 15-yard fade to Cole Yoshioka for a landing to present Mars a 10-0 lead going into the break.
The second half noticed every offense discover its footing because the groups mixed for 28 factors.
Mars opened the second half with a seven-play drive that Evan Wright completed with a 2-yard run for a rating. The spotlight of the drive was a 35-yard cross play from Goodworth to Yoshioka.
Goodworth ended the evening with 198 yards passing on 14 of 21 makes an attempt and a landing.
Central Valley answered with a 13-play drive capped off with a 16-yard landing cross from Steven Rutherford to Marcus Lawson.
Central Valley, which completed third within the Parkway Convention, scored on its second drive, operating the ball with ease and scoring on sophomore Josiah Boykin’s 3-yard run.
The Warriors bought inside three by changing the 2-point conversion on a shovel cross from Rutherford to sophomore Ethan Shearer.
Rutherford completed 9 of 20 for 100 yards, ran for 33 yards and had one landing via the air and an interception.
Mason Dixon carried the load for the Warriors, speeding for 102 yards on 16 carries.
“The sport’s filled with runs and moving into rhythm offensively,” mentioned Lyons. “I don’t suppose we bought into that rhythm within the first half.”
“I assumed we did job of shutting them down within the first half, however they got here out within the second and made some modifications, bought two fast ones on us on two nice drives,” mentioned Kasperowicz.
Mars was lastly in a position to cease the Warriors, forcing a punt within the early a part of the fourth quarter. After a poor punt, the Fightin’ Planets had good discipline place at Central Valley’s 32-yard line.
On the third play of the drive, Goodworth handed off to Wright up the center for a 25-yard landing to present Mars a 24-14 lead.
“We go as Evan goes, and he solely goes as a lot as our offensive line, which did an incredible job,” mentioned Kasperowicz. “He doesn’t want a lot. If you happen to give a bit of bit, he’s going to take it.”
Wright completed with 29 carries for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s a recreation of momentum. We didn’t seize the momentum,” Lyons mentioned.
Trying to attempt to keep alive, Central Valley needed to go for it on fourth-and-18 deep in its personal territory. With stress in his face, Rutherford ran to his proper and threw a cross over the center.
Yoshioka picked off the cross and sealed the quarterfinal victory for Mars.
“We knew they wanted to make a play as a result of they had been down,” mentioned Yoshioka. “Thanks goes out to Connor Hartle and our complete defensive position on the cross rush. He bought off a reasonably unhealthy throw.”
Yoshioka completed with three catches for 61 yards, a landing and an interception. Hartle had two sacks for the Fightin’ Planets.
“Our guys laid it on the road. We didn’t play nicely sufficient and in a recreation like this, it occurs,” mentioned Lyons. “On the finish of the day, it’s a must to play mistake-free soccer and we didn’t try this.”
“Hats off to educate Lyons and the Central Valley soccer crew,” mentioned Kasperowicz. “Robust, well-coached. Our children got here to play tonight. We had been very spirited group. No give up in our crew.”
“Nobody thought we’d win; it was good to show them flawed. Hopefully we will do it once more subsequent week,” mentioned Yoshioka.
Mars will face top-seeded Aliquippa in subsequent Friday’s Class 4A semifinals at a web site to be decided.
Tags: Central Valley, Mars