Sharon pulls away from Rangers

CLYMER — It was an offensive outburst between Forest Hills and Sharon in the first half as they combined for 474 yards and 39 points. Sharon took a 21-18 lead in Saturday’s PIAA Class 3A quarterfinal as both teams scored on six straight possessions.

Sharon’s defense stemmed the tide to begin the second half as Forest Hills turned it over twice on downs and coughed up a costly fumble at the Sharon 4. The District 10 champs eventually tallied 31 straight points to turn an 18-14 deficit into a 45-18 lead. Forest Hills was held scoreless for a span of 30 minutes and 2 seconds as the Rangers had their season end with a 45-25 loss to Sharon at Pat Corrigan Field at Penns Manor High School.

“We got beat by the better team today,” Forest Hills coach Don Bailey said. “They had the big plays. They had athletes all over the field. They had four guys as receivers who could catch and run. They had a quarterback who was putting the ball on the money and kids were making great catches. Sometimes you just can’t beat that. Today was one of those days.”

Sharon, which advances to play District 7 champ Quaker Valley next week, combined 174 rushing and 293 passing yards to compile 467 yards of total offense. The Tigers scored on seven of its final eight possessions, barring a final kneel down, to turn a tight game at halftime into a runaway victory.

Forest Hills began the second half with a turnover on downs from the Sharon 28. On third-and-21, quarterback Lane Voytik hit Ziyon Strickland on a post for a 58-yard gain. Warren Nixon found paydirt from 25 yards out on the next play to lead 28-18 on Aaron Nichols’ fourth of six extra points.

Another nine-play Forest Hills drive stalled at the Sharon 31. The Tigers answered with Nichols’ 30-yard field goal to increase the lead to 13.

The Rangers drove all the way down to the 9, but Eric Elgin was stripped and Sharon recovered at the 4. A third-down stop was negated by a roughing-the-passer penalty. Sharon responded with a 46-yard touch pass from Voytik to Strickland. Jordan Wilson, who used his 215-pound thick frame to gather 149 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries, scored from 19 yards out to flip a possible 31-24 score into a 38-18 tally with 8:31 remaining.

“We made too many mistakes in the second half. The key play was when we had first down on about the 9 and fumbled the ball. That turned the momentum,” Bailey said. “Then we stopped them and we had a penalty, then they got a first down. Our kids gave it their best shot but they were just simply better.”

After Strickland’s 71-yard punt return, Wilson rumbled in from 5 yards out to lead 45-18 with 4:59 to go.

Elgin ran in from 2 yards with 28 seconds to go to set the final.

Voytik completed 16 of 25 passes for 293 yards and a score. Strickland caught seven passes for 196 yards and C.J. Parchman added four catches for 67 yards.

Forest Hills was led by junior quarterback Adam Cecere’s 28 completions out of 47 attempts for 335 yards and three touchdowns.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Sharon 7 14 10 14 — 45

Forest Hills 6 12 0 7 — 25

First quarter

FH–Wolfhope 17 pass from Cecere (kick blocked), 1:33.

S–Strickland 60 pass from Voytik (Nichols kick), 1:11.

Second quarter

FH–Kundrod 35 pass from Cecere (run failed), 10:06.

S–Wilson 3 run (Nichols kick), 8:29.

FH–Long 24 pass from Cecere (pass failed), 6:30.

S–Wilson 12 run (Nichols kick), 5:41.

Third quarter

S–Nixon 25 run (Nichols kick), 8:16.

S–Nichols 30 FG, 2:15.

Fourth quarter

S–Wilson 19 run (Nichols kick), 8:31.

S–Wilson 5 run (Nichol kick), 4:59.

FH–Elgin 2 run (Jones kick), :28.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Sharon–Wilson 23-149, Nixon 1-25, Voytik 1-6, Nichols 1-(-5), TEAM 1-(-1). Forest Hills–Cecere 10-40, Long 5-31, Elgin 5-16, Richardson 1-6, Kundrod 1-2, TEAM 1-(-1).

PASSING: Sharon–Voytik 16-25-0-293. Forest Hills–Cecere 28-47-0-335, Kundrod 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING: Sharon–Strickland 7-196, Parchman 4-67, Shaffer 4-25, McKinney 1-5. Forest Hills–Kundrod 7-112, Wolfhope 7-86, Long 7-49, Shope 4-30, Elgin 3-58.

INTERCEPTIONS: None.

TEAM STATISTICS S FH

First downs 20 22

Rushes-yards 27-174 23-94

Passing (comp-att-int) 16-25-0 28-48-0

Yards passing 293 335

Total yards 467 429

Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-1

Penalties-yards 10-81 13-92

Punts-avg. 2-37.5 3-38

COMMENTS