SLIPPERY ROCK, Pennsylvania (WYTV) – The 3-time defending District 10 Class AA Champion Hickory will return to the title game for the fifth consecutive year after tonight’s 35-27 victory over formerly undefeated Slippery Rock.
In week five, the Rockets handed Hickory their first loss (14-7) of the season.
Trent Porter’s 64-yard touchdown run set up the Rockets’ quarterback Jake Whitmer with a 1-yard touchdown plunge to take the early 7-0 lead. Back came the Hornets, Chuck Carr capped off a 14-play drive with a 2-yard scamper into the end zone to tie the game up at 7 apiece.
Early in the second quarter, Hickory received a short punt from Slippery Rock and the Hornets went 35-yards towards pay dirt as Lou Derloni finished it off from a yard out. Even before the ink was dry on a reporter’s pad, Whitmer dashed to the goal line from 69-yards away to notch the game up at 14.
The Hornets opened the second half with an impressive 12-play drive which elapsed over five minutes which saw Derloni once again run in for a short touchdown. On Slippery Rock’s first possession of the third quarter, Travis Lauster raced 47-yards for a touchdown but with a missed extra point – the Rockets trailed by one point (21-20). Once Slippery Rock got back into the game, Hickory answered with a Luke Brennan 58-yard toss to Andrew Pryts to give the Hornets a eight-point lead (28-20).
Chuck Carr scored for the second time of the game on a 59-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter to take a 15-point lead. Not to waste much time, Whitmer scores his third touchdown of the game, on a 2-yard run to cut the lead to eight points (35-27).
Last year, unbeaten Slippery Rock was ousted from the Class AAA District 10 semifinal round, 35-15, by General McLane. Tonight’s loss denied the Rockets’ chances of playing for their first District Championship since 2003.
S – Jake Whitmer, 1-yard TD run (Mark Cessar kick), S 7-0
H – Chuck Carr, 2-yard TD run (Jordan Wombacher kick), T 7-7
H – Lou Derloni, 1-yard TD run (Wombacher kick), H 14-7
S – Jake Whitmer, 69-yard TD run (Cessar kick), T 14-14
H – Lou Derloni, 2-yard TD run (Wombacher kick), H 21-14
S – Travis Lauster, 47-yard TD run (kick failed), H 21-20
H – Andrew Pryts, 58-yard TD catch from Luke Brennan (Wombacher kick), H 28-20
H – Chuck Carr, 59-yard TD run (Wombacher kick), H 35-20
S – Jake Whitmer, 2-yard TD run (Cessar kick), H 35-27
Next week, Hickory (9-2) will face Greenville for the opportunity to move on into the state tournament.
PIAA Class AA Playoffs’ Sweet 16
Western Half of the Bracket
District 6: Mount Union (12-0) vs. winner of Tyrone (10-1)/Huntingdon (6-5)
District 10: Hickory (9-2) vs. Greenville (11-1)
District 9/5/8: Chestnut Ridge (10-2) vs. Karns City (10-1)
District 7: South Fayette (12-0) vs. Aliquippa (12-0)
Eastern Half of the Bracket
District 4: Montoursville (8-4) vs. Loyalsock (9-3)
District 3: Berks Catholic (12-0) vs. Wyomissing (11-1)
District 12/1: Neumann-Goretti (8-4) vs. Springfield-Montco (6-6)
District 2/11: Dunmore (11-1) vs. Northwestern Lehigh (11-1)