Peters Township’s path to a second straight appearance in a WPIAL championship football game involved a dramatic comeback victory spearheaded by several of its premier players.
The Indians overcame a 19-point deficit to edge Gateway 20-19 and set up a Nov. 14 showdown against Pine-Richland in the Class 5A final. PT scored the go-ahead touchdown and extra point with 4.7 seconds remaining in the contest played at Antimarino Stadium on the Gateway High School campus.
The WPIAL Class 5A championship game did not end in time to be included in this edition.
Corbin Hondru caught a 4-yard scoring strike from Logn Pfeuffer and Andrew Massucci converted the extra point against Gateway.
Honrdu pulled in the touchdown pass despite being heavily covered by as many as three defenders.
“I had to do it,” said Hondru. “I had to make that catch. Logan had the option of where he wanted to go. He made a great play. He made a great throw. Thankfully, I capitalized.”
PT head coach T.J. Plack never doubted Hondru would come through for the Indians. Hondru is a four-year starter and a Miami (Ohio) recruit.
“He’s the best high school player I’ve been around,” Plack said. “He’s absolutely tenacious, an Alpha Male, intelligent. He does everything right.”
The Indians did enough right in the second half to reverse a one-point loss to the Gators in last year’s championship contest.
Nico Pate caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Pfeuffer to start the second-half scoring.
Donovan McMillon then pulled in a 38-yard touchdown catch to cut the margin to 19-13.
The Gators had every opportunity to put the game out of reach but they missed three field-goal attempts and an extra-point try. They also had an apparent interception returned for a touchdown nullified by a pass interference call. Chamber Price had intercepted he Pfeuffer pass and rambled 77 yards before the touchdown was called back.
Gateway mounted it’s lead on a pair of field goals from Jayson Jenkins, a 35-yard interception score by Daevon Bledsoe and an 8-yard touchdown reception by Jayden Hurt from Carsen Engleka.
While the win improved the Indians’ record to 8-0 and put them in the finals against the unbeaten Rams (8-0), the loss ended the scholastic career of Derrick Davis.
Davis finished his career with nearly 4,000 yards rushing, 109 receptions for 1,489 yards and scored 74 touchdowns. The 6-1, 190-pound running back also excelled as a defensive back.
A day after the defeat, Davis committed to LSU. He had many D-I offers including bids from Penn State, Ohio State, Pitt and Georgia.