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Falcon Knights eliminated by loss at Keystone

KNOX — Peddled by a rushing attack that gathered 267 yards, Keystone (7-4) cruised past Union/Allegheny-Clarion Valley (5-6) Friday night at Keystone High school, 35-15, in the first round of the District 9, Region 2 playoffs.

“I just think the guys did a great job,” Keystone coach Todd Smith said. “In the first half our offense did really well and I thought in the second half our defense really stepped up.”

Keystone running back Kyle Nellis set the tone on the first play of the game with a 67-yard scamper for the game’s first score.

Nellis racked up 167 rushing yards on 20 attempts, helping his team move on to the next round of the playoffs.

“That was huge,” Nellis said. “We needed a big momentum starter and that touchdown was the perfect way to do it and we kept it rolling all game.”

Aiden Sell scored the next touchdown for Keystone off a 16-yard run, but Union/A-C

Valley was able to answer on the following drive off a 30-yard touchdown pass from Brody Dittman to Ryan Cooper.

However, on the first play of the second quarter, Drew Keth was able to connect with Drew Slaugenhaupt for a 49-yard touchdown pass to help give Keystone some momentum after theFalcon Knights cut into their lead.

“I mean, first play of the game they run down the field for 67-yards for a touchdown,” Falcon Knights coach Brad Dittman said. “We were able to come back and get a score, but then they hit us again because we had a blown coverage.”

Things really tightened up for both teams in the second half with a scoreless third quarter.

Slaugenhaupt scored the first points of the second half off a 4-yard run late in the fourth quarter, and Union/A-C Valley was able to answer with 46 seconds left off a 29-yard pass from Owen Bish to Ryan Cooper, but with virtually no time left, Keystone was able to hold onto the 20-point victory.

“(Keystone) handled us up front and took us out of our run game,” Dittman said. “We didn’t make some passes we needed to make, threw some interceptions and with all the penalties, you can’t do that in playoff ball.”

The Keystone defense collected five Falcon Knight turnovers with four interceptions and afumble recovery.

“We were able to get them with some things early, but they did really switch things up,” Smith said. “Our guys really did what they needed to do. The guys wanted to move on and we are not done yet.”

Aside from Nellis, Tyler Albright collected 40 rushing yards on 10 carries, while rushing for 84 yards on 15 carries.

With a very balanced running attack, whoever Keystone’s next opponent is will need to control the line of scrimmage and make sure to contain the Panthers fierce committee approach running game.

“We wanted a home field game and we worked hard for it,” Smith said. “These kids never made any excuses and they did what we asked, played hard and I’m happy for the guys and the community.”

Union/Allegheny-Clarion Valley – 7 0 0 8 – 15

Keystone – 14 14 0 7 – 35

First Quarter

K – Kyle Nellis 67 run (Josh Beal kick), 11:57

K – Aiden Sell 16 run (Beal kick), 4:05

U/ACV – Ryan Cooper 30 pass from Brody Dittman (Landon Chalmers kick), 1:38

Second Quarter

K – Drew Slaugenhaupt 49 pass from Drew Keth (Beal kick), 11:51

K – Aiden Sell 4 pass from Keth (Beal kick), 6:23

Fourth Quarter

K – Slaugenhaupt 4 run (Beal kick), 3:56

U/ACV – Cooper 29 pass from Owen Bish (Bish 2pt), :46

Individual Statistics

Rushing: Union/A-C Valley, Mikey Card 11-14, Brody Dittman 3-5, Owen Bish 5-11. Keystone, Kyle Nellis 20-139, Tyler Albright 10-40, Aiden Sell 15-84, Drew Slaugenhaupt 1-4.

Passing: Union/A-C Valley, Brody Dittman 12-23-167-3, Owen Bish 3-6-61-1. Keystone, Drew Keth 3-5-61-1.

Receiving: Union/A-C Valley, Ryan Cooper 7-158, Bailey Crissman 1-1, Trey Flemming 2-22, Skyler Roxbury 3-36, Zach Cooper 1-10, Mikey Card 1-1. Keystone, Drew Slaugenhaupt 1-49, Aiden Sell 2-12.

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