Grove City wins second consecutive District X AAA Title
Tagged under: District 10, Gameday Hub, News, Playoffs
Shane Lux | November 19, 2022
Slippery Rock – Grove City Eagles District X AAA champions again.
After defeating the Rockets 28-20 for District X gold last season, the Eagles double-dipped and pulled away from Slippery Rock 42-23 Friday night at Slippery Rock University – a title that head coach Sam Mowrey found twice as nice.
“This is special, I look over there and see our seniors taking a picture together, and to see them earn this moment with the love they’ve brought to this program is just special,” said Mowrey.
The game was a far cry from when the two schools played on September 23rd as Grove City pulled out a 22-21 win when Nathan Greer caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Hohman with 18 seconds left, coupled with Hohman’s game-winning two-point rush.
Tonight the Eagles had to rally from a 17-7 second-quarter deficit, but the game did not see the same dramatic finish.
After falling behind by two scores, the Eagles ripped the game’s following 35 points to open up a 42-17 fourth-quarter lead.
Maddox Allen scored on a 33-yard touchdown run on the second quarter’s first snap, giving the Rockets a 17-7 lead. Slippery Rock scored on their first three possessions.
@maddoxallen28 33 yd run, Slippery Rock 17 Grove City 7, 11:52 2nd, @BobGreenburg @SRAHSFootball pic.twitter.com/xL9OVjt5mx
— Shane Lux (@PFN_Luxy) November 19, 2022
The Rockets took the opening kickoff and went 61 yards in seven plays with Nick Kingerski’s 21-yard field goal. Slippery Rock took a 10-7 lead after a quarter when Sal Mineo capped an 8-play 68-yard drive, scoring on a 1-yard run.
“I don’t know what changed with our offense after that,” said Slippery Rock head coach Larry Wendereusz. “I’m not sure if they adjusted, but suddenly, we lost the momentum. I didn’t see an adjustment on their part. It’s just we couldn’t get our play and momentum back, and that is tough.”
Grove City scored on their opening drive when Hohman ran in a 5-yard run. The Eagles pulled to within three points when Hohman scored on a 1-yard run midway through the second quarter following a 12-play 86-yard drive.
The game changed late in the first half when Slippery Rock punted with under a minute to play. Kingerski’s punt traveled 15 yards after being partially blocked, the ball took an Eagles bounce, and before the Rockets could recover, Gavin Lutz scooped up the loose ball and ran 61 yards for a touchdown with 38 seconds to play in the first half.
“That is a huge heads-up play to block that punt, then for Gavin to understand the situation that he can pick that up and go, ” Mowrey said. “Boy, what a massive play for our momentum that changed the game for us.”
The Eagles took a 21-17 lead into the locker room.
“The punt return was huge, and that was a smart play on their kid’s part,” Wendereusz said. “You rep and practice that, but you never know what will happen in a game. It was unfortunate that it happened, and when they did it again to start the second half, you’re climbing uphill for the rest of the game.”
Grove City took their momentum into the second half, scoring on the opening drive when Hohman scored from 12 yards out following a 13-play 81-yard drive.
The Eagles put the game away early in the fourth quarter. Hohman scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the night from 31 yards. Hunter Hohman rushed for 58 yards on 14 carries while completing 10-of-13 passes for 150 yards.
Hohman 31 yd run, Grove City 35 Slippery Rock 17, 10:40 4th, @GC_EaglesFB @BobGreenburg pic.twitter.com/Nd1S9jsVL0
— Shane Lux (@PFN_Luxy) November 19, 2022
Anthony Nemec then returned a fumble 52 yards for a touchdown with 9:12 to play. Nemec led the Eagles with 88 yards on 20 rushes.
“Our line up front was able to create some seams, and both Anthony and Hunter are such great competitors they were grinding out those tough yards, and then we were able to pull a couple of those and get some big plays on the outside,” Mowrey said.
The Rockets got one back when they drove 80 yards in 13 plays, with Allen scoring his second touchdown of the night from eight yards out.
“Our defensive coaches did an outstanding job of seeing the things hurting us and adjusting to that,” said Mowrey. “We switched up a few responsibilities and were able to stifle them a little bit in the second half. The strip and fumble recovery was another huge play we made tonight.”
After scoring on the first three drives, the Rockets managed only 71 yards of offense before their final game drive went 80 yards, capped by Allen’s touchdown.
“They performed better than we did tonight, Wendereusz said. “The first time we played, it was a great football game, tonight they were better, and it’s tough to swallow in a championship game, but it is what it is.”
Maddox Allen led Slippery Rock with 92 yards on 13 carries with a pair of touchdowns. Quarterback William Mokel rushed for 70 yards while completing 17-of-25 passes for 131 yards.
Slippery Rock concludes another solid season at 7-5 with an appearance in District X final for a second straight season.
“I told our guys after the game that there are a lot of football teams that would love to say that they walked out of their season wearing a medal,” Wendereusz concluded. “It’s not the medal we want, and I understand that, but at the end of the day, these kids will walk out being one of only two classes in Slippery Rock history to have two medals around their neck.”
Grove City will move on and play District 6 champion Central next weekend. The Scarlet Dragons ended the Eagle’s season 35-6 last year.
“We’re grateful to be back and practicing on Thanksgiving,” Mowrey concluded. “We’re glad to have the opportunity to be 1-0 again.”
Grove City 42 Slippery Rock 23
Score by Quarters
Slippery Rock – 10 7 0 6 – 23
Grove City – 7 14 7 14 – 42
SR – Nick Kingerski 21 yd field goal, 9:05
GC – Hunter Hohman 5 yd run, (Jacob Stucchio pat), 6:31
SR – Sal Mineo 1 yd run, (Kingerski pat), 2:12
SR – Maddox Allen 33 yd run, (Kingerski pat), 11:52
GC – Hohman 1 yd run, (Stucchio pat), 6:33
GC – Gavin Lutz 61 yd punt return, (Stucchio pat), 0:38
GC – Hohman 12 yd run, (Stucchio pat), 6:31
GC – Hohman 31 yd run, (Stucchio pat), 10:40
GC – Anthony Nemec 52 yd fumble return, (Stucchio pat), 9:12
SR – Allen 8 yd run, (kick failed), 3:45
Rushing: SR – Allen 13-92, William Mokel 11-70, Mineo 4-31. Totals: 28-193. GC – Nemec 20-88, Hohman 14-58, Lutz 1-10, Team 2-0. Totals: 37-156.
Receiving: SR – Lucas Allison 5-49, Sam Schwartz 4-39, John Sabo 4-23, Allen 2-(-1), Mineo 1-13, Brett Galcik 1-8. GC – Lutz 5-88, Nathan Greer 5-62.
Passing: SR – Mokel 17-for-25, 131 yards. GC – Hohman 10-for-13, 150 yards.
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