AVELLA — A pair of second-quarter touchdowns were all that Avella needed Friday night as the Eagles played terrific defense and dominated the field position to stun Carmichaels 14-7 and clinch a WPIAL Class A playoff berth out of the Tri-County South Conference.
Avella (5-2, 5-2) won the showdown for second place and gained automatic entry into the postseason. Carmichaels (5-2, 5-2) lost its second in a row and can qualify for the playoffs only as one of the two wild-card selections in Class A.
Avella took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge by Noah Markle. The Eagles stretched the gap to 14-0 when, with only 23 seconds left before halftime, wide receiver Tanner Terensky hauled in a a 20-yard TD pass from K.J. Rush.
Carmichaels needed only 79 seconds of the second half to score its first points, on a 65-yard run by tailback Bailey Jones that cut Avella's lead in half to 14-7.
That was all the scoring, though Carmichaels did drive for a first-and-goal in the fourth quarter but the threat ended on a fourth-down interception by Terensky.
Rush completed 7 of 14 passes for 132 yards and the Eagles netted 92 yards on the ground.
Carmichaels had 134 rushing yards and quarterback Trenton Carter completed six of 17 passes for 120 yards.