BELLE VERNON – Belle Vernon rushed for 346 yards and exploded for 35 second-half points in a 49-21 WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinal win over Chartiers Valley Friday night.
“We came out, needed to be physical and it was a good football game,” said Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert. “CV came out and was physical.
“This was a cliché game when we knew the line was going to have to be a catalyst.”
Junior quarterback Devin Whitlock (21 carries for 161 yards) and freshman Quinton Martin (16 carries for 142 yards) combined for 303 yards on the ground and each scored three touchdowns to carry the Leopards offensively.
Whitlock spoke about the play of the offensive line and Martin’s performance.
“The line was big tonight, dominated and opened holes for Quinton and me,” he said. “Quinton played well and will continue to get better.”
Humbert also spoke about his talented back whose future is bright.
“Quinton has a ton of upside and he just has to get his sea legs,” Humbert said. “This was the first time he got to be the premier back, but he has a couple of things that he can clean up and fix, but again he is 14 years old.”
Whitlock opened the scoring on the last play of the first quarter when he scored form one yard and Tyler Kovatch’s extra point gave the Leopards (6-1) a 7-0 lead going into the second.
The Colts (5-2) tied the score with 9:09 to go in the second when Anthony Mackey hit Abe Ibrahim on a 39-yard scoring strike.
Whitlock gave Belle Vernon a 14-7 lead with 5:50 to go in the half on a 31-yard touchdown run, and the Leopards maintained the lead into the third quarter when they exploded for 21 points.
Martin scored a pair of touchdowns in the quarter, from 32 and 36 yards, and Whitlock added his third of the game, from 26 yards to giveBelle Vernon a 35-7 lead heading into the final quarter.
Jackson Jewell scored on a 12-yard run in the fourth and Martin closed the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown late.
Even with the win, Humbert was not happy that his defense gave up 14 points in the fourth quarter.
“We scrimmaged them, had a feel for what they like to do but they run a good scheme,” he said. “That is a tricky offense they run but those 14 points, we shot ourselves in the foot.”
Belle Vernon’s offense finished with 368 yards on 53 plays while Chartiers Valley had 317 on 58 plays.
The fourth-seeded Leopards now venture out to the legendary “Pit” in Aliquippa to take on the top-seeded Quips in the semifinals Friday.
“They are a tough team, and they write books about that field,” said Humbert. “But we will be ready.”