Panthers oust Avonworth, move onto WPIAL Class-AA Semifinals

Riverside made quick work of Avonworth Friday night with a 42-14 victory that move the #4-seeded Panthers into the Class-AA semifinals for a second consecutive year.

After their first drive stalled with an interception, the Panthers scored on six consecutive drives – by ground and by air – to run away from the Antelopes.

Noah Harris added 105 rushing yards  and accounted for three touchdowns for Riverside, while Maurice Cleckley joined Harris in the scoring column with two touchdowns of his own.

Harris caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Ben Hughes, who completed 10 of 16 passes for 149 yards and also connected with Noah Dambach on a 14-yard scoring pass with less than a minute remaining in the half that put the game out of reach at 28-7.

Avonworth scored on lengthy pass plays of 64-yards and 71-yards and finished with a team total of 245 yards passing.   As a team, Riverside finished with 277 yards rushing on 44 attempts and 15 first downs, running almost twice as many offensive plays as Avonworth.

Since a setback against North Catholic in October, the Panthers (9-2 overall) have outscored opponents 156-21 over their past four games.

Riverside will look to reach its first WPIAL championship game since 1993 when the square off against #1-seed and defending champion Steel Valley next Friday at a site and time to be determined.

The Ironmen (10-0) enter the semifinals after a 42-0 victory over Burgettstown Friday night.  Steel Valley running back Kameron Williams rushed for 221 yards on 25 carries, including four touchdowns while the Ironmen defense held their opponent to three first downs.


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