Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steel Valley Snags a Title Berth in Overtime

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Steel Valley Snags a Title Berth in Overtime

Article excerpt

Steel Valley coach Rod Steele went to mass Friday morning and claimed to get a premonition about a WPIAL playoff game later. He said he paid attention.

Late Friday night, Steele got another sign. This one came from a player, and Steele paid attention again.

In overtime against Riverside, Steel Valley senior Amonte Strothers gave a sign to Steele. In short, the signal meant, "throw me the ball." Steel Valley did - and the Ironmen are going to the WPIAL final again.

Strothers caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Trey Karfelt to give Steel Valley a thrilling 13-10 overtime victory against Riverside in a Class 2A semifinal at North Hills' Martorelli Stadium.

The win stretched Steel Valley's winning streak to 26 games, which ties for the 11th-best in WPIAL history. It also puts the Ironmen (11-0) into the title game for the second year in a row. Steel Valley will play Washington next Saturday at Robert Morris.

But about that premonition.

"It's the honest to God truth, in church I was told by the Man above that I might have to play more than 48 minutes in this game," Steele said.

The score was tied, 7-7, after regulation. Riverside (9-3) had two excellent chances to win late in the game. The Panthers fumbled the ball away at the Steel Valley 8 with 4:18 to go. Later, Wyatt Ray lined up to kick a 19-yard field goal, but after a bad snap, Steel Valley blocked the kick with 57 seconds left.

In overtime, each team gets a possession from the 10. Riverside had the ball first and settled for a 26-yard field goal from Ray.

Steel Valley threw an incomplete pass on its first play of overtime. On the second play, Karfelt lofted a high pass in the left corner of the end zone and Strothers, a 6-foot-2 senior, outjumped Riverside's 5-6 Kyle Marweg for the ball - and the win.

"I told coach throw me the ball because I knew I had one-on-one coverage on the backside," Strothers said. …

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