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West Virginia Commit Rodney Gallagher Leads Laurel Highlands to WPIAL Playoff Win

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This story by Adam Borst initially appeared on our brother site Pittsburgh Sports Now


UNIONTOWN, Pa. — 
Friday night marked the beginning of the playoffs throughout the WPIAL. The Laurel Highland Mustangs played host to the West Allegheny Indians in the first round at Mustang Field. The Mustangs easily marched past the Indians by the score of 44-15.

The night opened up with the Mustangs grabbing the lead on their first possession of the game with an 8-yard touchdown connection between West Virginia commit Rodney Gallegher and Antwan Black Jr.

On the next Mustang drive, Gallegher would rush it in for a 6-yard score increasing Laurel Highlands’ lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter.

The Indian’s best drive of the first half came on the team’s third drive which saw them driving inside of the Mustang’s 40-yard line. This drive would come to an abrupt end when Antwan Black would force a fumble of West Allegheny’s Nordin Tracy.

Following the turnover, Gallegher would rush in for another touchdown, this time from 16-yards out. The Mustangs would add another field goal before halftime to make the lead 24-0.

Watch: WVU Commit Rodney Gallagher Scores Multiple TDs Against West Allegheny

To start the second half, West Allegheny converted an inside kick to retain possession of the ball. Unfortunately for the Indians, this would not result in any points as they went three and out. The Indians finally reached the endzone on a touchdown run by Brock Cornell. They would also convert the two-point conversion. This would dig into the Mustang’s lead, making the score 27-8.

After another Mustang field goal, the Indians answered with a touchdown pass from Gage Upton to Nordin Tracy, making the score 30-15. Two plays later the Mustangs fumbled to give West Allegheny life.

On the next two drives, the Mustang’s Parker Hoff and Keondre DeShields both took interceptions to the house to seal the game. This included a Mustang Field Record 102-yard pick-six by DeShields.

The Mustangs will travel to take on No. 2 Central Valley next week in the second round of the 4A WPIAL Playoffs. As for the Indians, they bail out of the playoffs early and see their season come to an end.

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Mike Asti is an experienced media personality and journalist with a vast résumé and skillset, most notably with TribLIVE Radio, WPXI and 93.7 The Fan. Asti now serves as the Managing Editor of WV Sports Now, manages and serves as the lead host for Pittsburgh Sports Live and contributes to Steelers Now, Pittsburgh Sports Now and Nittany Sports Now. He also contributes to West Virginia's Metro News among other outlets.

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