H.S. FOOTBALL: Vikings race past Wolves
APOLLO — Apollo-Ridge beat West Shamokin, 42-15, in a matchup to decide which team would finish third in the WPIAL Eastern Conference football standings at Owens Field on Friday night.
Both teams were 6-2 overall and 5-2 in the conference entering the game. Apollo finished third behind unbeaten North Catholic and once-beaten Avonworth. Both teams qualified for the Class A playoffs and will find out their postseason opponents Monday night.
West Shamokin took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on quarterback Alex Lasslo’s 10-yard run and his extra-point kick, but Apollo-Ridge scored 42 unanswered points. The Vikings took a 14-7 lead into halftime and blew the game open by scoring four touchdowns in the third quarter.
Ben Gemballa opened the Vikings’ scoring on a 2-yard run, and Tre Tipton put his team in the lead by taking a pass from Jesse Zelonka 49 yards for a score.
In third quarter, Apollo-Ridge scored on Lonny Wells’ 24-yard run and touchdown passes from Zelonka to Alex Smith for 39 yards, to Duane Brown for 40 yards and to Tipton for 58 yards. Wells booted all seven extra points.
West Shamokin closed the scoring in the fourth quarter on Brady Cornman’s 18-yard pass from Lasslo and Zac Horner’s two-point run.
Zelonka finished 11-for-19 for 280 yards. The senior has completed 82 of 144 passes for 1,283 yards and 19 touchdowns. He has not thrown an interception.
Wells rushed for 78 yards on 10 carries.
Apollo-Ridge outgained West Shamokin 423-137.
Apollo-Ridge is going to the playoffs for the second straight season, and West Shamokin, which set a school record for wins in a season, is going for the first time in school history. West Shamokin was formed through a merger of Shannock Valley and Dayton in 2000.