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Aquinas Onto State Finals

Pietropaolo scores twice in bitter cold to lead Irish
Luc Pietropaolo ran for 99 yards and scored two TDs leading Aquinas to a 19-6 win over Elmira in the Class AA State Semifinals at cold, snowy and blustery Sahlen's Stadium Saturday.

The game was played in an off and on snow with wind chills into the single digits. The wind was a constant factor and made passing more a hope than a plan.

Jake Zembiec completed 12 of 20 throws for 152 yards with a touchdown and interception. He also rushed for 58 yards. Alonzo Turney caught six passes for 81 yards and Marcus Conner had the TD reception.

Jerry McPeak led Elmira with 82 yards and the team's only touchdown. The Express did not complete a pass.

Elmira mishandled a punt on their first possession, giving Aquinas the ball at the Express 27 yard line. Three plays later, Pietropaolo covered the 27 yards for a 7-0 AQ lead.

McPeak answered with an 11-yard touchdown, but Elmira missed the two-point try and still trailed 7-6.

Aquinas failed by inches on a 4th and 11 from the Elmira 30, but forced the Express into a three-and-out to get the ball back at their own 21. The Irish then marched 79 yards on 11 plays. Zembiec carried three times for 30 yards and Pietropaolo scored from the four yard line.

Elmira's double wing offense never got going from there. Zembiec hit Conner for a 14 yard score in the third to seal the win.

The state championship at Class AA will be Sunday, December 1st in the Carrier Dome. Kickoff is scheduled for 6pm.



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