University High School scored two first-quarter touchdowns en route to a 27-7 win over Riverside Academy on Friday night at Jeff Boss Field.
The sixth-seeded Cubs (12-0) shut out No. 11 seeded Riverside (8-4) for more than 47 minutes to advance to the Class 2A quarterfinals.
University High freshman running back Nick Brossette carried 31 times for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Kyle Crifasi was 10 of 17 passing for 122 yards and one touchdown.
“He’s good; he’s been great all year,” Cubs coach Chad Mahaffey of Brossette. “He’s consistent week in and week out. He keeps running hard.”
Nate Williams rushed for 49 yards on 15 carries to lead Riverside, which scored its only touchdown of the game with 56 seconds remaining when Zach Weber recovered a Nik Kragthorpe fumble in the end zone.
“They came out on the first drive in a formation we hadn’t seen,” Rebels coach Mickey Roussel said.
“Pat them on the back; they got us.”
The Cubs kept the ball on the ground the entirety of their first drive, rushing 10 times for 83 yards before Brossette sprinted over the goal line from seven yards out for the game’s opening score.
Late in the first quarter, the Cubs kept a drive alive with a fake punt when Crifasi rifled a 14-yard pass to Brossette. Two plays late, Crifasi had UHS in the end zone, lobbing a 19-yard touchdown pass to an Tristan Cooper.
University went for it on fourth-and-1 from Riverside’s 44-yard line with 48 seconds left in the half, and blew the game open when Brossette sprinted down the left sideline untouched for his second touchdown of the game, a strike that gave the Cubs a 20-0 lead at the break.
“That was a big play that gave us breathing room,” Mahaffey said. “If you go into the half two scores up, then they’re only one play away from being back in the ballgame.”
Crifasi was intercepted by Scioneaux to end the Cubs’ first drive of the second half, and Scioneaux returned the ball all the way to the Cubs 16. Once again Riverside came up short though, and Scioneaux was sacked for a 10-yard loss on fourth down.
The Rebels defense held strong throughout most of the third quarter, but the Cubs added another touchdown when Hunter Smithburg scored his team’s fourth touchdown of the night on a 3-yard run.
Riverside had an opportunity to get one back when Crifasi was sacked on fourth down while trying to recover a bad snap on a punt, but Scioneaux’s first pass was intercepted in the end zone by D’Vante Dotson, the sophomore’s second interception of the night.