University Lab’s defense held tight while the offense got going through the air. That combination proved to be a winning recipe for the Cubs on Friday night.

No. 2 U-High (11-0) advanced to the semifinals of the Division II playoffs with a 29-7 win over No. 10 De La Salle (3-7) at Jeff Boss Field.

How it was won

After a fumble on the offense’s opening drive, University forced a three-and-out before Keylan Moses blocked the punt to set the Cubs up at the De La Salle 22. Four plays later, Derrick Graham scored on a 4-yard run. The two-point conversion gave the Cubs an 8-0 lead.

Myles Sider’s 10-yard run with 6:26 left in the first half shaved the U-High lead to 8-7. Sider finished with 89 yards on 19 attempts.

The Cubs responded on their next drive with a score. The drive was capped by Blake Abney’s screen pass to Jason Barnes that he took 44 yards for a score.

U-High’s defense got a quick stop and turned the ball back to the offense just before halftime.

The Cubs made the most of the drive as Abney found Austin Ausberry for a jump ball at the right corner of the end zone and a 23-yard touchdown with no time left on the clock, giving the Cubs a 22-7 halftime lead.

Abney added another touchdown pass with 3:48 left, this one a 13-yard strike to Seth Gale.

Each time De La Salle needed to make a play on offense, the U-High defense stood tall.

Cavaliers quarterback Cole Milford completed 6 of 17 throws for 65 yards and an interception.

The Cubs made several key fourth-down stops in the second half to prevent the Cavaliers from getting points.

Player of the game

Blake Abney, University

The junior quarterback completed 19 of 24 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed seven times for 22 yards.

They said it

U-High coach Andy Martin: “The defense has been our strength all year long, and again I think they showed that we have a pretty good one, but the offense did enough for us to put points on the board and their defense is pretty good. It was an outstanding matchup between two teams, and I’m glad we were on the winning end.

“It’s exciting. It’s 10 straight years we’ve been there (state semifinals). That was a challenge for them to keep it going and see if we got another one in us.”

De La Salle coach Graham Jarrott: “U-High is a great team. I thought our defense played well enough to win the game. Offensively we didn’t make enough plays. We had a couple of close calls, a couple of missed opportunities, and I felt like had we got a score in the second half and made it a one-score game, it might have been a different game.”