Quarterfinal Clash – Butler Eagle

Spot in Final 4 on line for Mars, Central Valley

Central Valley’s journey to championship contention this season highlights their adaptability and resilience.

“In past years, we made our way through seasons by mercy-ruling a lot of teams,” said veteran head coach Mark Lyons. “We are a very young team this year and needed to be more patient, let games play out for us.”

Mars’ Logan O’Brien (24) celebrates a turnover in a recent game against Kiski Area. The Planets are preparing to take on Central Valley in a WPIAL Class 4A quarterfinal playoff Friday night in Ambridge. Shane Potter/Butler Eagle

Central Valley has the chance to continue its successful streak in WPIAL Class 4A semifinals by overcoming Mars, a team that has finally made its return to the playoffs after eight years.

The highly anticipated match between the two teams is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday at Ambridge High School’s Moe Rubenstein Stadium.

With only five of the 22 starters being seniors, the youthful Central Valley team has demonstrated impressive productivity on the field, notably by freshman running back Jance Henry Jr., who has achieved nearly 1,000 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. “He just kept elevating himself each and every game and now, it’s hard to keep him off the field with the way he’s playing,” said Lyons.

Junior T. Mason Dixon and Brandon Singleton have also made impactful contributions to Central Valley’s offense.

The three losses sustained by the Warriors have come against strong opponents, showing the team’s ability to compete at a high level.

On the other side, Mars has secured six straight wins but faces a challenge with some key players being sidelined due to injuries. Nonetheless, their dynamic offense led by Evan Wright and quarterback Luke Goodworth remains formidable.

Considering their past encounters, the upcoming clash between Central Valley and Mars is expected to draw immense excitement from fans and spectators alike.


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