The Oil City Oilers found themselves on the losing end of a 27-14 decision Friday night in their key Region 5 game against the undefeated first-place Rockets at Slippery Rock High School.
The result gives Slippery Rock the top “AAA” seed from the region and a first-round bye in the upcoming District 10 playoffs. Oil City earns the number-two seed and will face another at-large contender in the district quarterfinals on November 8. The Rockets, meanwhile, will meet “AAAA” DuBois on November 1 with the Region 5 title at stake.
Oil City (5-4; 3-2 R5) was shut out through three quarters at Slippery Rock. The Oilers’ Kevin Daly broke the scoring drought with a one-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth period. About five minutes later, sophomore quarterback Jackson McFall threw a 21-yard scoring pass to Logan Way.
Brothers Ryan and Travis Lauster both scored on TD runs for the Rockets (9-0; 5-0). Quarterback Jake Whitmer found the end zone on a 33-yard keeper. Whitmer also tossed a 58-yard scoring pass to Brady Kadlubec.
Whitmer threw only three passes, and was intercepted twice, but rushed for 74 yards. Travis Lauster carried the ball 14 times for Slippery Rock for an even 100 yards.
For Oil City, McFall completed 13-of-30 passes for 138 yards with two interceptions. Way caught five passes for 71 yards, and Frank Serbati recorded six receptions for 65 yards. Daly rushed for 56 yards, and passed the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
In another Region 5 road game for a Venango County team, Franklin’s Kahlil West set school records with 15 receptions for 278 yards, breaking a pair of marks previously held by Tyler Bittner, but the Knights (2-7; 1-4) lost a 41-27 decision at Warren.
West caught touchdown passes from both Kyle Ritchey and Ryan Madden, while Ritchey also targeted Isaiah Rutherford for a scoring pass, and Kyle Uber scored on a run. Ritchey, Madden and Porter Rembold combined to throw 43 passes, completing 26 for 392 yards, but Franklin’s rushing attack was pushed back to a net minus-23 yards. Ritchey’s passing numbers were 24-for-41 for 315 yards with one interception.
For Warren (6-3; 3-3), D.J. Fehlman threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, Luke Wortman ran for 142 yards and a score, and Ryan Gorgacz scored on a 62-yard breakaway.
Next Friday at 7:00 PM, Oil City will host Franklin in the Route 8 Rivalry as both teams close the regular season. Coverage will begin on 96.3 KQW at 6:00 PM with the Friday Night Football Tailgate Preview Program.