An impressive era ended amid tears and emotional hugs on the HersheyPark Stadium A-turf Saturday afternoon.

District 3 champion Steelton-Highspire used a strong rushing game, effective aerial attack and smothering defense to defeat District 6 champ Bishop Carroll 36-20 in a PIAA Class A quarterfinal playoff.

With the loss, the area’s scholastic football landscape changed dramatically as several of the most successful players in recent seasons ended their careers.

Huskies two-way standout Paul Forcellini played every game on offense and defense the past four seasons. He’ll graduate with fellow seniors Brock Lauer, Luke Jensen and Jeff Minemyer, among others, who have seen significant playing time on teams that won three of the past four District 6 titles and finished as state runner-up in 2003.

Most of the seniors on the field Saturday have been regulars on teams that went a combined 35-5 since 2003. Players such as Forcellini have been part of a Huskies march that included 47 wins and only seven losses since 2002.

“It’s been a great experience to be around them,” Huskies coach Craig Sponsky said. “The majority of the seniors have won (35) football games (35-4). Paul, Brock and Luke Jensen, who came up in ninth grade, played in 54 football games. Paul started every game offensively and defensively. He was hurt. He was sick. That’s just a remarkable achievement outside of the stats. Remarkable.”

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Passing time: Forest Hills produced the area’s leading passer and top two receivers.

Even in a 63-22 loss to District 7 champion South Park on Friday, the trio of junior quarterback Travis Rearick and senior receivers Adam Trout and Jake Oswalt didn’t end the season quietly.

Rearick completed 11 of 26 passes for 171 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions against South Park.

His season totals include 2,240 passing yards (127 of 217, a 58.5 completion percentage), 25 touchdown passes and only nine interceptions. Rearick also scored six rushing touchdowns for 36 points.

With three receptions for 63 yards in the loss to the Eagles, Trout finished the year with an area-best 1,009 receiving yards on 55 catches. Oswalt was a close second with 39 receptions for 813 yards.

With his 24-yard, fourth-quarter TD catch, Trout had 15 touchdown catches as a senior. Oswalt had seven scoring receptions.

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Winging it: Windber’s Single-wing offense did not produce any points in an 18-0 loss to District 7 champion Duquesne on Friday night at East Allegheny, but it created pregame headaches for Dukes coach Pat Monroe.

Monroe sought input from a group of Pittsburgh area coaches, some retired, while configuring a defense to stop the Ramblers’ deceptive formations.

Monroe, whose team is 12-0, touched base with Springdale coach Chuck Wagner, a 41-year veteran, and former Fox Chapel coach Al Kennedy. He also chatted with Ron Hill, who played at Westinghouse, where coach Pete Dimperio ran the single wing.

“You don’t know who the center is snapping to every play and guys are flying all over the place,” Monroe said in a published report. “If you disregard what you’re coached to do, you’ll get fooled every time. We couldn’t learn the intricacies of every aspect of the offense, but we could find the core of it.”

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See you next year: Rearick leads a talented group of underclassmen who will return next season for the Rangers.

Coach Don Bailey said several of those returnees will play key roles along the line.

“If you look at our roster, we have some key senior players, but we also have a lot of underclassmen playing,” Bailey said. “Hopefully our underclassmen will learn from this experience and come back next year and make a commitment to be back here in the same situation. With the type of kids we have at Forest Hills, that’s certainly a possibility.”

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Record breaker: South Park’s Tyler Scruggs’ six rushing scores against Forest Hills broke the state record for most touchdown runs in a state playoff game in any class.

With 36 points, Scruggs nearly equaled the single-game record of 38 points held by Southern Columbia’s Henry Hynoski, who had five rushing touchdowns, a fumble return for a score and a two-point conversion run.

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