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FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: Sharon loses game three days after deadly crash

November 12, 2013
The Times Observer

ERIE, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania high football team still mourning the loss of two players in a weekend car crash had its season come to an end Monday night.

Sharon High lost to Girard 22-19 in a quarterfinal round game of the PIAA District 10 Class AA playoff game played in heavy snow in Erie's Veterans Stadium. Girard scored with less than 15 seconds remaining to end the Tigers' season and advance to the district semifinals.

On Friday night, Sharon High player Corey Swartz, 18, was driving with three teammates when he crossed the median on a highway in Sharon and hit a truck head-on. Swartz, 17-year-old passenger Evan Gill, and the driver of the pickup, 50-year-old John Zdelar Jr. of Brookfield, Ohio, were killed.

Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil at Sharon's stadium Sunday night.

"They just touched all of our hearts. They could make you laugh no matter what," a friend of the players, Samantha Lait, told WTAE-TV.

District officials have said speed may have played a role in the crash. Sharon police said investigators do not suspect that alcohol, drugs or texting were a factor.

Fact Box

District 10 football playoffs

Class A


Friday, Nov. 8

Lakeview 61, Maplewood 6

West Middlesex 46, Cochranton 32

Mercer 35, Cambridge Springs 14

Sharpsville 31, Eisenhower 7


Friday, Nov. 15

At Wilmington High School

Lakeview vs. Mercer, 7 p.m.

At Hickory High School

West Middlesex vs. Sharpsville, 7 p.m.

Class AA


Saturday, Nov. 9

Hickory 56, Fort LeBoeuf 7

Greenville 33, Fairview 30

Northwestern 28, Grove City 7

Girard vs. Sharon, ppd. until Monday at 7 p.m. at Veterans Stadium

Monday, Nov. 11

At Erie Veterans Stadium

Girard 22, Sharon 19

Class AAA


Friday, Nov. 8

General McLane 55, Warren 25

Oil City 24, Conneaut 21

Byes: Cathedral Prep, Slippery Rock


Friday, Nov. 15

At Erie Veterans Stadium

Cathedral Prep vs. Oil City, 7 p.m.

At Slippery Rock University

Slippery Rock vs. General McLane, 7 p.m.

Class AAAA

PIAA District 8-10 subregional

Friday, Nov. 15

McDowell vs. Allderdice, Cupples Stadium, 7 p.m.

District 9 football playoffs

Class A First Round

Friday, Nov. 8

Clarion 49, Union 0

Curwensville 56, Sheffield 32

Redbank Valley 31, Ridgway 26

Brockway 53, Smethport 28


Saturday, Nov. 16

At DuBois Area High School

(1) Clarion vs. (4) Brockway, 6 p.m.

(2) Curwensville vs. (3) Redbank Valley, 1 p.m.

Class AA Semifinals

Kane 26, Brookville 12

Karns City 55, St. Marys 6


Friday, Nov. 15

At Clarion University

(1) Kane vs. (2) Karns City, 7 p.m.

District 5-6-8-9 Class AAA Sub-Regional Semifinals

Clearfield 42, Johnstown 7

Somerset 28, University Prep 20

District 5-6-8-9 Class AAA Sub-Regional Finals

Friday, Nov. 15

At Hollidaysburg

(1) Clearfield vs. (3) Somerset, 7 p.m.

District 6-9 Class AAAA Semifinals

(1) DuBois Bye

Mifflin County 27, State College 26

District 6-9 Class AAAA Finals

Friday, Nov. 15

At Altoona

(1) DuBois vs. (3) Mifflin County

"I'm going to take this as a lesson learned and I'm going to start being a better, safer driver," teammate Austin Alfreno said Sunday night.

The game had been scheduled for Saturday, but was postponed after the crash.



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