FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: Sharon loses game three days after deadly crash
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.
“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.