Zembiec Leads Aquinas To State Semis

Jake Zembiec passed for four touchdowns and ran for two more as Aquinas held off Jamestown 48-34 in the Class A state quarterfinals Saturday night in Sahlen's Stadium.

Zembiec had 362 total yards of offense with 313 of that threw the air. Donato Clemente was Zembiec's goto option, catching nine of his passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns. Alonzo Turney added five catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. Luc Pietropaolo led the Lil' Irish on the ground with 96 yards and a score.

Jacob Sisson nearly went throw-for-throw with Zembiec. Sisson ended up with 299 yards passing and a touchdown to go with 49 yards and two more scores on the ground. Zach Kinsey led all rushers with 103 yards and he scored twice.

Aquinas built a 28-6 lead at the half by scoring the last three touchdowns of the second quarter. Clemente had two TD catches in the first half and Zembiec scored both his rushing touchdowns in the finall 4:11 of the half, including the second with eleven seconds before the break.

However, Jamestown came to life in the third quarter. Sisson and Kinsey each rushed for touchdowns while shutting out the Lil' Irish. Jamestown was within 28-20 with 12 minutes to play.

Early in the fourth quarter, Zach Panebianco intercepted a Zembiec pass, but fumbled during the return and Aquinas recovered. Four plays later, Zembiec hit Clemente in the end zone for a third time and AQ was up 35-20.

Sisson hit Stephen Carlson for a 34 yard TD to close back within eight points and then Jamestown forced the Irish into 4th and 12 from the Raiders' 35 yard line. However, Zembiec scrambled for time and threw over the Jamestown secondary to Turney for a 35-yard score. AQ was back up 42-27.

Jamestown would not go away. Sisson ran for a score with 3:37 left and the Raiders recovered an onside kick, but one yard short of the necessary ten yards to make the recovery legal.

Aquinas took over and drove to the Jamestown goalline. On third down, Clemente carried off tackle and the ball popped out. Jamestown recovered, but Clemente was ruled down. Television replays were inconclusive. The call could have gone either way. On the next play, Pietropaolo scored from a yard out and the game was over.

Aquinas moves on to the state semifinals next Saturday. The game will again be at Sahlen's Stadium at 6pm.

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