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Game of the Week

The best defense

Neshannock (40) vs. Brentwood (9)
Written: Nov 02, 2013
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By Corey J. Corbin

New Castle News

The Neshannock High football team’s offense gets a lot of credit.

But it was its defense that came through in a big way last night.

Lancers defenders Jimmy Medure, Michael Rodriguez, Frank Antuono, Ty Sear, Gianni Oliva and Ralph Dovidio provided constant pressure as Neshannock earned its first home postseason victory with a 40-9 win over visiting Brentwood in the first round of the WPIAL Class A playoffs at Bob Bleggi Stadium.

“It’s a big win,” Medure said. “This was our first home playoff game and everyone was excited. We knew Brentwood would come out swinging, so we had to swing harder.

“We’re like sharks in a frenzy, going after the quarterback. We rely on each other to get back there. Once we can get him moving around, we run to him and bring him to the ground.”

The Lancers (8-2) will meet Monessen (10-1), a 37-14 winner over West Shamokin, in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals Friday at a site and time to be determined. Neshannock posted a narrow 24-21 victory over the Greyhounds last year in the WPIAL quarterfinals at Chartiers-Houston.

“Monessen is Monessen,” Neshannock coach Fred Mozzocio said. “They’re one of the big boys every year. That’s why you compete, because you want to play against the best. We’re looking forward to the matchup down there against Monessen. We were fortunate to squeak a win out last year against them. I’m sure it’ll come down to the wire again this year.”

Brentwood (5-5) chewed up nearly six minutes of first-quarter clock last night to march 74 yards in 15 plays before settling for a 22-yard Sean McGlaughlin field goal and an early 3-0 lead.

“Games can start out slow or they can start out fast,” Medure said. “You have to be ready for anything. They came out swinging and they hit us. We had to get them back.”

The Lancers got the Spartans back by pinning them inside their own 1 after Ernie Burkes’ 58-yard punt. Three plays later, Medure’s pressure forced Brentwood quarterback Connor McWilliams to scramble to his right and ultimately step out of bounds for a safety.

“Ernie had a great kick,” Medure said. “The safety was a big momentum-changer in the game. We knew they would come out hard, so we had to come out harder.”

From that point on, it was all Neshannock.

The Lancers rolled up 403 yards of total offense, including 363 yards on the ground. Burkes, a senior, rushed for 139 yards and a pair of touchdowns on nine carries from his quarterback position, while junior running back Eli Owens added a game-high 154 yards and a score on 15 carries. Rodriguez provided 52 yards on three reverses.

“Our offensive line was clicking,” Mozzocio said of Dovidio, Steve Senko, Zach Barnes, Adam Wawrzynski, Nate Nativio and Steven Jefferies. “They were getting their bodies on people, keeping their legs moving. We were able to move the chains and break some long runs in the process. Credit the o-line, they did their jobs tonight. They got after it.”

Neshannock built its lead to 12-3 with a Jason Owrey 28-yard field goal late in the first quarter and a Seth Dueitt 9-yard touchdown pass from Burkes midway through the second quarter.

“I ran an under route on my first touchdown and Steven Jefferies drew the other guys in, so I was open,” Dueitt said. “I caught the pass and ran it in for the touchdown.”

Burkes broke the game wide open with 41- and 92-yard touchdown jaunts on successive possessions in the second quarter for the Lancers, who entered halftime with a 26-3 cushion.

“Ernie had a big night again as usual,” Mozzocio said. “He makes plays. There’s not much else you can say about him. If you need a play, he’s there for you.”

Dueitt scored his third career touchdown 60 seconds into the third quarter on a 16-yard scoring strike from Burkes and Owens closed out Neshannock’s scoring with a fourth-quarter scamper of 52 yards.

“Last week, I got my first varsity touchdown and to get two this week, I’m just ecstatic,” Dueitt said. “It’s nice to contribute to our first home playoff win. It felt nice to win by such a large margin. I’m happy to help the team.”

An 11-yard pass from McWilliams to Bill Madeja midway through the fourth quarter closed out the scoring. The Brentwood quarterback was sacked three times and had a Neshannock defender in face for most of the night. He completed 14-of-39 passes for 156 yards.

“We were attacking and were physical,” Mozzocio said. “Their quarterback is a really nice player and he’s a hard-nosed kid. We got after him and he just kept fighting and moving around in the pocket. He played his heart out tonight. When push comes to shove, our defense kept them out of the end zone, so that’s all that counts.”

Neshannock was penalized 13 times for 101 yards.

“Sometimes when you’re excited, you get a little overaggressive and things happen,” Mozzocio said. “We’ll clean that up. Once the game gets out of hand, you tend to get some sloppy penalties. We’re not happy with that, but we’ll take the 40-9 victory any day.”

(Email: C_Corbin@newsonline.com)

BRENTWOOD NESHANNOCK

12 First downs 11

70 Yards Rushing 391

31 Yards Lost 28

39 Net Rushing 363

40 Passes Attempted 14

14 Passes Completed 4

0 Passes Intercepted 0

156 Yards Passing 40

195 Total Yards 403

0-0 Fumbles-Lost 2-1

2-22 Punts-Average 2-27

4-30 Penalties-Yards 13-101

BRENTWOOD 3 0 0 6 — 9

NESHANNOCK 5 21 7 7 — 40

Scoring plays

BRENTWOOD — Sean McGlaughlin, 22-yard field goal.

NESHANNOCK — Safety, Connor McWilliams steps out of the endzone.

NESHANNOCK — Jason Owrey, 28-yard field goal.

NESHANNOCK — Seth Dueitt, 9-yard pass from Ernie Burkes (Owrey kick).

NESHANNOCK — Burkes, 41-yard run (Owrey kick).

NESHANNOCK — Burkes, 92-yard run (Owrey kick).

NESHANNOCK — Dueitt, 16-yard pass from Burkes (Owrey kick).

NESHANNOCK — Eli Owens, 52-yard run (Owrey kick).

BRENTWOOD — Bill Madeja, 11-yard pass from McWilliams (kick failed).

GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Neshannock 5 21 7 7 0 40
Brentwood 3 0 0 6 0 9
GAME OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
One step short 12/3/16 Neshannock season comes to end 11/27/16 The (im)perfect season 11/19/16 WPIAL championship game 11/18/16 New Castle advances to WPIAL Class 4A title game 11/11/16 Neshannock routs Serra Catholic 11/4/16 Neshannock hosts Serra Catholic 11/4/16 Thriller 10/28/16 Union at Shenango 10/28/16 'Canes stumble; playoff berth on line in finale 10/21/16 New Castle hosts Ringgold on Senior Night 10/21/16 Wilmington falls in battle of unbeatens 10/15/16 Wilmington at Hickory 10/13/16 On the defensive 10/8/16 Neshannock hosts Riverside 10/7/16 New Castle struggles in home loss to Mars 9/30/16 New Castle hosts Mars 9/30/16 'Canes hope to even score against Mars 9/30/16 Stayin' alive 9/23/16 Union hosts Western Beaver 9/23/16 Ground assault 9/17/16 Wilmington hosts Sharpsville 9/16/16 Too many mistakes for Laurel 9/10/16 Riverside travels to Laurel 9/9/16 Neshannock routs North Catholic 9/3/16 Canes quipped 8/31/16 A good mix 8/27/16 Black Friday 11/14/15 Wilmington vs. Cambridge Springs 11/13/15 Defense steps up for Lancers 11/7/15 Neshannock vs. Bentworth 11/5/15 No doubt about it 10/31/15 Neshannock vs. Union 10/30/15 Crowning effort 10/24/15 Shenango vs. Riverside 10/23/15 Playoff hopes dashed 10/17/15 Laurel vs. Beaver 10/16/15 A costly brawl 10/10/15 New Castle vs. Central Valley 10/9/15 Inching closer 10/3/15 Union vs. Shenango 10/2/15 'They had us on our heels' 9/26/15 South Side Beaver at Union 9/25/15 Shootout 9/19/15 Neshannock at Riverside 9/18/15 Pivotal 9/13/15 Neshannock, Shenango clash Saturday 9/11/15 Under the weather 9/5/15 New Brighton at Laurel 9/4/15 Heartbreaker 11/15/14 Neshannock vs. Clairton 11/14/14 Weathering the storm 11/8/14 Neshannock vs. Jeannette 11/7/14 Fast and furious 11/1/14 Springdale at Shenango 10/31/14 Opportunity lost 10/25/14 Sharpsville at Wilmington 10/24/14 One for the books 10/18/14 Ellwood City at Laurel 10/17/14 Ground war 10/11/14 Ellwood City at Mohawk 10/10/14 Drenched with happiness 10/4/14 South Side Beaver at Shenango 10/3/14 The perfect storm 9/27/14 Moon at New Castle 9/26/14 Coming up short 9/20/14 West Middlesex at Wilmington 9/19/14 Back in the saddle 9/13/14 Neshannock at Riverside 9/12/14 Tough act to follow 9/6/14 New Brighton at Ellwood City 9/5/14 'We will get better' 8/30/14 West Allegheny vs. New Castle 8/29/14 End of the road 11/16/13 Neshannnock vs. North Catholic 11/15/13 'Sharks in a frenzy' 11/9/13 Lancers advance to WPIAL semifinals 11/9/13 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/8/13 The best defense 11/2/13 Neshannock vs. Brentwood 11/1/13 'We battled to the end' 10/26/13 New Brighton at Mohawk 10/25/13 Costly blunders 10/19/13 Sto-Rox at Laurel 10/18/13 West Allegheny rallies in fourth to defeat 'Canes 10/12/13 West Allegheny at New Castle 10/11/13 Mohawk wins thriller behind McConahy, Barber 10/5/13 Ellwood City at Mohawk 10/4/13 Spartans ride big second half to win over Union 9/28/13 Laurel at Union 9/27/13 Burkes stars as Lancers escape upset bid 9/21/13 Shenango at Neshannock 9/20/13 So close ... 9/13/13 Neshannock at Sto-Rox 9/12/13 Run to glory 9/7/13 Laurel at Neshannock 9/6/13 Dando, Spartans roll over South Side Beaver 9/5/13 South Side Beaver vs. Laurel 8/30/13 Turnovers spell doom for Wilmington in D-10 title game 11/26/12 Wilmington vs. Hickory 11/24/12 Caught in a 'Bear' trap 11/17/12 Neshannock vs. Clairton in WPIAL Class A semifinals 11/15/12 Neshannock advances 11/10/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/9/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/9/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/8/12 Neshannock advances 11/3/12 Neshannock vs. Jefferson-Morgan 11/2/12 Down and out 10/27/12 New Castle at Hopewell 10/26/12 Pugh paces Wilmington to win over Sharon 10/22/12 Wilmington vs. Sharon 10/19/12 Mohawk falls to Beaver 10/13/12 Beaver vs. Mohawk 10/12/12 ‘We tip our hats to them’ 10/8/12 Neshannock at Rochester 10/5/12 Big-play display for Union 9/29/12 Union vs. Laurel 9/28/12 Lancers rout Shenango for fourth win 9/24/12 Blend of old, new sparks Union win 9/22/12 Union hosts Western Beaver 9/21/12 ’Hounds rise up for win over Hickory 9/15/12 Wilmington vs. Hickory 9/14/12 Milestone victory 9/10/12 New Castle at Riverside 9/7/12 699 and counting 9/1/12 New Castle vs. Central Valley 8/31/12 Turnovers lead to season-ending loss for Wilmington 11/21/11 Wilmington vs. General McLane 11/17/11 End of the dream 11/12/11 Ellwood vs. Greensburg Central 11/11/11 Ellwood advances 11/5/11 Ellwood City vs. Freeport 11/4/11 Mixed reviews 10/29/11 New Castle vs. Blackhawk 10/28/11 Wilmington rolls to Region 3 title 10/22/11 Wilmington vs. Sharon 10/21/11 It's Polka time 10/15/11 Ellwood City vs. Laurel 10/14/11 Aliquippa cruises past Ellwood City 10/8/11 Aliquippa vs. Ellwood City 10/7/11 Wilmington holds on for thrilling win over Hickory 10/1/11 Wilmington vs. Hickory 9/30/11 Union pulls away for win over South Side Beaver 9/24/11 South Side Beaver at Union 9/23/11 Big plays spell doom for New Castle 9/17/11 Central Valley vs. New Castle 9/16/11 Defense delivers for Neshannock 9/10/11 Defense delivers for Neshannock 9/10/11 Neshannock vs. Serra Catholic 9/9/11 New Castle suffers disappointing loss in opener 9/3/11 New Castle vs. Butler 9/2/11 Sharon ends Wilmington’s dominance 11/22/10 ‘Underdog’ Greyhounds move on to a rematch with Sharon 11/15/10 Wilmington vs. North East 11/12/10 Tough lesson 11/6/10 WPIAL Playoffs: Ellwood vs. South Fayette 11/5/10 Wolverines earn playoff berth 10/30/10 Riverside at Ellwood City 10/29/10 'Hounds lose heartbreaker 10/23/10 Wilmington at Sharon 10/22/10 Wolverines outlast Spartans 10/16/10 Laurel at Ellwood City 10/15/10 'Canes fall to Parkway foe Hopewell 10/9/10 New Castle to battle Hopewell 10/8/10 Lancers fall to Western Beaver 10/2/10 Western Beaver at Neshannock 10/1/10 Wolverines fall to Beaver 9/25/10 Beaver at Ellwood City 9/24/10 Shenango runs past South Side 9/20/10 Greyhounds lay hammer down on Greenville 9/11/10 Wilmington vs. Greenville 9/10/10 New Castle comes through 9/4/10 New Castle vs. Butler 9/4/10 Memorable run ends for Wilmington football team 12/14/09 Wilmington vs. Greensburg Catholic 12/11/09 Wilmington survives close call against Forest Hills 12/4/09 Wilmington vs. Forest Hills 12/4/09 Wilmington blanks Sharon 11/28/09 Wilmington vs. Sharon 11/27/09 Laurel season ends with setback 11/21/09 Laurel vs. Clairton in WPIAL semifinals 11/20/09 West Allegheny ends New Castle’s season 11/14/09 New Castle vs. West Allegheny 11/13/09 New Castle holds off Greensburg Salem 11/7/09 New Castle at Greensburg Salem 11/6/09 Wilmington routs Slippery Rock 10/30/09 Slippery Rock at Wilmington 10/30/09 Shenango blanks Union 10/24/09 Shenango at Union 10/23/09 Spartans overwhelm Monaca 10/17/09 Monaca at Laurel 10/16/09 Mohawk outlasts Ellwood City 10/10/09 Mohawk at Ellwood City 10/9/09 Rochester turns back Laurel in battle of unbeatens 10/3/09 Laurel at Rochester 10/2/09 Laurel opportunistic against Neshannock 9/26/09 Neshannock at Laurel 9/25/09 New Castle ends streak against Blackhawk 9/19/09 New Castle hosts Blackhawk 9/18/09 New Castle passes test against Indiana 9/12/09 Indiana at New Castle 9/11/09 Ellwood comes up short against Freedom 9/5/09 Freedom at Ellwood 9/4/09 Wilmington wins PIAA title! 12/15/08 'Hounds headed for Hershey 12/6/08 Wilmington vs. Aliquippa 12/5/08 Wilmington holds off Martinsburg Central 11/29/08 Wilmington edges Slippery Rock for District 10 title 11/24/08 "Down and Out" 11/19/08 New Castle outlasts Indiana in quarterfinals 11/8/08 New Castle vs. Indiana 11/7/08 New Castle vs. Indiana 11/6/08 New Castle routs Franklin Regional 11/1/08 Franklin Regional at New Castle 11/1/08 Laurel wins, but not enough 10/25/08 Shenango at Laurel 10/25/08 New Castle routs Ambridge 10/18/08 Ambridge at New Castle 10/18/08 Rochester blanks Neshannock 10/11/08 Wilmington handles Sharon 10/4/08 South Side Beaver blanks Neshannock 9/27/08 Neshannock vs. South Side Beaver 9/27/08 Neshannock holds off Laurel 9/20/08 Rochester blanks Union 9/13/08 Union-Rochester 9/12/08 Mohawk routs New Brighton 9/6/08 Butler outlasts New Castle 8/30/08
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