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Game of the Week

Lancers advance to WPIAL semifinals

Neshannock (35) vs. Monessen (6)
Written: Nov 09, 2013
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By Corey J. Corbin

New Castle News

HOUSTON, Pa. — The Neshannock football team didn’t appreciate having to travel to Monessen’s back yard for the second year in a row.

The Lancers let out all their pent-up aggression by demolishing the Greyhounds, 35-6, in the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals last night at Chartiers-Houston.

“We have a chip on our shoulder every week,” Neshannock coach Fred Mozzocio said. “It’s going to be there next week, too. We’re Neshannock and teams don’t take us seriously, so we’re always out with something to prove.

“This was a great win against a great football team. That is a very good football team and we came out from start to finish and executed. We just got after them.”

The Lancers (9-2) will meet Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (11-0), a 14-7 winner over Avonworth, in the WPIAL Class A semifinals at a site and time to be determined Friday. The Trojans edged Neshannock, 21-14, in Week 8.

Clairton (10-1) and Sto-Rox (11-0) will meet in the other semifinal matchup.

“It doesn’t matter who we play,” Mozzocio said. “We’re going to play all out football whoever it is. We’ll refocus. We’re going to enjoy this victory against a great, great football team. We’ll work to get ready for next week’s game.”

Neshannock wasted little time to exert their dominance with Ernie Burkes capping a 10-play, 53-yard drive on a 19-yard run for a 7-0 lead after Jason Owrey converted the first of his five extra points.

Burkes scored again on a 23-yard scamper around the right side of this offensive line on the Lancers’ next offensive possession.

“We came out and got after it on both sides of the football,” Mozzocio said. “I couldn’t ask for much more than what we got tonight. I’m very pleased.”

The Lancers turned a Jeff Sanfilippo interception into a 21-0 cushion on a 50-yard scoring strike from Burkes to tight end Steven Jeffries with 8:25 left in the second quarter.

Neshannock extended its lead to 28-0 on a perfect pass from Burkes to Jimmy Medure in the corner of the end zone from 21 yards out with just 42 seconds left in the half.

“Ernie Burkes is one of the best playmakers in the WPIAL, bar none,” Mozzocio said. “The kid can flat out play football. There’s not much else I can say about him.”

The Lancers enacted the mercy rule when Eli Owens scored on a 5-yard run on Neshannock’s first drive of the second half.

“It’s a big win,” Owens said. “We thought they were going to come out harder than they did, but it is what it is. We came out, played our game and just beat them. We always have to have a chip on our shoulder. If you don’t have a chip on your shoulder, you won’t play very good. If you think you’re above everyone, there’s no point in playing.”

Owens and Burkes both crossed the century mark on the ground with Owens posting a game-high 151 yards on 25 carries. Burkes finished with 100 yards on 11 attempts, while completing 6 of 10 passes for 87 yards.

“The offensive line is just amazing,” Owens said, crediting his line of Ralph Dovidio, Zach Barnes, Steve Senko, Adam Wawrzynski, Nate Nativio and Jeffries. “They work so hard in practice. They do what they do and open big holes for me. All I do is run. I just love them so much. They’re great. Every time I run the ball, there’s big holes.”

The Lancers finished the night with 375 yards of total offense with 288 yards coming on the ground.

“We were going at it all night,” Dovidio said. “We got to our blocks and kept moving our feet. We were doing our jobs and everyone was communicating. The communication was great. I love giving the running backs big holes to run the ball through.”

Neshannock shut down the vaunted Monessen offense, limiting the Greyhounds to just 151 yards of total offense. Monessen entered the game averaging over 41 points a game and didn’t score until the game’s final play when Clintell Gillaspie scored on a 34-yard scoring strike from Justice Rawlins.

The Lancers also forced five turnovers and recovered an onside kick.

“Our defensive front seven had constant pressure and shut down their run from the very start,” Mozzocio said. “They couldn’t run the football on us and we forced them to pass. Once we force teams to pass, we were getting after them. Our battle cry has been ‘sharks in a frenzy.’ We had them in the shark tank tonight.”

Gillaspie, who rushed for over 1,100 yards this year, managed just 33 yards on eight carries, while Javon Brown was held to 12 yards on six attempts.

“We were sharks in a frenzy,” Dovidio said. “We game planned all week for them. We did great. We really didn’t change much up. We just came out hard and did our assignments.

“We got after the run game from the start. They thought they could pound it down our throats, but we came out hitting hard and wrapped up. We did our assignments and did our jobs. We stopped them.”

(Email: C_Corbin @ncnewsonline.com).

NESHANNOCK MONESSEN

14 First downs 6

311 Yards Rushing 86

23 Yards Lost 5

288 Net Rushing 81

10 Passes Attempted 21

6 Passes Completed 7

1 Passes Intercepted 4

87 Yards Passing 71

375 Total Yards 152

3-1 Fumbles-Lost 4-1

1-13 Punts-Average 3-29.3

8-70 Penalties-Yards 5-25

NESHANNOCK 14 14 7 0 — 35

MONESSEN 0 0 0 6 — 6

Scoring plays

NESHANNOCK — Ernie Burkes, 19-yard run (Jason Owrey kick).

NESHANNOCK — Burkes, 23-yard run (Owrey kick).

NESHANNOCK — Steven Jeffries, 50-yard from Burkes (Owrey kick).

NESHANNOCK — Jimmy Medure, 21-yard yard pass from Burkes (Owrey kick).

NESHANNOCK — Eli Owens, 5-yard run (Owrey kick).

MONESSEN — Clintell Gillaspie, 34-yard pass from Justice Rawlins (no conversion attempt).

GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Neshannock 14 14 7 0 0 35
Monessen 0 0 0 6 0 6
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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