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Game of the Week

End of the road

Neshannock (14) vs. North Catholic (27)
Written: Nov 16, 2013
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By Joe Sager

New Castle News


MARS — The recipe was simple for North Catholic last night — more and more and more Fulmore.

Trojans junior P.J. Fulmore represented the bulk of his team’s attack to lead North Catholic to a 27-14 win over Neshannock in a WPIAL Class A semifinal at the Mars Athletic Complex.

Fulmore carried the ball 48 times and racked up 200 yards and four touchdowns in the victory.

“Every play, he does amazing things. He’s an amazing athlete,” North Catholic coach Bob Ravenstahl said. “Words can’t describe his effort. He just has a will to win.”

A running back pressed into quarterback duties after starting passer Adam Sharlow was injured in the teams’ first meeting on Oct. 18, a 21-14 Trojans triumph, Fulmore took every snap in the Wildcat formation. He completed three of his five pass attempts for 40 yards and added a 37-yard kickoff return as well.

“He runs the ball hard. He is very hard to get your hands on; he has a low center of gravity,” said second-year Neshannock coach Fred Mozzocio. “Credit their offensive line; they did the job.”

Fulmore’s all-around effort propelled North Catholic (12-0) to its first WPIAL Class A championship game appearance. The Trojans meet Sto-Rox (12-0), a 24-19 winner over Clairton, for the district title at 11 a.m. Nov. 23 at Heinz Field.

“Words can’t describe the feelings for my team and myself, to be honest with you. It’s been a long time coming. We’re excited,” Ravenstahl said. “The kids played a heck of a game and Neshannock is a heck of a football team. I guess we just made more plays than they did.”

Fulmore and North Catholic set the tone on the game’s first possession. The Trojans marched 79 yards and Fulmore ran in from the 5 for a 7-0 lead.

The Lancers (9-3) answered in the second quarter. After Gianni Oliva pounced on Fulmore’s fumble, Neshannock got a boost from its own playmaker, Ernie Burkes, when the senior quarterback burst through the middle for a 52-yard touchdown to knot the game, coupled with Jason Owrey’s extra point, with 8:28 before halftime. 

However, Lancers running back Eli Owens, Lawrence County’s leading rusher, took a helmet to a knee on that drive and limped off the field. He did not touch the ball the rest of the game and finished with four carries for seven yards. He did not return to the field on defense, either.

“We lost him on defense and offense. It definitely hurt us, but that has nothing to do with (the loss). We don’t make any excuses,” Mozzocio said. “Their offensive line did a good job and they controlled the football on us and they slowed us down when they had to.”

The Trojans seized momentum to start the third quarter. North Catholic squibbed the kickoff down the middle of the field. The ball bounced off a Neshannock player and the Trojans pounced on it at the Lancers’ 45.

“It really wasn’t planned that way. It was supposed to go through there and, unfortunately for them, it hit their kid and I guess we recovered, which is fortunate for us,” Ravenstahl said. “To be honest with you, we were working on some onside kicks all season, but we haven’t utilized them. But, we were prepared to get on the ball if it was there and it just happened to be that way.”

It was an unfortunate break for Neshannock. North Catholic turned it into Fulmore’s second TD of the night 13 plays later to grab a 14-7 edge with 6:07 left in the third.

“This is a crazy game; things happen and it’s a game of inches. That time, the inches happened when the ball just hit off his foot, so it was just an inopportune time and it could happen to anybody,” Mozzocio said.

The Trojans forced the Lancers to go three-and-out on their next possession. North Catholic promptly marched 70 yards in seven plays for Fulmore’s third TD and a 21-7 edge with 1:53 on the clock.

Neshannock retaliated with a strong drive and Robert Lindsey, subbing for Owens, bulled his way in from the 1 to trim the deficit to 21-14 with 11:25 to play.

Both teams traded punts and the Trojans nearly gave the Lancers a gift when a fair catch of a Burkes boot was muffed, but Fulmore pounced on the pigskin at the Neshannock 47. Nine plays later, Fulmore cashed in again for a TD. The PAT kick sailed wide left to make it a 27-14 edge with 4:44 to go.

Neshannock failed to get a first down on its next drive and punted to North Catholic, which was able to run out the clock.

“The only thing I could promise everybody coming into this game was that our kids were going to play 48 minutes and they were going to give 48 minutes of every piece of heart that they had, from the bottom, up. They did that,” Mozzocio said. “They left it all on the field. Sometimes, in this game, you just have to congratulate the other team. They beat us and it’s the second time this year. They are moving on and best of luck to them.”

For the Lancers’ seniors, this marked the second-straight WPIAL semifinal appearance in Mozzocio’s two years at the helm. They fell to Clairton, 37-7, last fall.

“These guys that are seniors, they laid it on the line for us two years straight,” Mozzocio said. “They put a tremendous amount of time and effort into this and it was an honor for me to coach them and an honor for me to say I am their coach. It’s unfortunate we weren’t able to move on.”



9 First downs 22

147 Yards Rushing 290

13 Yards Lost 25

134 Net Rushing 265

12 Passes Attempted 5

4 Passes Completed 3

0 Passes Intercepted 0

66 Yards Passing 40

200 Total Yards 305

1-1 Fumbles-Lost 2-1

6-38.2 Punts-Average 3-33

8-61 Penalties-Yards 0-0

NESHANNOCK 0 7 0 7 — 14

NORTH CATHOLIC 7 0 14 6 — 27

Scoring plays

NORTH CATHOLIC — P.J. Fulmore, 4-yard run (Mike Trarsovich kick).

NESHANNOCK — Ernie Burkes, 52-yard run (Jason Owrey kick).

NORTH CATHOLIC — Fulmore, 1-yard run (Trarsovich kick).

NORTH CATHOLIC — Fulmore, 3-yard run (Trarsovich kick).

NESHANNOCK — Robert Lindsey, 1-yard run (Owrey kick).

NORTH CATHOLIC — Fulmore, 5-yard run (kick failed).
Neshannock 0 7 0 7 0 14
North Catholic 7 0 14 6 0 27
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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