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Game of the Week

'We will get better'

New Castle (7) vs. West Allegheny (55)
Written: Aug 30, 2014
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By Joe Sager

New Castle News

The measuring tape was stretched to the max — and then some — last night at Taggart Stadium.

Two-time defending WPIAL Class AAA kingpin West Allegheny showed once again it is a championship favorite with a 55-7 win over New Castle in a Parkway Conference clash.

The battle-tested Indians (1-0 conference, 1-0 overall) overwhelmed the inexperienced Red Hurricane, which got a good look at how far it needs to improve to be near the top of the standings after playing its toughest opponent to open the campaign.

“They are the best team in our league and they are going to battle to be one of the best teams in the state. From our perspective, we now know how far away we are from the best team in the league,” New Castle coach Joe Cowart said. “So, we have to own it; we have to wear that for a week. Now, we have to inch our way every day at getting closer than we were tonight. We just have to get better on a daily basis.”

Veteran West Allegheny coach Bob Palko was glad to see his team come out and earn a conference win. However, he has faith New Castle will only improve.

“It’s Week 1 and you’re never satisfied with things. You’re going against a team that’s very young and inexperienced. Don’t look at that score and think New Castle is not a good football team. They are going to be,” he said. “I love those kids, man. I really respect them and they’re young and we have some experience. What does that mean? It means it’s Week 1 and we have more experience. Joe will do a good job here. When playoff time comes, watch for New Castle.”

The ’Canes gave the Indians one of their toughest games last year when the Indians had to rally to pull out a 37-31 win. However, 27 players graduated from that New Castle team, including five who are playing at the NCAA Division I level this year. So, the learning curve is a big one for this young squad.

“We have some dynamic players. It’s a matter of our players trusting in themselves and being dynamic and us, as a coaching staff, putting them in position to exploit their talents,” Cowart said. “Yeah, they were few and far between, but we did see some bright spots. Lucky for us, we have eight more shots at getting better.”

The ’Canes seemed poised to start off strong and limited the Indians to a long and unsuccessful field goal attempt on their first drive. However, New Castle was flagged for roughing the kicker, which gave the guests a first down and Chayse Dillon bolted in for a 13-yard touchdown run on the next play.

Dillon, who is one of team’s top returning players, added another touchdown late in the first quarter to give West Allegheny a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.

The Indians forced a fumble and recovered the ball deep in the ’Canes territory early in the second quarter. Dillon made it count with his 11-yard TD jaunt.

The guests got the passing going later in the second quarter. Andrew Koester found Sean Orsini for a 25-yard touchdown pass and a 27-0 advantage.

New Castle got a spark when Jason Smith returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. However, the ’Canes’ momentum was halted quickly after that when Terence Stephens broke loose for an 83-yard TD scamper.

Another Koester-to-Orsini TD pass gave the Indians a 41-7 halftime edge. The guests scored on their first drive of the second half to enact the 35-point mercy rule and a running clock. The team added another late score.

Offensively, New Castle struggled to generate much. The ’Canes were limited to two rushing yards, but had some success through the air as quarterbacks Pat Minenok and Geno Stone threw for 88 yards.

Stephens led all rushers with 144 yards on 10 carries. Whitney White added 105 yards on nine totes and Dillon added 64 yards on 11 carries.

New Castle visits Montour (0-1, 0-1), which dropped a 48-28 decision to Central Valley last night.

“Montour is a much improved team from a year ago. Coach Cerro always has his guys ready,” Cowart said. “There isn’t a game on our schedule that’s going to be easy. If we’re not prepared, we’re going to see a lot of circumstances like we saw tonight. But I am encouraged about our guys getting better. I know how young we are. We will get better.”



21 First downs 4

355 Yards Rushing 26

12 Yards Lost 24

343 Net Rushing 2

10 Passes Attempted 17

7 Passes Completed 7

0 Passes Intercepted 0

163 Yards Passing 88

506 Total Yards 90

0-0 Fumbles-Lost 1-1

1-33 Punts-Average 5-29

5-48 Penalties-Yards 2-20

W ALLEGHENY 14 27 7 7 — 55

NEW CASTLE 0 7 0 0 — 7

Scoring plays

WEST ALLEGHENY — Chayse Dillon, 13-yard run (D.J. Opastnik kick).

WEST ALLEGHENY — Dillon, 1-yard run (Opastnik kick).

WEST ALLEGHENY — Dillon, 11-yard run (Opastnik kick).

WEST ALLEGHENY — Sean Orsini, 25-yard pass from Andrew Koester (kick failed).

NEW CASTLE — Jason Smith, 90-yard kickoff return (D’Marcus Blanchard kick).

WEST ALLEGHENY — Terence Stephens, 83-yard run (Opastnik kick).

WEST ALLEGHENY — Orsini, 43-yard pass from Koester (Opastnik kick).

WEST ALLEGHENY —Whitney White, 26-yard run (Opastnik kick).

WEST ALLEGHENY —Kamren Cornell, 7-yard run (Ryan Cunningham kick).
New Castle 0 7 0 0 0 7
West Allegheny 14 27 7 7 0 55
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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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