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Game of the Week

Ground war

Ellwood City (46) vs. Mohawk (36)
Written: Oct 11, 2014
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By Andrew Koob

New Castle News

It was a matchup of hard-nosed rushing attacks and the Ellwood City Lincoln High football team refused to back down.

The Wolverines rushed for 403 yards en route to a hard-fought 46-36 Midwestern Athletic Conference victory over host Mohawk last night.

Junior tailback Nick Ioanilli led the way for Ellwood City (3-3 MAC, 4-3 overall), rushing for 203 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.

“We come in here, these people always play us tough,” Ellwood City coach Don Phillips said. “No matter what our record is, no matter what their record is, this game is going to be a knockdown, drag-out affair. It normally comes down to the wire, who has the ball last. Things happen, so it was really good to get out of here.”

Ellwood City set off the first firework after quarterback D.J. Barrett found the end zone from eight yards away.

Wolverines tailback Norm Ballard scored on an 11-yard run after Mohawk back Spencer McConahy opened the scoring for the Warriors with a 1-yard dive over the goal line.

The Warriors (1-5, 1-6) took their only lead of the game after quarterback Ricky Malutic also had a 1-yard touchdown run. John Zagotti’s extra point gave Mohawk a 13-12 lead early in the second quarter.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Ioanilli hit paydirt from 57 yards away two plays after Malutic’s score. After a fumble recovery, the Wolverines marched to the 5 before Barrett faked a toss to Ioanilli and found a wide-open Ballard in the back of the end zone.

That aerial was Barrett’s only pass of the night.

“We’ve always had that play,” Phillips said. “I just felt that the opportunity was there for them to overplay Nick and get that pop pass in there and it worked out well.”

Mohawk tailback Cayne Yakubik started to see more action in the second half and responded well, scoring two touchdowns from five and six yards away. Ioanilli scored his second touchdown of the night in between Yakubik’s trips to the end zone.

Yakubik ended the night with 84 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, with 78 of those yards in the second half.

Barrett and tailback River Kelly shut the door on a comeback attempt with two fourth-quarter touchdowns, starting with an 18-yard run by Kelly. After a Malutic score and Zagotti extra point, Barrett scampered 38 yards with under three minutes to play to give the Wolverines a 10-point advantage.

Kelly finished the night with 83 yards and a score on 13 carries. The combination of Ioanilli and Kelly proved to be too much for Mohawk.

“We have some nice weapons there,” Phillips said. “It got late in the game and I felt that they were overplaying Nick. And they were smart to do that, because Nick is our main weapon. But if you leave River alone, he pulled in for that touchdown down there and just wasn’t going to be denied.”

The Warriors’ loss is their fifth straight and sixth on the season.

“It’s been a rough season,” Mohawk coach Joe Lamenza said. “I think we have good leadership, the seniors have done everything we asked of them. They fought hard tonight, everyone fought hard tonight.

“I told the team after the game that they don’t have anything to be ashamed of. It was a close game and we came up a little bit short. We were down by two touchdowns at halftime and we cut it down to one score at the end.”

The Warriors did plenty of damage on the ground as well, racking up 339 yards behind a 192-yard, two-touchdown performance from Malutic. The signal-caller also added 22 yards through the air on 6 of 18 passing.

Both sides had trouble holding onto the ball, especially early on. Seven fumbles hit the turf throughout the game, five of which fell to the other team.

Mohawk was able to create the sudden change of possession but, more often that not, the Warriors handed the ball right back.

“That’s one of the things we talked about at halftime,” Lamenza said. “We created some turnovers, which is something that we emphasized this week. But when you create turnovers and turn the ball over yourself, it cancels those out.”

The win keeps the Wolverines’ playoff hopes alive. But Phillips now finds himself tasked with getting creative with his lineups.

“We’ve got to get together,” Phillips said. “The kids are working hard, but we have some injuries now so we have to sit down as a coaching staff and decide how we’re going to play and get people in the right spots but also try to develop as much depth as possible. Some of our younger kids are getting more and more work and that’s not a bad thing.”

(Email: A_Koob@ncnewsonline.com)

ELLWOOD CITY MOHAWK

13 First downs 18

408 Yards Rushing 343

5 Yards Lost 4

403 Net Rushing 339

1 Passes Attempted 18

1 Passes Completed 6

0 Passes Intercepted 1

5 Yards Passing 22

408 Total Yards 361

4-3 Fumbles-Lost 3-2

0-0 Punts-Average 0-0

6-35 Penalties-Yards 6-51

ELLWOOD CITY 6 18 8 14 — 46

MOHAWK 6 7 8 15 — 36

Scoring plays

ELLWOOD CITY — D.J. Barrett, 8-yard run (kick failed).

MOHAWK — Spencer McConahy, 1-yard run (kick failed).

ELLWOOD CITY — Norm Ballard, 11-yard run (run failed).

MOHAWK — Ricky Malutic, 1-yard run (John Zagotti kick).

ELLWOOD CITY — Nick Ioanilli, 57-yard run (run failed).

ELLWOOD CITY — Ballard, 5-yard pass from Barrett (kick failed).

MOHAWK — Cayne Yakubik, 6-yard run (McConahy run).

ELLWOOD CITY — Ioanilli, 25-yard run (River Kelly run).

MOHAWK — Yakubik, 5-yard run (Malutic run).

ELLWOOD CITY — Barrett, 18-yard run (run failed).

MOHAWK — Malutic, 1-yard run (Zagotti kick).

ELLWOOD CITY — Barrett, 38-yard run (Barrett run).
GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Ellwood City 6 18 8 14 0 46
Mohawk 6 7 8 15 0 36
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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