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Game of the Week

Fast and furious

Shenango (35) vs. Springdale (7)
Written: Nov 01, 2014
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By Shawn Fox

New Castle News

It didn’t take the Shenango High football team long to set the tone last night.

And in the process of doing so, the Wildcats ended a 12-year WPIAL playoff victory drought.

Seventh-seeded Shenango put together a 14-play, 83-yard drive for a touchdown on the game’s first possession and dominated from there, as the ’Cats knocked off visiting Springdale 35-7 in the first round of the Class A playoffs.

“It’s a credit to the kids,” Shenango coach Mike Commesso said. “I told them before the game the last time Shenango football won a playoff game they were in kindergarten. I think it’s pretty big. It’s exciting for them, it’s exciting for the school and exciting for the community. I’m very proud of them.”

Shenango, which improved to 7-3 on the season, will next face second-seeded Clairton in the quarterfinals either at a time and site to be announced. The high-powered Bears (10-0) advanced with a 62-3 victory over Chartiers-Houston last night. Clairton posted a 70-13 victory over Springdale in Week 4.

The ‘Cats, who were making their first postseason appearance since 2006, flexed their offensive muscles from the get-go.

After taking the opening kickoff at its own 17-yard line, Shenango embarked on an 83-yard march that chewed nearly seven minutes off the clock. The ’Cats relied heavily on their ground game in churning up yardage on the drive, rushing for 57 yards on 13 attempts. Brett Hoover polished things off by scoring from a yard out. Dylan Kleckner added the first of his five extra-point kicks to give the hosts a 7-0 lead with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter.

“I think it set the tone,” Commesso said of the opening drive. “It set the tone that we were going to be a physical football team and that we could move the ball and that we could score points. I thought it gave us a lot of confidence.”

Shenango added to its lead on the first play of the second quarter, as Hunter Waskin broke free for a 40-yard TD run.

“The line blocked everybody perfectly, and I just went from there,” the junior running back said. “It’s amazing. I love playing for this team. I wouldn’t want to play for anybody else.”

Waskin staked the ‘Cats to a 21-0 lead with 3:51 remaining before the half by scoring from 7 yards out to cap a 10-play, 97-yard drive following a Dynamos punt.

“The kids played great,” Commesso said. “We challenged them to come out here and be physical, to be disciplined and to execute, and I thought we did all three of those things.”

Springdale, the No. 10 seed, which ended the season at 6-4, had a chance to put points on the scoreboard just before the half, but Anthony Keyser blocked Brennan Rodden’s 36-yard field goal attempt as time expired.

The teams traded field position in the third quarter before the Dynamos broke through early in the fourth on Ben Sowinski’s 5-yard touchdown burst. Rodden’s PAT kick cut the deficit to 21-7 with 11:24 left in the contest.

Shenango, however, answered the Dynamos’ score by driving 69 yards in nine plays. Tyler Root’s 5-yard TD run capped the drive and gave the ’Cats a 28-7 lead with 8:22 on the clock.

“They had all of the momentum,” Commesso said. “We didn’t have the ball except for six plays in the third quarter. They had cut it to two scores. That was an important drive, and it was nice to see the kids respond that way.”

Springdale was forced to punt on its next possession, and Shenango turned that special teams play into a bizarre touchdown.

Waskin fielded Austin Kline’s punt at the Springdale 41. He returned the ball to near the 20, when he was hit and fumbled the ball. As the night had gone for the ‘Cats, the ball bounced directly to Brandon Ryder, who took it in from the 20 to set the final.

 “That was just a lucky bounce, and it was fun to see,” Commesso said with a laugh.

(Email: ncsports@ncnewsonline.com)

SPRINGDALE SHENANGO

14 First downs 14

190 Yards Rushing 276

39 Yards Lost 2

151 Net Rushing 274

23 Passes Attempted 4

9 Passes Completed 2

2 Passes Intercepted 0

81 Yards Passing 35

232 Total Yards 309

5-0 Fumbles-Lost 2-1

3-35 Punts-Average 3-30.3

2-10 Penalties-Yards 6-30

SPRINGDALE 0 0 0 7 — 7

SHENANGO 7 14 0 14 — 35

Scoring plays

SHENANGO — Brett Hoover, 1-yard run (Dylan Kleckner kick).

SHENANGO — Hunter Waskin, 40-yard run (Kleckner kick).

SHENANGO — Waskin, 7-yard run (Kleckner kick).

SPRINGDALE — Ben Sowinski, 5-yard run (Brennan Rodden kick).

SHENANGO — Tyler Root, 5-yard run (Kleckner kick).

SHENANGO — Brandon Ryder, 20-yard punt return (Kleckner kick).

 
GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Shenango 7 14 0 14 0 35
Springdale 0 0 0 7 0 7
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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