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Game of the Week

Shootout

Neshannock (71) vs. Riverside (48)
Written: Sep 19, 2015
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By Joe Sager

New Castle News

It was a bad night to be a defender, but a good evening to be a Lancer.

Both the Neshannock and Riverside football teams put on an offensive display last night, but the Lancers survived for a 71-48 win in a WPIAL Class A Big Seven Conference battle at Bob Bleggi Stadium.

Defense was scarce as the teams combined for 1,228 yards of total offense.

“I really never had an experience like that. We just wanted to come out and make a statement tonight after what happened last week,” Neshannock quarterback Frank Antuono said. “I think we proved that. Riverside has some good players; the Dambach brothers are good players. We knew they were going to put up some points, but we had to come out and make a statement.”

The Lancers (2-1 conference, 2-1 overall) did exactly that in rebounding from their 20-12 setback at Shenango last Saturday. Antuono helped lead the way by completing 15 of 20 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns. He ran the ball 12 times for 76 yards and two scores.

“It was a good win for our kids. Last week was a very rough week for us with what happened to Adrian Holmes, their former classmate and teammate (Holmes died in a traffic accident). We had a tough loss last Saturday. So, it’s been a rough two weeks for us and we’re a very young football team,” Neshannock coach Fred Mozzocio said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the way they fought tonight. We knew it was going to be a shootout. I am proud of the way they responded.”

Neshannock overcame the career outings of Riverside’s Dambach brothers. Jason, a senior quarterback, completed 28 of 47 passes for 551 yards and five touchdowns. Austin, a sophomore receiver, was his top target with 13 catches for 348 yards and three scores.

“Dambach is a fierce competitor and they have some great receivers over there. Their kids are tough kids. We just had to keep pounding it and not relaxing at all. Every time we seemed to relax a little bit, they seemed to get back within striking distance,” Mozzocio said. “(The 551 yards passing) is something we have to clean up and get a little better at. Defensively, we held them to two touchdowns in the second half, so that was nice.”

The teams combined for 776 yards and 70 points in a wild first half as the hosts went into intermission with a 42-28 edge.

Jason Dambach found brother Austin down the near sideline on a fly pattern for an 89-yard touchdown strike and a 7-0 lead on Riverside’s first snap. The Lancers retaliated 1:38 later when Jonah Vitale broke loose for a 45-yard TD scamper to tie the game at 7-all.

Neshannock forced a Riverside punt and then went ahead, 14-7, on its next drive. Antuono capped the march with a 25-yard run with 2:15 left.

The Panthers (1-1, 2-1) responded with a touchdown of their own. Dambach hit Ricky Wass for an 11-yard scoring strike with 49.8 seconds left in the opening stanza.

On the Lancers’ first play after that, Robert Lindsey rambled 79 yards for a touchdown. The PAT hit the upright, which gave Neshannock a 20-14 lead with 30.2 on the clock.

Garrett Bishop’s short run gave the guests a 21-20 lead with 7:51 to go. Neshannock regained the lead on its next drive when Antuono found Vitale for a 28-yard TD pass. Antuono floated a short pass to Ty Sear for the 2-point conversion to give the hosts a 28-21 edge with 7:29 to play before intermission.

Austin Dambach hauled in his second TD pass from his brother, this time a 32-yarder with 5:11 on the clock to knot the game at 28-all.

A long Vitale run gave the Lancers the ball deep in Riverside territory. Lindsey cashed in from the 6, but the PAT kick failed, which left the Lancers a 34-28 lead with 3:48 left.

Neshannock recovered a Panthers fumble on its own 40 with 2:32 on the clock. On the next play, Antuono lofted a strike to Danny Welker down the middle and he went 60 yards for a touchdown. Antuono found Welker for the 2-point conversion and a 42-28 edge with 2:23 to play.

In the second half, Antuono connected with Chris Scott for a 52-yard TD. The PAT kick failed, which gave the hosts a 48-28 lead with 7:58 left in the third.

The Panthers appeared poised to score on their next drive, but Scott jumped in front of a pass and returned it nearly 60 yards to the 22. Lindsey reached the end zone on a 1-yard run to give the Lancers a 56-28 lead with 3:44 remaining.

“I knew that our offense was clicking and I knew that our defense had to get just a couple stops,” Antuono said. “If we got a couple stops, I knew we were scoring.”

Austin Dambach hauled in a 33-yard TD pass from Jason to cut the Neshannock lead to 56-35 with 2:09 left in the third. Wass ripped the ball out of Lindsey’s hands and raced 69 yards for a score 57 seconds into the fourth quarter to cut the Lancers’ lead to 56-42.

Neshannock responded with a touchdown when Antuono scampered in from the 15. Lindsey added the 2-point conversion run for a 64-42 lead with 7:57 to go.

The Panthers answered back with a touchdown. Jason Dambach hit Justin Baust for a 29-yard TD pass. The conversion failed and the Lancers held a 64-48 lead with 7:04 left.

Lindsey capped the scoring with a 2-yard run for a 71-48 lead with 1:24 to go.

Vitale finished with 128 yards and a score on the ground. Welker had five catches for 142 yards and a touchdown, while Scott had 5 catches for 112 yards and a TD.

“We can’t let down. We have to stay focused,” Mozzocio said. “We’re a football team that’s going to get better every week because we have young kids playing in varsity games and they’re just continuing to get better. When it’s time, hopefully, we’ll be ready to make a run.”

(Email: ncsports@ncnewsonline.com)

RIVERSIDE NESHANNOCK

26 First downs 26

119 Yards Rushing 364

24 Yards Lost 96

95 Net Rushing 268

47 Passes Attempted 20

28 Passes Completed 15

2 Passes Intercepted 0

551 Yards Passing 314

646 Total Yards 582

1-1 Fumbles-Lost 3-2

2-37 Punts-Average 0-0

8-64 Penalties-Yards 9-85

RIVERSIDE 14 14 7 13 — 48

NESHANNOCK 20 22 14 15 — 71

Scoring plays

RIVERSIDE — Austin Dambach, 89-yard pass from Jason Dambach (Adam Saunders kick).

NESHANNOCK — Jonah Vitale, 45-yard run (Essa Barhoum kick).

NESHANNOCK — Frank Antuono, 25-yard run (Barhoum kick).

RIVERSIDE — Ricky Wass, 11-yard pass from J. Dambach (Saunders kick).

NESHANNOCK — Robert Lindsey, 79-yard run (kick failed).

RIVERSIDE — Garrett Bishop, 4-yard run (Saunders kick).

NESHANNOCK — Vitale, 28-yard pass from Antuono (Ty Sear pass from Antuono).

RIVERSIDE — A. Dambach, 32-yard pass from J. Dambach (Saunders kick).

NESHANNOCK — Lindsey, 6-yard run (kick failed).

NESHANNOCK — Danny Welker, 60-yard pass from Antuono (Welker pass from Antuono).

NESHANNOCK — Chris Scott, 52-yard pass from Antuono (kick failed).

NESHANNOCK — Lindsey, 1-yard run (Welker pass from Antuono).

RIVERSIDE — A. Dambach, 33-yard pass from J. Dambach (Saunders kick).

RIVERSIDE — Wass, 69-yard fumble return (Saunders kick).

NESHANNOCK — Antuono, 15-yard run (Lindsey run).

RIVERSIDE — Justin Baust, 29-yard pass from J. Dambach (pass failed).

NESHANNOCK — Lindsey, 2-yard run (Barhoum kick).
GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Neshannock 20 22 14 15 0 71
Riverside 14 14 7 13 0 48
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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