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Game of the Week

No doubt about it

Neshannock (54) vs. Union (12)
Written: Oct 31, 2015
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By Andrew Koob

New Castle News

Two playoff-bound football teams met at Socs Roussos Stadium, finishing the regular season before shifting focus to the WPIAL playoffs.

It didn’t even take the full 48 minutes to see that Neshannock made its case as a legitimate threat to take the Class A district crown with a 54-12 win over host Union on Friday in a bout between two of the four Big Seven teams destined for next week’s WPIAL postseason.

The Lancers (7-1 Big Seven, 8-1 overall) dominated the ground game and kept pounding the ball, only going to the air four times out of a total of 51 offensive plays.

Neshannock totaled 402 yards rushing, led by quarterback Frank Antuono’s 135-yard, two touchdown performance on the ground. Robert Lindsey took the majority of the carries, totaling 17 totes for 80 yards and two rushing scores, while Jonah Vitale added 94 yards and another touchdown.

Antuono also completed all four of his passes, tossing 66 yards and two scores, a 28-yarder to tight end Ty Sear and a 20-yard score to wide receiver Andrew Cipriano. Both of those touchdowns came in the second quarter.

“Any of those three guys can hurt you, Danny Welker can do that on the outside as well at receiver,” Neshannock coach Fred Mozzocio said. “We have weapons all over the field, even our younger guys are stepping up now. We didn’t get to use some of the outside guys as much tonight because our offensive line was doing a pretty good job on the line of scrimmage.”

As soon as the Lancers got the ball, they wasted little time in putting points on the board. Following a Union three-and-out to open the game, Antuono and Lindsey combined to navigate a six-play, 55-yard scoring drive that ended in an Antuono 14-yard running touchdown.

Lindsey got the next two scores, the first on a 3-yard run followed by a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown just two plays later.

Vitale capped the first-quarter scoring with a four-yard rush, giving Neshannock a 29 point advantage in the first 12 minutes.

“We knew we had to come out, click on all cylinders tonight and try to get this game under control,” Mozzocio said. “That’s what we did, I’m awfully proud of my senior class, they led a very young football team to an 8-1 regular season record and I couldn’t be prouder of those guys.”

Neshannock was just as efficient on the other side of the ball, holding the Union offense to just 157 total yards, 61 coming in the final quarter. The Scotties (4-3, 5-4) didn’t get on the scoreboard until the first play of the second quarter, when Garrison Bell slipped a tackle and took a Joe Gunn pass 42 yards for a score.

That play, along with a three-yard K’Hari Huddleston touchdown run with the reserves on the field, were the only bright spots in an otherwise-sloppy Scotties showing that featured almost as many Union fumbles (five) as first downs (six).

“You have to give the other guys credit, they worked hard year-round, they execute, they look like they enjoy playing football,” Union coach Stacy Robinson said. “That’s a credit to them, their community and their coaches. They come after you and they’re relentless, they don’t give up.

“I thought we would perform well, I’m disappointed but I’m the head coach, so I have to take a big responsibility for not having my kids ready to play. But, on the other hand, they were good and it was like the remnants of Hurricane Patricia came here tonight.”

The loss snapped a three-game Union winning streak and sends them into the postseason picture as the Big Seven’s fourth and final playoff team.

Neshannock enters the postseason as the Big Seven’s No. 2 team and on a seven-game winning streak, one that features five wins with a winning margin of 20 or more points.

“I think that our body of work over the last few years speaks for itself,” Mozzocio said. “We have one loss on our resume, a good loss to a good Shenango team. If we’re not one of the top-rated teams in the seeding, I’ll be very surprised. I think our boys earned a top seed and hopefully we get out due here moving forward.

“Right now, we’re going to go back to Lancerville and we’re ready to Whip and Nae-Nae.”



15 First downs 6

405 Yards Rushing 76

3 Yards Lost 9

402 Net Rushing 67

4 Passes Attempted 16

4 Passes Completed 7

0 Passes Intercepted 2

66 Yards Passing 90

468 Total Yards 157

2-0 Fumbles-Lost 5-3

0-0 Punts-Average 1-31

7-54 Penalties-Yards 5-23

NESHANNOCK 29 19 6 0 — 54

UNION 0 6 0 6 — 12

Scoring plays

NESHANNOCK — Frank Antuono, 14-yard run (Esa Barhoum kick).

NESHANNOCK — Robert Lindsey, 3-yard run (Antuono run).

NESHANNOCK — Lindsey, 42-yard interception return (Barhoum kick).

NESHANNOCK — Jonah Vitale, 4-yard run (Barhoum kick).

UNION — Garrison Bell, 42-yard pass from Joe Gunn (kick failed).

NESHANNOCK — Lindsey, 2-yard run (kick failed).

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

NESHANNOCK — Andrew Cipriano, 20-yard pass from Antuono (Caitlin Trotta kick).

NESHANNOCK — Antuono, 19-yard run (kick failed).

UNION — K’Hari Huddleston, 3-yard run (kick failed).
Neshannock 29 19 6 0 0 54
Union 0 6 0 6 0 12
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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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