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Game of the Week

Neshannock routs North Catholic

Neshannock (36) vs. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic (0)
Written: Sep 03, 2016
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By Ron Poniewasz Jr.

New Castle News

There was no letdown for the Neshannock High football team.

In fact, the Lancers seemed to have picked up where they left off last week.

Neshannock allowed eight first downs and put the game into mercy-rule status by the end of the first half in a 36-0 WPIAL Class 2A Midwestern Conference win over Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic on Friday at Bob Bleggi Stadium.

Last week, the Lancers breezed to a 42-14 decision over PIAA Class A runner-up Farrell in the Kickoff Classic at New Castle’s Taggart Stadium.

Neshannock came in ranked No. 4 in the WPIAL in Class 2A, while Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic entered at No. 3, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“It was a good win for our football team this evening,” Neshannock coach Fred Mozzocio said. “It was a quality opponent that we faced. There was a lot of hoopla around the game and our kids came out and performed and showed they were ready to play.

“These guys were chomping at the bit all week. As soon as the Farrell game was over, we couldn’t wait to get on the field against these guys. I’m proud of their performance tonight.”

Neshannock (1-0 conference, 2-0 overall) took advantage of an eight-yard Trojans punt when the hosts took over at the visitors’ 32 with 7:34 to go in the opening frame.

Frank Antuono ran in from seven yards out and Tristan Tuck tallied the extra point to give the Lancers a 7-0 lead with 5:48 to go in the opening frame.

The score held until Neshannock erupted in the second quarter for 29 more points.

Antuono added his second scoring scamper on a one-yard run off a quarterback draw. He took the snap in the shotgun and ran right up the middle for the score. Tuck booted another successful conversion for a 14-0 margin with 9:15 left in the half.

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic had its best drive of the first half when it marched 32 yards to the Neshannock 33. But quarterback Ryan Maziarz fired an incomplete pass on fourth-and-four and the Lancers took over.

Antuono wasted no time in guiding his squad back to the end zone. This time he did it through the air, and quickly. Antuono found Danny Welker racing behind the coverage for a 67-yard scoring pass on the first play after the change of possession.

The Trojans jumped offside on the conversion try and Neshannock elected to put its offense back on the field following the half-the-distance-to-the-goal penalty. Antuono took care of the rest, plowing in for the two-point conversion and a 22-0 advantage.

“Danny is an amazing wide receiver,” Antuono said. “When we work in practice all week we develop a chemistry.

“When we’re on and we’re clicking, Danny is out there making great catches and breaking tackles. He makes me look good.”

Said Welker, “I just knew when he was playing me up I could beat him. Frank threw a good ball on that one and I made the play.”

The tandem connected on another scoring strike after a penalty nullified a touchdown on fourth down. The Lancers were faced with fourth-and-21 from the 33 and they elected to go for it.

Antuono and Welker hooked up again to not only convert the first down, but to reach the end zone as well. Antuono found Welker again behind the coverage for a 33-yard scoring aerial. That score, coupled with Tuck’s conversion kick, pushed the buffer to 29-0 with 1:16 to go in the half.

“We knew we could beat them deep,” Welker said. “We just came back to it and we knew we could do it. We made it work.”

Welker helped cap the half in style when he picked off an errant Maziarz aerial and raced 60 yards for another touchdown as the half expired. Tuck booted another successful conversion to send the hosts into the break with a 36-0 lead.

“He’s always ready and he’s always prepared,” Mozzocio said of Welker. “Our defensive coaches did a great job of preparing for what they do. In that instance, our guys had an idea of what they were going to run there. Danny just stepped in front of it and took it to the house. It was a great play by Danny.”

“Coach told the secondary to watch so you don’t get beat,” Welker said. “I was looking at the running back. I saw the under route coming from the side and I just jumped on that.”

Antuono finished with 19 rushing yards. He was 9 of 16 through the air for 178 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Antuono acknowledged the team was ready to play the Trojans, who lost in the WPIAL Class A semifinals last season.

“Early in the season we saw North Catholic was on our schedule,” he said. “My freshman year, I started at defensive end and they beat us twice. I never beat North Catholic.

“Coming into this game, we had it circled. People were wondering if we could beat them and we wanted to make another statement this week.”

Welker hauled in six passes for 146 yards with two scores.

“I didn’t expect it at all,” Welker said of the lopsided score. “It feels really good to be 2-0. We wanted to come out and win. We knew these first two games would be two hard games.”

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic amassed 164 yards of total offense. The Trojans’ deepest penetration came on their first drive of the second half. But they fumbled at Neshannock’s 25 as the hosts preserved the shutout.

“We want people to know we are a team to be reckoned with,” Mozzocio said. “The defense played stellar tonight. We’ll continue to do a lot of film study and hopefully it continues to pay off.”

The Lancers return to action at 7 p.m. next Friday when they travel to Quaker Valley (1-0) for another Midwestern Conference clash.



8 First downs 18

95 Yards Rushing 198

22 Yards Lost 21

73 Net Rushing 177

15 Passes Attempted 16

7 Passes Completed 9

2 Passes Intercepted 1

91 Yards Passing 178

164 Total Yards 355

1-0 Fumbles-Lost 1-0

4-28.2 Punts-Average 0-0

5-43 Penalties-Yards 5-37

C.W. N. CATHOLIC 0 0 0 0 — 0

NESHANNOCK 7 29 0 0 — 0

Scoring plays

NESHANNOCK — Frank Antuono, 7-yard run (Tristan Tuck kick).

NESHANNOCK — Antuono, 1-yard run (Tuck kick).

NESHANNOCK — Danny Welker, 67-yard pass from Antuono (Antuono run).

NESHANNOCK — Welker, 33-yard pass from Antuono (Tuck kick).

NESHANNOCK — Welker, 60-yard interception return (Tuck kick).
Neshannock 7 29 0 0 0 36
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic 0 0 0 0 0 0
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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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