Crunch Personal Injury
Game of the Week

On the defensive

Neshannock (20) vs. Riverside (13)
Written: Oct 08, 2016
Article Image Gallery
By Joe Sager

New Castle News

Normally, the Neshannock High football team has no need to rely on its defense late in games.

The Lancers have become used to carrying big leads into the fourth quarter thanks to a productive offense.

Friday night, though, Neshannock's defense answered the call for help and the Lancers held on for a key 20-13 WPIAL Class 2A Midwestern Conference triumph over Riverside in a battle of unbeatens at Bob Bleggi Stadium.

Neshannock (4-0 conference, 6-1 overall) had a 20-6 lead heading into the fourth. However, the Panthers (4-1, 4-2) scored with 1:41 to play. They recovered the onside kick, but the Lancers' pass defense held strong and Riverside failed to convert on a long fourth-down pass in Neshannock territory to seal the outcome, which gave the Lancers sole possession of first place in the Midwestern.

"It was definitely a playoff-type atmosphere and it lived up to its billing. It was a slugfest," Neshannock coach Fred Mozzocio said. "It was a great game and, hopefully, we can continue to learn and get better."

Neshannock's offense struggled to sustain much of a push in the first half. The Lancers' defense provided a spark then, too, when Danny Welker stepped in front of a Ben Hughes pass at the Riverside 30 and returned it to the 10 late in the second quarter.

"That was a huge play. Danny had two picks again tonight and multiple catches. He's been playing great for us. I thought our kids played with hard and with great effort. Therefore, we got the win. But, we have to be a smarter football team and more disciplined at this point in the year," Mozzocio said. "Give credit to Riverside. They did a great job controlling the clock and keeping the ball away from us and keeping us from getting into a rhythm. When we did get into a rhythm, we hurt ourselves with penalties and missed assignments. We were very, very sloppy on offense."

After the pick, the Lancers got to the 1. On fourth down, Sean Doran crashed in for the touchdown with 46.5 seconds left in the first half. Frank Antuono found Welker for the conversion pass and an 8-0 lead.

"I knew we needed something like that (interception) to turn the game around and get us some momentum to score," Welker said. "It was nice we were able to get a touchdown off it."

Welker's long kickoff return to the Panthers' 40 gave Neshannock a spark to open the second half. They put together a touchdown march and Antuono capped it when he tucked the ball and scored on a 5-yard run. The conversion pass failed and Neshannock had a 14-0 lead with 8:46 left in the frame.

Riverside responded with a 73-yard scoring drive of its own. Hughes broke the shutout as he dove in from the 1 to trim the deficit to 14-7 with 1:45 on the clock.

It took the Lancers four plays to find the back of the end zone again. Antuono gunned a 17-yard scoring strike to Chris Scott with eight seconds remaining. The conversion pass failed, which left the hosts with a 20-7 advantage.

"It was important for us to come back," Welker said. "We got a little bit down after they scored, but we knew we had to come back and score and get the momentum back."

Neshannock struggled to chew time off the clock in the fourth quarter. Desperate, Riverside converted some long pass plays and got in the end zone when Hughes found Austin Dambach for a 20-yard scoring strike. The kick failed and the Panthers faced a 20-13 deficit with 1:41 to go.

Riverside's onside kick ricocheted off a Lancer and the Panthers dove on the ball at their own 47.

"We just knew we had to stop them at that point," Welker said.

With no timeouts, the guests drove to Neshannock's 39, but the Lancers defended four pass attempts successfully and held on for the win.

"We're happy right now," Welker said. "But we need to get back to work."

(Email: ncsports@ncnewsonline.com)

RIVERSIDE NESHANNOCK

15 First downs 10

94 Yards Rushing 132

13 Yards Lost 7

81 Net Rushing 125

34 Passes Attempted 17

20 Passes Completed 12

4 Passes Intercepted 0

174 Yards Passing 123

255 Total Yards 248

1-1 Fumbles-Lost 2-2

3-27.7 Punts-Average 3-28.7

4-30 Penalties-Yards 6-37

RIVERSIDE 0 0 7 6 — 13

NESHANNOCK 0 8 12 0 — 20

Scoring plays

NESHANNOCK — Sean Doran, 1-yard run (Danny Welker pass from Frank Antuono).

NESHANNOCK — Antuono, 5-yard run (pass failed).

RIVERSIDE — Ben Hughes, 1-yard run (Adam Saunders kick).

NESHANNOCK — Chris Scott, 17-yard pass from Antuono (pass failed).

RIVERSIDE — Austin Dambach, 20-yard pass from Ben Hughes (kick failed).
GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Neshannock 0 8 12 0 0 20
Riverside 0 0 7 6 0 13
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
Copyright © 2017 CrunchOnline
All Rights Reserved