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Game of the Week

New Castle advances to WPIAL Class 4A title game

New Castle (38) vs. Ringgold (17)
Written: Nov 11, 2016
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By Joe Sager

New Castle News

MARS — Throughout his four years, Geno Stone has compiled a pretty nice highlight video.

You can label pretty much all the footage from Friday night’s 38-17 WPIAL Class 4A semifinal win over Ringgold at Mars High as “Volume 2” for the New Castle senior.

Stone scored five touchdowns, picked off three passes and caused another interception to help the Red Hurricane advance to the district title game for the first time since 1998.

“It’s probably the greatest feeling ever,” Stone said. “We came together as a family this year. This is probably the best team I have been on. I love all of them equally and I am just happy I am with them.”

New Castle (8-4) meets Thomas Jefferson, a 35-7 winner over West Mifflin, for the WPIAL title Friday at Heinz Field at a time to be announced.

“It’s a good feeling right now. We’re going to enjoy the victory, but we look forward to maybe the tallest task you can get in the state of Pennsylvania in Thomas Jefferson,” said New Castle coach Joe Cowart, the quarterback of the program’s 1998 WPIAL championship squad. “It’s a fantastic feeling. I couldn’t be more proud of a group of young men for the belief they had in what we’re trying to do as a staff and for the belief and love they have for each other. I think that shows up in the critical moments of the game. It took us a little while this season to get going and overcome these bigger teams in front of us, but we have a belief system now that anyone we face is beatable if we do our job the best we possibly can.”

Stone made his presence felt on the team’s fifth play when he exploded through the middle of the field for a 42-yard TD run.

“After that first touchdown, I knew I could do pretty much whatever I wanted to,” he said. “This was probably the best game I’ve ever had in my life. I just knew I had to help my team win tonight.”

Brayden Cartwright’s 32-yard field goal boosted the lead to 10-0 on the first play of the second quarter. Late in the frame, the ’Canes stopped the Rams (8-3) when Stone tipped a pass and Kymani Summers dove and intercepted the ball at the New Castle 32.

“He is just an amazing player,” New Castle’s Marcus Hooker said. “I love that kid; I am glad to have him as a teammate.”

Stone scored on a short touchdown run in the third. His interception at the 1 and 61-yard return helped set up his third score and a 24-0 lead early in the fourth. However, a safety sparked Ringgold as the Rams, who beat New Castle, 41-27, on Oct. 21, roared back for 17 points in a 3:52 span.

“We saw it in Week 8 — Ringgold plays its best football in the biggest moments of the game,” Cowart said. “It started to get tight at the end and we’ve done this in consecutive weeks — in those big, winnable moments, our guys believe in each other and able to counter the momentum swings of a game.”

Hooker set up Stone’s momentum-changing touchdown with a 38-yard run. Stone capped the drive when he ran around the right side, delivered a punishing stiff arm and bolted down the far sideline for a 23-yard score. That gave the ’Canes a 31-17 edge with 4:17 left.

“I just wanted the ball in my hands in that moment to get us back up,” Stone said. “I knew I could do it. I just trust my abilities to do it all the time.”

On Ringgold’s next possession, Stone picked off his third pass. It set up his fourth rushing touchdown of the night to put the game out of reach.

“He has been spectacular this entire season. But, this may have been his masterpiece,” Cowart said. “He has plenty of scholarship offers to FCS schools, but I think there isn’t a guy in the United States of America that’s as underrecruited as him. That kid can go play for a power-five football team across this landscape tomorrow and would be an absolute asset to that team. He is as good as it gets in this state and I hope people are starting to figure that out when they watch him play.”

Stone finished with 94 yards rushing on 12 carries. He passed for 79 yards as well. Hooker piled up 178 yards on 34 carries.

(Email: ncsports@ncnewsonline.com)

RINGGOLD NEW CASTLE

11 First downs 13

35 Yards Rushing 296

24 Yards Lost 7

9 Net Rushing 289

40 Passes Attempted 11

20 Passes Completed 4

5 Passes Intercepted 0

250 Yards Passing 79

259 Total Yards 368

2-0 Fumbles-Lost 1-0

4-35.8 Punts-Average 3-35.7

7-49 Penalties-Yards 5-60

RINGGOLD 0 0 0 17 - 17

NEW CASTLE 7 3 14 14- 38

Scoring plays

NEW CASTLE – Geno Stone, 42-yard run (Brayden Cartwright kick).

NEW CASTLE – Cartwright, 32-yard field goal.

NEW CASTLE – Stone, 3-yard run (Cartwright kick).

NEW CASTLE – Stone, 1-yard run (Cartwright kick).

RINGGOLD – Safety, New Castle player tackled in end zone.

RINGGOLD – Max Maciejewski, 18-yard pass from George Martin (Maciejewski pass from Martin).

RINGGOLD – Maciejewski, 14-yard pass from George Martin (Matt Cannon kick).

NEW CASTLE – Stone, 23-yard run (Cartwright kick).

NEW CASTLE – Stone, 2-yard run (Cartwright kick).
GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
New Castle 7 3 7 21 0 38
Ringgold 0 0 0 17 0 17
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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