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Game of the Week

New Castle ends streak against Blackhawk

New Castle (33) vs. Blackhawk (7)
Written: Sep 19, 2009
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By RON PONIEWASZ JR.

rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com

Finally!

New Castle High’s football losing streak against Blackhawk is over.

Sophomore running back Justin Fleo rolled up a school-record 276 rushing yards on 20 carries to lead the Red Hurricane past the Cougars last night at Taggart Stadium in a Parkway Conference matchup, 33-7.

The previous mark was held by Greg Solomon when he rushed for 272 rushing yards on 21 attempts on Oct. 20, 1984 in a 24-17 win over North Allegheny.

New Castle’s last win over Blackhawk came in 1987, a 25-0 verdict at Taggart Stadium. The ’Canes (1-0 conference, 3-0 overall), ranked No. 4 in the WPIAL in Class AAA by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, suffered 15 straight losses to Blackhawk in that span.

“It’s a great thing to get the monkey off your back,” New Castle coach Frank Bongivengo Jr. said. “It’s been a lot of years and they do a great job at Blackhawk.

“They’ve been able to make more plays than us during that stretch and tonight we were able to make more plays than them. Our kids played with a great amount of confidence. It was a great win.”

With 1:47 left to play, New Castle players doused Bongivengo with a water bucket to celebrate the victory.

“They got me,” Bongivengo said with a smile. “They were excited breaking that streak.

“I guess I’ll have to start paying more attention. I almost caught them and got out of the way.”

Blackhawk (0-1, 1-2) took the opening kickoff and marched 72 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown. Christian Mulig punctuated the drive on an 8-yard run for a 7-0 buffer with 5:36 left in the first quarter.

“That first series they took it to us a little bit,” Bongivengo said. “After that, our kids just said ‘hey coach, just let us go’ and that’s what we did.

“We lined it up in a base defense and we matched it up. We ran to the football. The only thing I didn’t like was there were a couple times we hit them and didn’t wrap up.”

Fleo led the comeback for the ’Canes. On New Castle’s second drive, he found the end zone on a 1-yard run up the middle. An illegal motion penalty on the extra point pushed the ball five yards back and Spenser Rapone’s attempt was blocked.

Fleo gave New Castle the lead for good in the second quarter on a 62-yard touchdown scamper. His jaunt culminated a four-play, 98-yard drive.

“They have a bubble boy that they always blitz with,” Fleo said. “Our line picked it up perfectly all night; the holes were there.”

The ’Canes dug out of trouble on the second play of the drive with the ball still at the 2. Quarterback Johnny Matarazzo dropped back and launched the ball to Marcus Carter who hauled in the pass for a 42-yard gain.

“I know I’ve got two guys out there on the ends that can make the plays at any time and on any part of the field,” Bongivengo said. “You just want to get it out there and let the guys go make a play.

“Marcus made a heck of a play. He came back on that ball and got it. It was a great catch and a great throw. We know what Johnny can do and he’ll continue to get better and better.”

Blackhawk’s offense amassed 70 yards, four first downs and a touchdown in the first 12 minutes. From there, New Castle’s defense put down the clamps. The ’Canes allowed just 57 yards, three first downs and no points in the final 36 minutes. The Cougars managed just one yard on 12 offensive plays in the third quarter.

“I think our defense is playing pretty good right now,” Bongivengo said. “As long as they are running to the ball and putting hats on the ball, good things are going to happen.

“We missed a couple of tackles that we need to make, next week (against Hopewell) that could turn into touchdowns.”

New Castle returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday when it travels to Hopewell. The Vikings (1-0, 3-0) are ranked No. 2 in the WPIAL in Class AAA by the Post-Gazette.

BLACKHAWK NEW CASTLE

8 First downs 15

132 Yards Rushing 360

43 Yards Lost 27

89 Net Rushing 333

5 Passes Attempted 7

18 Passes Completed 12

0 Passes Intercepted 1

38 Yards Passing 130

127 Total Yards 463

2-1 Fumbles-Lost 2-2

9-34.3 Punts-Average 3-27

3-16 Penalties-Yards 7-47

BLACKHAWK 7 0 0 0 — 7

NEW CASTLE 6 13 14 0 — 33

Scoring plays

BLACKHAWK — Christian Mulig, 8-yard run (Phillip Pritchard kick).

NEW CASTLE — Justin Fleo, 1-yard run (kick blocked).

NEW CASTLE — Fleo, 62-yard run (run failed).

NEW CASTLE — Darrian Rice, 40-yard pass from Johnny Matarazzo (Spenser Rapone kick).

NEW CASTLE — Fleo, 1-yard (Rapone kick).

NEW CASTLE — Fleo, 62-yard run (Rapone kick).
GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
New Castle 6 13 14 0 0 33
Blackhawk 7 0 0 0 0 7
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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