Butler outlasts New Castle
New Castle (21) vs. Butler (28)
Written: Aug 30, 2008
By JOHN D’ABRUZZO
Frank Bongivengo Jr. knows luck has nothing to do with a loss.
But his New Castle High football team was banking on the third time being a charm.
The Red Hurricane failed to convert three recovered fumbles during a 28-21 WPIAL nonconference loss last night at Taggart Stadium. The win snapped a 10-game losing streak for Butler.
And the last one was the most crucial.
New Castle, which was held scoreless in the final two quarters after entering the half tied at 21, trailed by seven when Butler’s Tony Fudoli coughed up the ball on the 1-yard line with 3:54 remaining in the game.
The ’Canes, who were held to a mere 4 minutes and 21 seconds of offense in the fourth quarter, drove the ball 80 yards but were stopped on fourth-and-10 with 43 seconds remaining. Butler’s Christos Klutinoty smacked down quarterback Michael Bongivengo’s pass attempt as the ’Canes threatened on the Golden Tornado 16.
“They made a couple of plays down there at the stretch and we didn’t,” said the elder Bongivengo, who is the father of the quarterback. “We made a lot of mistakes from the special teams to the offense to defense. We all, coaches included, contributed in this loss.”
Second-year Golden Tornado coach Jeff McAnallen knew possession had a lot to do with Butler’s victory. He, however, was none too pleased with watching three turnovers all inside the ’Canes’ 20-yard line.
“In the second half we came out and controlled the ball,” he said. “We had to slow them down because they were breaking plays and we can’t keep up with them.
“We drove the ball and took advantage of the clock, but we didn’t close the door and score on those touchdowns.”
Butler jumped on the board 51 seconds into the game when Josh Reddick picked off Bongivengo and returned the interception 23 yards. It was also Reddick who caught Bongivengo’s second interception later in the game.
“He threw the pick right there off the bat for seven, and that puts you in a bind,” the elder Bongivengo said. “But he was able to rebound and make some plays. We just didn’t make enough of them.
“Butler came out, they had a good plan and they were ready to play. And they took it to us for the most part of the day.”
The younger Bongivengo still powered New Castle’s offense. He completed 11 of 25 passes for 140 yards and two interceptions. He also ran for another 41 yards and one touchdown on eight carries.
“He made plays,” McAnallen said. “We had to make a little adjustment in the second half because we knew we had to stop him.”
Running back Keith Keene, who came up with one of the three fumbles for New Castle, scored twice for the ’Canes. He scored on runs of 64 and 1 yards, while accumulating 115 yards on 13 carries.
“Keith Keene’s a good back,” Bongivengo said. “He runs hard and he’s got some speed. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get him loose enough times to make some bigger plays.”
Brandon Burley came up with one of the other fumble recoveries for New Castle. He also gathered 44 yards receiving on five catches.
Quarterback Cole Harvey made most of Butler’s big plays. He ran for 113 yards on 10 carries, also while completing 6 of 9 attempts for 57 yards and one touchdown.
“We can have three or four guys running the ball and moving around, but when it came time to make a play, somehow Cole Harvey always makes it,” McAnallen said.
Butler’s Eli Christy ran for 109 yards and one touchdown on seven carries.
“That’s our philosophy,” McAnallen said. “We have power backs and we wanted to run the ball at them.”
The Golden Tornado accumulated 358 yards of total offense to the ’Canes’ 315.
“There were definitely some bright spots and we’ll be able to build on them,” Bongivengo said. “This isn’t the end of the world, that’s for sure. This is the first game of the year and we have a bunch more to go.
“We’ll be back. We’ll rebound and the kids will be ready to go.”
BUTLER NEW CASTLE
13 First downs 11
289 Yards Rushing 177
8 Yards Lost 2
281 Net Rushing 175
10 Passes Attempted 25
7 Passes Completed 11
0 Passes Intercepted 2
77 Yards Passing 140
358 Total Yards 315
2-2 Fumbles-Lost 0-0
1-21 Punts-Average 5-29.8
8-50 Penalties-Yards 4-35
BUTLER 14 7 0 7 —28
NEW CASTLE 14 7 0 0 — 21
BUTLER — Josh Reddick, 23-yard interception return (Cole Harvey kick).
NEW CASTLE — Keith Keene, 64-yard run (kick failed).
BUTLER — Tony Fudoli, 1-yard run (Harvey kick).
NEW CASTLE — Michael Bongivengo, 21-yard run (Bongivengo run).
BUTLER — Eli Christy, 30-yard run (Harvey kick).
NEW CASTLE — Keene, 1-yard run (Jajuan Jay kick).
BUTLER — Brian Zendesky, 5-yard pass from Harvey (Harvey kick).