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Game of the Week

Spartans overwhelm Monaca

Laurel (37) vs. Monaca (13)
Written: Oct 17, 2009
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Injuries and illness limited the amount of weapons for the Laurel High football team last night.

It didn’t seem to matter for the Spartans.

Tyler Forbes tossed two touchdowns and rushed for another in the Spartans’ 37-13 win over Monaca in Big Seven Conference action.

Laurel (4-1, 6-1) is ranked No. 2 in the WPIAL in Class A by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and No. 5 in the PIAA.

Spartans seniors Dan Poremski and Torrey Price were out with injuries, while junior Steve Jones missed with the flu and senior Jake Dando with pneumonia.

“It was a tough week, there’s no question about it,” Spartans coach Jerry Holzhauser said. “We were missing a lot of kids, but these kids stepped up.

“It was a lot of kids out and you have to keep them home.”

Despite the absences, Forbes was ready for a big performance.

“I thought about it today,” he said of the number of players that would miss the game. “I knew I was going to have to step up today, but I still have great guys around me. My line was there and playing well, everybody stepped up and played well.”

Monaca (3-2, 4-3) started strong, getting a 90-yard touchdown from Robert Foster on the game’s opening kickoff.

The Spartans’ special teams also allowed a 62-yard punt return in the third quarter that led to the Indians’ final tally.

“We’re going to have to do some work there,” Holzhauser said of his special teams unit. “We got out of position on the opening kickoff and we have to correct that for sure.

“That kickoff probably made us more upset than anything.”

Laurel bounced back with a 15-play drive, marching 65 yards, resulting in a 20-yard field goal by Jonathan Johnson. The drive stalled at the 3, following a rush for no gain and two incompletions and Johnson eventually drove a knuckleball through the uprights.

“That was big to get some points on the board there,” Holzhauser said. “We have faith in Jonathan Johnson that he’ll do that for us.

“They were stacking the box. The balls (from Forbes) were on the money, but in these conditions it was tough to catch.”

All of Laurel’s yardage on the drive came on the ground.

“Laurel did what they wanted to do and they executed, that’s the bottom line,” Indians coach Sam Cercone said of the drive.

Forbes rushed for 78 yards on 10 carries including a 30-yard touchdown run. The jaunt gave Laurel the lead for good at 9-7 in the opening quarter. He also threw for a season-high 113 yards and two scores, both of which going to Shane Caldararo.

“Tyler can throw and he can run; he proved that tonight,” Holzhauser said. “It’s every coach’s dream to have a player that can do what Tyler can do.”

Said Forbes, “That was just an off tackle run. (Caleb) Weisenstein was leading up through the hole. I saw daylight and I cut it back. I got a great open field block from Caldararo and there was nobody there.”

The Spartans had a tall task of trying to stop Indians running back Joe Colangelo. Colangelo came in with 873 rushing yards to rank ninth in the WPIAL.

Laurel’s defense swarmed Colangelo, holding him to 80 yards on 15 carries and no touchdowns.

“You have to give credit to Laurel’s defense and to the coaching staff,” Cercone said. “They did a tremendous job doing what they needed to do to stop Joe; Joe had a couple of nice runs, but not enough.”

Forbes’ first touchdown pass was a 43-yard toss to Caldararo with 1:52 left in the opening half. Monaca accepted a holding penalty that brought up third-and-28 from the 43. Forbes managed to fit the ball in to Caldararo in triple coverage for a 23-7 buffer.

The Spartans increased the lead to 30-7 when Forbes hit Caldararo again, this time from 46 yards out. Caldararo outjumped Daryn DeFelice inside the 5 for the score.

“Shane is one of our better receivers and he’s an exceptional blocker,” Holzhauser said. “We’ve used him primarily as another offensive lineman, but he’s a heck of an athlete.”

Caldararo snared two of Forbes’ three completions for 89 yards. It was the first two receptions of the season for Caldararo.

Laurel returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday when it hosts Western Beaver. The Spartans are closing in on their second postseason berth in the last three years.


11 First downs 18

134 Yards Rushing 290

7 Yards Lost 9

127 Net Rushing 281

16 Passes Attempted 7

5 Passes Completed 3

1 Passes Intercepted 0

47 Yards Passing 113

174 Total Yards 394

4-1 Fumbles-Lost 0-0

4-23 Punts-Average 3-33.3

5-26 Penalties-Yards 7-49

MONACA 7 0 6 0 —13

LAUREL 9 14 7 7 — 37

Scoring plays

MONACA — Robert Foster, 90-yard kickoff return (Shane McKay kick).

LAUREL — Jonathan Johnson, 20-yard field goal.

LAUREL — Tyler Forbes, 30-yard run (kick blocked).

LAUREL — Eric Wallas, 37-yard interception return (Johnson kick).

LAUREL — Shane Caldararo, 43-yard pass from Forbes (Johnson kick).

LAUREL — Caldararo, 46-yard pass from Forbes (Johnson kick).

MONACA — Joe Colangelo, 4-yard run (run failed).

LAUREL — Dylan Jones, 26-yard run (Johnson kick).
Laurel 9 14 7 7 0 37
Monaca 7 0 6 0 0 13
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